At the age of 12, Arvida Byström’s (@arvidabystrom) love of photography began to blossom. She started posting pictures on her Instagram account and taking part in a community of female artists questioning femininity and gender standards. Now, at the age of 27, the Swedish photographer, musician and model explores self-identity as a queer woman and sexualized women’s bodies within an aesthetic that is undeniably hers. As someone who’s constantly active in the digital space, Arvida explores what love and dating in the digital age mean with the OneStep+ as her creative tool—the perfect mix of analog and digital.
Your work touches on a number of topics including gender politics, body image, self love and sexuality – How did you get started in creating relevant feminist art?
I wouldn’t say I make per se feminist art, not because I am not a feminist but because the reality isn’t so gomatic and simple. However the way I make art is highly influenced by my time online. I was depressed as a teen and navigating different early social mediums was a way for me to explore and meet people similar to me. Then later I got a photography blog and eventually I started using tumblr which have been a huge impact on how I make art, who I make art with and a way for me to find an aesthetics and conceptual ground for my work.
How would you describe your creative process?
Oh it really depends! Certain thing I do a lot of research before starting the visual process. Other things are more spontaneous. I like the balance of those two. If I only do one of them I end up feeling dissatisfied with my practise.
How did you find experimenting with the OneStep+ as a creative tool?
Omg SO MUCH FUN! I love the app that comes with it because in my photos I play alot with exposure time, often to make sure small devices like phones can light up a scene, and with the OneStep+ app you can really make that happen easily! Also obviously I am a self portrait queen so the self timer mode is really key.
Although your work is predominantly digital, how do you feel about the creation of a Polaroid photo?
Super fun! The whole theme obviously was perfect and I do love my digital, but also it is so fun to mix it up. I can’t deny that film and also especially polaroid give a very beautiful finishing touch. Also wow those pinks and blues looks so great on the polaroid film.
As digital natives, it can often be hard to switch off and take time out for ourselves. What’s your favourite offline thing to do?
Make out. Go camping. Go to dinner or on a walk with your friend and just leave your phone behind. In my life I have been pretty good at putting internet away. I think that is key. Everything in moderation.
Could you tell us what’s coming up for Arvida Byström in 2019?
Lots of exhibitions in different parts of the world ! Me marrying my online crush?