Sesilie Vea Thorsen, or how to lighten up a kid’s day with a “Batman lamp”

She told us to “Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman”. She is Sesilie Vea Thorsen – an interior designer, sales manager, artist, and a free soul. And we were delighted to have Sesilie with us in Norway. Part of our project “Artists for a good cause”, she painted one of our Silvia lamps that will be auctioned at the end of the tour.

You are a sales manager and interior designer, with a passion for painting. How do you mix all of them?
For as long as I can remember I have always had a passion for everything creative – the interior and function of a room. I worked as a preschool teacher for many years. I had done several interior projects in the kindergarten, at friends’ homes and our home had been decorated over and over again. I cannot help it – every time I had a creative idea, I had to try it out. Then I was lucky to be part of an interior design company and to decorate apartments. This company quickly became the largest one in Norway decorating apartments for sale. I was an interior designer and sales manager in that company, and it was an easy mix with all my creativity because it is also my passion. I then decided to try have more time for my own projects and I started working as a sales manager in the hotel business, but I ended up quitting because that wasn’t a match for me. I found myself losing my creativity and that would mean losing my soul. So I am back to basics, I followed my heart and I am now working as a preschool teacher again, which gives me time to be the creative as I am supposed to be. I write a “How to” book about kids’ spaces, I do interior design projects on request, and painting, redecoration and artwork keep me inspired. And I am holding my breath this fall because I have a lot of exciting things coming up. It feels amazing to wake up in the middle of the night with tons of new ideas again. 

For how long have you been painting?
Well… always. I loved it when I was a kid; I decorated my own room at the age of 8, for the first time. I work with the whole room so I mainly paint wall decor or pictures with a purpose in the whole design.

Is painting only a hobby or are you also “flirting” with the idea of having your own exhibition?
Painting is a hobby, but I am flirting with the idea of having my own touch/design on several things.

You also have an interior design blog. What inspires you?
In my blog I am inspired by my creative projects and by people. If my ideas could be inspiring for someone, it makes me happy. Basically things that makes me SMILE.

What are the new trends in interior design?
For a long time nature had been a huge part of the Nordic trend in interior design, and then the graphic patterns came along, and now we are encouraged to be bold in colours. I think that trends take some time to grow on Norwegian people. We like it safe. We are of course affected, but my way of working with interior is not based on trends. I think it’s the people that matter. What do you like, what do you need both practically and mentally, and then find the design for YOU! Different people, living in different places, having different ages, interests and so on give different “life” to homes. Make it your home, not everyone else’s. It is a lot of psychology in interior design. Working with apartments for sale I got one rule for my own home, so I would not feel my home was work or an apartment for sale; if things make me smile or serve a purpose, they can stay, if not, they have to go. Then I get My Home. 

For VITA on Tour, you painted a Silvia lamp with the message “Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman”. What is the story behind the Batman idea? What inspired you?
When I had the honour of painting the VITA Silvia lamp, I had so many ideas, it was hard to choose. But I had a short time and the store was closed, so I only had markers to use. I did not want it to look like a typical marker project so, “how can I do that?” Well I had some sparkly spray and I looked at its effect and saw city windows coming to life in my head. And sparkle makes me smile. “Just a city would be a boring,” I thought, so I thought about what cause I would like the money to be donated to, and I would like it to be an organization working with kids in hospitals (Sykehusbarna). They are true heroes. So I thought a superhero lamp would be perfect. Be yourself! And we can all be superheroes if we decide to. My biggest passion of all is to see people smile. At the fair show, while painting the lamp, I saw smiles when people stopped by, and it definitely made me smile, having fun doing it.

If you were to send a message to the people who will bid on your creation, what would it be?
By bidding on this lamp you will lighten up the day of a kid in a hospital, you will then be a superhero, and hopefully the lamp can make you smile and lighten up your day too. It is a reminder to be YOU.