You painted, drew and also sprayed a lot of graffiti in your youth and childhood, but at some point you stopped, why?
I don’t know exactly whether this can be tied to one thing or one reason. It was more likely that I was always outdoors a lot and with friends. As a teenager I tried out a lot of things, I really enjoyed inline skating and later skateboarding. There were just so many things that seemed interesting and that I wanted to try out, it seemed nonsensical to commit to something.
Then music became more and more important to me and I spent a lot of time studying all kinds of albums. When I was thirteen I bought my first record player and a mixer together with my big brother. Not much later, an AKAI MPC2000XL and other equipment was added and I mainly concentrated on experimenting with it and building beats. I always tagged and scribbled in between, but that wasn’t really important. For the moment the music had pulled me under its spell …
Then why did you start painting again recently?
To answer this question, I have to go back a bit. Some time after an untreated fracture of the nose bone in December 2015, a chronic inflammation developed in my sinuses, which was discovered very late, however, and had accordingly affected me. For months I had ear canal, middle ear and tonsil infections and after a while my immune system was completely down and I couldn’t do anything except sleep and read. That really hit me mentally, as I was naturally excluded from almost all social activities. Then I stumbled upon a blog for urban sketching by chance and found what people were doing there pretty cool. Shortly afterwards I got some pens got a small pad and a mini watercolor box and tried it myself and was immediately attached again. From then on, one thing resulted in the other and soon I didn’t do much other than painting and it seemed strangely natural to me that it should be like that.
“I painted for myself because it was good for me”
How much has art helped you to get well again?
Mmm, that’s a question that I can of course only answer very subjectively. I don’t know whether it helped me get physically healthy.
Spiritually she has definitely saved my life because during and after this, for me really bad phase in my life I had big problems with my situation.
Being so physically through in your late twenties is a pretty shitty feeling. After all, it took almost two years from the break to complete recovery after the operation, during which I was very limited.
That hits your psyche and nobody can really help you to change that, it has to come from yourself. And that’s exactly what painting did to me. I don’t know why, but it calmed me down and made me feel good. I have a very stressful habit of thinking a lot and that makes life quite stressful. This turns off completely when painting. And with every picture I painted, I felt a little better. In the beginning I didn’t show anyone the things that I had painted. I did this for myself because it was good for me. It was only later that I showed a few people what I was doing and then soon my friends on Facebook. The feedback was consistently positive and of course that gave me another boost of positivism.
Sounds strange, but anyone who has read the book “The Alchemist” should understand roughly what I mean.
What do you do when you paint a picture? Is there an optical idea first, or is it a feeling, a thought that you want to bring to the canvas?
Whether or not I have an idea in my head varies from time to time.
What is always the same is how I start painting:
I get up early, drink a glass of water, boil water and make myself a coffee in my French press. Then I put on the headphones and first listen to music and have a cup of coffee in peace. Meanwhile I prepare the paper or the canvas. Sometimes I do some skits to wake up.
Then it depends on whether I already have an idea or a sketch that I use as a guide, or whether I paint freely. When I paint freely, I choose colors and the rest arises – how should I put it – from the energy between me, the brush and the canvas. Kinetic energy also plays a role and music is also essential. Often the music determines the speed of movement and the mood of the picture. In combination with the music, it’s almost like meditation, or a slight intoxication, you get 100% involved. These are things that are very difficult to explain and I realize that this sounds strange to some people, but that’s the way it is … it’s all about the vibe!
“I have a very stressful habit of thinking a lot and that makes life pretty stressful. This turns off completely when painting. “
To what extent do your beginnings in street art still influence your paintings today?
First of all, I never had anything to do with what is now called street art! I was very interested in graffiti, I painted a lot and also sprayed a few times, but I was never the adrenaline type. That was too stressful for me. Otherwise, I still follow the graffiti scene. In addition, some of my greatest influences and therefore most important artists for me, such as Kaws, Fafi, DabsMyla, David Flores and Retna, are people who come from illegal graffiti and have become fine art artists. That’s why I would say that graffiti still influences me a lot today, even if it’s not what I do myself.
What do you love about acrylic painting?
Perhaps that they can be processed well and the colors are very intense, but dry relatively quickly and I can continue to work relatively quickly ?! I’m really impatient and when I’m in the flow, I don’t want to wait forever until I can continue working, otherwise it can happen that I lose the idea or can no longer really build on it.
However, I also use other techniques that I also enjoy. But so far, acrylic suits my way of working best. In between it is also refreshing to use watercolor or pencil.
You recently sold your first painting. How did that feel?
That was a strange moment. Most of all, of course, I was happy and a little proud, but I was also quite surprised that someone would be willing to pay money for something I did.
Quite unreal, when you consider that two months before I dipped a brush in acrylic paint for the first time and suddenly a stranger buys one of my pictures on Facebook.
And that went on more or less throughout 2017. Well, I would say! Made me feel good and also encouraged me to create my own artist page on Facebook and Instagram. Because you mustn’t forget that it takes a lot of effort to present what you create, where you put a lot of time and work, to completely strangers! You open your soul a bit and that can end up disgusting. But so far I’ve only got love from people. Fortunately, because as Tech N9ne puts it so appropriately: Understand this: I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my shit;)
What are your plans for the future? Do you only want to work as an artist, or do you want to resume your previous work as a cook or audio engineer?
That is a question that I try to answer anew every day. Of course it would be a dream to be able to make a living from art and that would certainly improve my quality of life significantly, but that is probably not that easy.
I also don’t have a real plan of how the art world works and I still can’t get a realistic picture of how feasible it is to finance a life from it. At the moment I am on a good compromise with a job in which I earn relatively well for relatively little work, do not have to worry about food and rent and have enough time and money for art, whether painting, making music, museums visit, or buy illustrated books. While the job is terrible in itself, it enables me to lead my life in a way that I can be productive and creative. If the circumstances change so that I can only earn a living with art, or with something that has to do with art, I will use this opportunity immediately and would be very happy with it. Until then i think
I already took an important step in this direction last December when I was with the nice guys in “Somewhere” in Lichtstr. in Ehrenfeld had a small slot at the exhibition “Art Expanded”