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From far out farm girl to big city living, this multi facet creative is taking the art world by storm through her alter ego outlet named ‘PhoebeNewYork’. You can see her on the billboards, sides of buildings and all along the streets of New York City. Curious? Get to know Libby Schoettle and Phoebe exclusively in this personal interview with TheCornerZine now!

Libby, you’re an artist, photographer and overall creative. But I’d like to know which, out of these titles, do you feel represents you the most? And how about, who is Libby behind those titles?

I’d say an artist for sure, because I do so much mixed media (within photography) that everything blends together and, for me, that’s art. Although, I still consider photography on its own art.

Libby Schoettle

From far out farm girl to big city living, this multi facet creative is taking the art world by storm through her alter ego outlet named ‘PhoebeNewYork’. You can see her on the billboards, sides of buildings and all along the streets of New York City. Curious? Get to know Libby Schoettle and Phoebe exclusively in this personal interview with TheCornerZine now!

Libby, you’re an artist, photographer and overall creative. But I’d like to know which, out of these titles, do you feel represents you the most? And how about, who is Libby behind those titles?

I’d say an artist for sure, because I do so much mixed media (within photography) that everything blends together and, for me, that’s art. Although, I still consider photography on its own art.

Libby Schoettle

I think my artistic style is predictable, but also unpredictable with a degree of spontaneity. I never know what I’ll do next.

From a small town in Pennsylvania to New York City. Would you say your hometown had a significant impact on your artistic side growing up?

Yes, without understanding the difference between small town and huge city, I’d never have been able to express myself the way I do in my art. I grew up on a farm, and all of those experiences with nature really shaped my balance with NYC. I wouldn’t be who I am today without having those memories of the small town to fall back on.

Did you know a career path in the arts was the direction you’d take?

No, I had no plans for art. I didn’t even know what art was and I still don’t, I just know it completes all parts of me.

Out of curiosity, since most artists describe their style differently than an onlooker, I’d like to know how you’d describe, in your own words, your artistic style?

I’d say a bit of everything, and that’s what I think makes my art work. I take from all places, all emotions, all time periods...I think my artistic style is predictable, but also unpredictable with a degree of spontaneity. I never know what I’ll do next.

Your bio reads that your artworks really took off once you let your vulnerability out through an ‘alter ego’: Phoebe, known as ‘PhoebeNewYork’. Tell me about those early years, when and where the inspiration was sparked to begin creating collage artworks.

It was wonderful to find a place to put my voice, a place to express myself for the first time with words that could reflect a real feeling I had. My collages were a bit rougher in the beginning, I was still trying to figure out what I was doing. From the beginning, I’ve felt an extreme freedom in collage and being able to tell a story in a way I’ve never been able to, except through writing.

Would you say that since then your aesthetic has changed and evolved?

Yes, I would. I can’t go back to the vulnerability I had when I began, but I’ve been making art for a long time, and all that practice and discipline has paid off in a vision that I feel very excited about!

Inspiration is all around us. However, during these difficult times of COVID, people have often felt as if they’ve lost their creativity. Have you experienced this as well? And how have you adjusted to finding new ways of inspiration?

I love to make art and I’m constantly trying to find new ways to express myself through art. I’ve used this time during the pandemic to find ways to evolve myself and find even more reasons for what I do. I always try to take advantage of my time, because time is all we have, until we don’t. So, yes, I’ve continued to stay as creative during COVID as before.

Let’s dive into your successful career - numerous features in international publications, such as Glamour Italia, collaborations with Victoria Beckham, Rag & Bone and more, and solo exhibitions throughout the world. Not to mention, the most recent upcoming docuseries by Canobie Films, which is dated to air in 2021. Tell me more about these experiences. And what can you share with us regarding the upcoming docuseries?

It’s been an incredible few years! Each experience has brought its own magic, and I feel lucky to have done all that I have up until now. I just want to keep the journey moving forward and to prepare for my upcoming solo museum show in Denmark, for which I’m very excited. The docuseries has been the most special experience. I’ve been working closely on it for years, and I feel the director, Jyll Johnstone, has been able to show all the angles of myself as an artist, which isn’t easy. The film is about the life of an artist.

Do you have a certain creative, either in fashion, music, art, theater or literature, you’d absolutely swoon over to collaborate with?

André Courrèges, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton, Comme Des Garçons, to name a few!

What’ve been the top three moments in your career so far?

My solo show at Meredith Ward Fine Art in 2007. It was my first real introduction to the art world, and we had the after party at Elaine’s! Then, first day of filming the docuseries, when the crew came into my apartment and I realised that I was actually going to be in a movie – someone believed this much in me. Last but not least, the Victoria Beckham Collaboration – it was just a spectacular experience. I love when something becomes the thing you were hoping it would!

Going off this, how did you feel upon seeing your artworks displayed in a solo exhibition, magazines and the subject of collaborations for the first time?

I have a lot of anxiety and so, unfortunately, sometimes that gets in my way, especially with solo shows, though I do have brief moments of happiness. It’s always back to making art, which is where I find the most joy. To see my art displayed is a bit surreal and sometimes I can’t believe it.

Let’s now talk fashion. Your Phoebe works are, to say the least, quirky and brightly coloured and often make references to pop art. So, I’d like to know if your go-to outfit is just as eccentric.

(Laughs, E.D.) No, I wish my go-to look could be as eccentric. This is why I have Phoebe, and why I think I’m good at dressing her. I can be that person I can’t be in life through Phoebe. She really is my alter ego!

Tell me your favourite color to use in your artworks, to photograph and wear.

Pink.

I really admire and find such utter joy when I see your works plastered all over New York City for the world to see. If no one has ever told you thank you for doing this, then I am right now! It’s a smile, a laugh, an inspiration to all us New Yorkers. So, Libby tell me what made you start sharing this way.

Thank you! I appreciate it. Yes, I love stickers and, growing up, I had a huge sticker collection, so the street started with a simple sticker (the way any collection does) and here we are!

Continuing with this topic, now have social networks become the main outlet source to share your works? Tell me about your relationship with them, do you find it to be a balancing act?

Aside from the street and galleries, Instagram is one of the only places where I show my art. The real balancing act is not getting too bogged down in expectation or worrying about keeping up with it. It’s a very fast-paced place, and I’ve slowed down a bit, but that’s okay. I think that I’ve finally found my balance.

Let’s end on a lighter note. Do you have a secret talent you’d be willing to share with us?

No, my art is my talent, as is my writing. So, what you see is who I am. The things you don’t see, I just haven’t shared yet...but someday I will.

I’ve used this time during the pandemic to find ways to evolve myself and even more reasons for what I do. I always try to take advantage of my time, because time is all we have, until we don’t.