Goddess of Beauty

with Anette Pirso

Cover Artist Interview

Art by Anette Pirso

About the Artist: 

Anette Pirso, the artist behind Anette Pirso Illustrations, is a 25 year-old artist working out of her home country of Estonia. A fun fact she let me know: Estonia was actually one of the last places to convert from Paganism to Christianity, before that having animism (the belief that everything has a spirit). 

She mainly uses her artistic talents in the depictions of Goddesses, whether through her commonly chosen medium of drawing, or by use of more elaborate techniques like tapestry art. 

Anette has devoted this art to depicting the Goddesses more symbolically and culturally significant, moving away from the overtly sexual, or overtly scary visions we have come to see most commonly. Instead, she focuses on bringing a sense of the Goddess through in each depiction, by carefully integrating the authentic lore into the intricate details of her art. 

Read along below as Anette shares her motivations behind the art; why all her Goddesses have the same face; when you can expect to see a Tarot Deck on the market, made with Anette Pirso Illustrations – and so much more! 

13Moons: “Your artwork always seems to evoke a deeper story, from the hidden symbolism found within your pieces, to the thoroughly-written descriptions,  is there a deeper inspiration you have for being so detailed?” 

Anette: “I don’t think there is a deeper inspiration persay, but since they are all based on myths and legends, you kind of have to be detailed to bring out as many aspects as you possibly can without overbearing the image. I always want people who look at my art to, before even reading a text of who this Goddess (or whatever character) is about – that they kind of get an overall idea. Like are they the goddess of death, or life, of abundance or whatever really. And I’ve heard from the comments as well that people often recognize the goddess before even reading the name, if they are like a big of that deity, which is always really great to hear. 

Which is mainly why I am so detailed, I try to tell a story through symbols. It’s hard as well, because they all have such rich stories, so then to kind of decide what are you going to depict, and what you are going to leave out… But my whole goal is to just put the most basic kind of information out there so that people will be inspired to look deeper themselves – because that whole journey is so much fun to just take on by yourself as well – so I don’t want to spoil everything as well!”

13Moons: “I know part of your art includes handcrafted statues made together by you and your brother. Can you tell me more about how that developed? How has your relationship with your brother shifted in the process?”

Anette: “Me and my brother have always been very close, we are like best friends, and I know that they say don’t mix family with business and even in Estonia you have a proverb if you want to lose a friend – start a business together, because somehow the money issues and everything always somehow gets in between. But we haven’t had any issues at all, it’s actually been very fun because it’s like co-creation, I send him a picture of the Goddess I want him to create and he basically brings it to life then. It’s a very nice way to put something out into the world and it’s brought us closer – no negative sides thus far. 

For some reason we’ve always just gotten along very well. I think by nature he is very accepting, and I am very dramatic, and he has been able to handle me very well – he was just a very positive male-role model in my life growing up, I always really looked up to him. And now to be doing things together is super fun. He actually inspired me to start doing the art that I do, because he draws as well. He focuses on Norse mythology. And the first Goddess I ever created was Freya from Norse mythology, and then it kind of went from there… so it’s actually thanks to him that even branched out to that area I think.”

13Moons: “Can you tell me what inspired you to begin telling your story through tapestry art?”

Anette: “Well, I’ve always been super into medieval tapestries, I think they aesthetically they are so pleasing to look at. So my art right now, it’s kind of like just the Goddess, with a black or brownish background. So now I am excited to branch out into a more different kind of story telling where the whole story is all over the place. I was inspired just by medieval tapestries just how they look like, then also my favorite movie is Song of the Sea that is made by Cartoon Saloon, and there they also had like a tapestry – the whole story is about a Selkie, and Selkies are like seal-women… and there they had an art piece of a Selkie as tapestry and I just fell in love because I was already dong the Goddess things and I was thought wow, I could actually branch out to telling their stories through that kind of medium as well where you kind of use the landscape to set the scene.

Right now I am working on the story of Persephone, and it is very fun because I’ve been doing this very certain way of drawing for such along time now that my brain has to work differently, how are these pieces going to come together so that it doesn’t become oversaturated. But I’m going to do a couple smaller ones and eventually put them together and you can see the whole picture… but… we’ll see how it goes!”

13Moons: “Though your art is not exclusively of women, (as I saw some Odin and Green Men art) it does seem to lean towards exposing the mysteries of the feminine; is this by happenstance, or is something deeper at play?”
Anette: “Actually I started drawing goddesses because, as I said, my brother did the norse mythology things, and I was like okay I know about Freya, I want to draw her, so then I started looking at what have other people done, what are people drawing of Goddess in general. And they all seemed to be so kind of focuses on the physical appearence and often through this kind of male gaze ya know – the big boobs, tiny waist, which, there’s nothing wrong with that. But just looking at it I couldn’t really feel anything, and that’s what I want to bring with my art, that you kind of feel something, that’s the whole point. 
Actually thats why all of my goddess have the exact same face, I don’t know if you noticed, their eyes are closed and they have the exact same outline and for me that whole point is that they all come from one source, but that they are different manifestations. And their eyes are closed because when we close our eyes, like when we meditate or pray or something, it’s something deeper than what we just see. 
The representation was just not really there, it was either overly sexualized or very spooky looking. There’s so many stories that have been skewed with, they are not supposed to be scary actually, but somehow through history they’ve been turned into this scary thing because they were too powerful or too liberated. Like the Baba Yaga, who is an old women technically, but then it’s oh you know – she’s a witch. It can’t just be an old wise woman, you’re supposed to be afraid. 
I think the most popular one is about medusa being this gorgon and super fat and whatever but her whole story is so much deeper than that. It’s just hilarious in a very sad way, how the wrong representation has lasted longer than the so-called real ones. 
But they are myths, so everyone reads them the way that they want to.”
13Moons: “I noticed you worked with another artist for the hand-embroidery of your tote bags, as well as using an eco-resin in your handcrafted statues, can you tell me about the importance you found in making these decisions?”
Anette: “I always love working with other creators if I can find someone thats doing exactly the thing that i’m looking for someone to do, like instead of doing machine embroidery you can also have someone who does exactly that but by hand and it’s a completely different energy exchange, that you give them something to do, they do it for you, you can then support their craft and then resell it for other people to also enjoy. So I always first look for other creators that I could work together with, before looking at companies. 
And with the eco-resin, since my brother mostly does the whole creating the statue side of the thing, then he chose that one. But we both believe if there is an eco-friendly choice, go for that one.”
13Moons: “From pins, to keychains, to tote-bags, to stickers, you seem to be branching in a lot of different directions. Are there any areas you hope to branch into? Any you expect to leave behind?”
Anette: “My ultimate goal is to have an animation made with my illustrations – that would be so lovely! So I really hope to eventually get to that point, so that it could kind of be an easy medium to showcase mythology and the divine feminine, to children as well, but also that it suits adults and is just cute to look at. 
I am working on a tarot deck – I’ve been working on it for like two years now or something. It’s very fun but it’s also such a huge thing that you have to really get right because tarot is such specific thing that you have to get all the symbols right but thankfully I’m working together with a very lovely lady who’s a tarot card reader so we’re doing it together, and she gave me all these files where she had written what it has to include – we have that coming out hopefully by October, because now it’s done but we are formatting the guidebook, we still need to print it and test it, all those things, but that’s going to be exciting!”
13Moons: “As a chronic planner, calendar user, mystic and astrologer, I found myself gasping at your yearly planners. Can we expect this to return in 2024?”
Anette: “Of course! The calendar I’m going to do for sure, the agenda planner I think I will do as well, but I’m not completely sure yet… but the calendars come every year, and every year it’s different – with new Goddess illustrations.
And the fun thing is that once the year is over you can easily rip the pictures off from the calendar and then you have twelve illustrations. So it’s a nice way to maybe frame them or gift them away.”

The representation was just not really there, it was either overly sexualized or very spooky looking.”

-Anette Pirso

 For more Art from Anette Pirso, check out her Instagram:

For More from the Interviewer, Ani Khēmeia:

Published by Ani Khēmeia

Ani here, founder + lead photographer for Alchemy of Hearts; Creative Director, Coordinator and Dark Moon editor for 13Moons Magazine. Through workshops, writings, photography, & more – I’m here to facilitate the raw and intense awakening associated with Alchemy.Whether we meet traversing Mother Earth, virtually, or in Spirit – know I am here to be – rather than heal, guide, support. My foundations are rooted in the Truth that there is no one, dead or alive, who requires anything outside the Self to be utterly complete, healed, & worthy.

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