Peder Hagen was born in Mankato and has lived all of his life in Minnesota. From his very earliest memories Peder knew he wanted to be an artist, and he joined the Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts in 2005. Peder expresses himself in a wide variety of media inspired by fairy tales, far off lands, and ancient artifacts, often depicting scenes and people from the mythical land of Cressia. Peder’s love of nature and diversity shine through in all his works.
I use colored pencil, glitter pen, gel pen, watercolor, ink, and glitter paint to create Cressia, a world I have been creating for nearly a decade. Every color put on my paper makes Cressia come alive. The Cressians value kindness, compassion, reverence and recycling. The Cressian people and landscape are loosely based on the Romani people of Bulgaria and their culture, dress, and ways of living. Cressia is ruled by nature and the people there tend to its flourishing. When imagining the Cressian landscape, I like to incorporate places I’ve traveled like the wild rolling hills of Montana, the forests near Lake Superior and along the Minnesota River Valley, and the abundant wildlife and tall, sturdy pines of Mankato where I grew up.
I have been an artist since I was two. I love art, and I am fascinated by illustrated books. Although I am not a photographer, I appreciate beautiful photographs and I took art classes in school as much as I could. I also have been involved in many collaborative art projects as a teenager in Mankato and as a young adult in the city of Minneapolis. I was diagnosed with a disability when I was two, but they didn’t know what it was until I was eight. I am diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and I have had help with daily activities my entire life.