Architect from Southern Germany that fell in love with telling stories and now travels the world photographing the raw, honest emotions of people.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF AND THE WORK THAT YOU CREATE.
I am a little girl that has completely fallen in love with light and shadow. With animals and clouds. With smiles and tears. With surreal dreams and raw honesty. I could sit and watch fog for ever. Melancholy is my lover, and I love it. My photos reflect that. Some surreal dreamscapes mixed with a lot of honesty and adoration for fog. A lot of my work are self-portraits that I like to call not-myself-portraits because a lot of time the girl in the photo is not me, but a character I play for the story I want to tell.
WHO HAVE YOU WORKED WITH AND WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE ASSIGNMENT?
I had the honor to work with clients such as Lufthansa, FinnAir, MaxMara, Fiat and John Green. But the project that was closest to my heart was working with refugees, learning from them and trying to give something back.
RECOUNT YOUR JOURNEY TO BECOMING AN ARTIST.
It is actually hard to track down where my interest in photography came from. A few people around me took photos, but I think the main reason was the stories and emotions inside me that I wanted to transform into visual things. Nothing ever felt right till I tried photography. Ever since, I am madly in love. I started uploading things to Flickr and later to Facebook and people seemed to like it. Later, I started selling photos from book covers, campaigns and in galleries. I then realized that there might be a chance I could make a living from it.
YOU'VE TAKEN A LOT OF RISKS ALONG THE WAY, BUT WHAT WAS YOUR DEFINING ONE WHERE EVERYTHING WAS ON THE LINE?
Probably when I decided to leave university and forgo my masters degree in architecture. While everyone else I studied with will have a well paid jobs, I will still be one that followed her passion and struggled to make a living on it now. But even though it was the decision for a tough fight, I never regretted it. My passion is still burning inside me and I still believe that this path is the right one.
HOW HAS YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS SUPPORTED YOU THROUGHOUT IT ALL?
Though none of them is deeply interested in photography, they always helped me out when I asked for anything. I guess it's especially hard for parents to see that their kids want to be artists and the crazy hard times they will face attempting a living from their passion (my sister studies opera singing). But they saw that we were willing to give a lot, and therefore they always supported us as much as they could.
LOOKING BACK ON ALL THAT HAS UNFOLDED, WHAT NUGGETS OF WISDOM HAVE YOU LEARNED AND EMBRACED?
Be honest and kind. It may not always be the easiest or fastest way, but at the end of the day, you can still look at yourself in the mirror without being ashamed. And in the long run, it is the right way.
IF YOU COULD GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF ONE PIECE OF ADVICE, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
Stop doubting so much. There is nothing worse to fear than failure - which is said to be the best teacher. Actually, I need that advice right now.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL HAS ALLOWED YOU TO BREAK THROUGH AND SUCCEED, PARTICULARLY AMONGST YOUR PEERS?
I honestly don't even think I do. Isn't that the one thing we all struggle the most with? If I had to pick one thing, it would be the raw emotion and vulnerability of my work in a world full of seemingly perfect, strong and confident people.
WHO ARE THE MENTORS THAT HAVE INFLUENCED AND INSPIRED YOUR LIFE?
I was always dreaming of having a mentor. Maybe I searched in the wrong places. But in the end, maybe you have to walk this path on your own to learn how to walk. But of course, there were many other young photographers that inspired the photography part of my life. I am super thankful for the fact that I grew up close to nature and was taught to help the weakest instead of using them to climb up the ladder.
IS THERE ANY ADVICE THAT YOU WOULD GIVE A YOUNG PERSON FOLLOWING THEIR PASSION AS AN ARTIST?
Listen to yourself. We live in a world with so many incredible influences, especially online. We tend to compare so much of ourselves to what we see which is most often only one angle of the truth. It is important to be able to block that out from time to time and listen to the voice inside you. Striving to create comes from inside of yourself, and I believe that the best artwork are those that have there origin in a place that is not visible to anyone else.
WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR CREATIVITY, WHAT DO YOU FIND YOURSELF CONSTANTLY SEARCHING FOR?
Myself. A lot of my work consists of that search, and I have no idea what will happen on the day that I find it.
WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT KEEP YOU CREATIVELY INSPIRED AND CONSISTENTLY INNOVATING?
Lights, moods, emotions, songs, things laying around, as well as other artists and the stories life tells.
LOOKING AT OUR WORLD, WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN IMPACT AND CHANGE ABOUT IT?
I believe that every small step into the right direction is worth fighting for. And I already influenced quite a few people to change their lifestyle, such as becoming vegetarian/vegan which goes hand in hand with thinking more about their ecological footprint in general.
WE ALL DREAM OF LEAVING A LEGACY. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR, AND WHY?
I really dream of changing - at least on a small scale - peoples minds about how we treat animals and this planet. I also want to use my photos and my following to speak about mental illness in public and how important it is to love yourself, in order to spread love and peace.
ANY CURRENT ALBUMS, ARTISTS OR SONGS ON REPEAT?
Lately: The Lumineers - Ophelia. Little longer: Bear's Den - Magdalene. Though I have to admit that most often I don't closely listen to the lyrics of songs. But I love them for the mood they create, which is obviously easy with most songs because English is not my first language. Maybe that's why I only like a few German songs - you can't create your own story, because you can't blank out the lyrics.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE MOVIE OR TV SHOW?
Somehow I really like books more than movies. I love to create my own pictures in my head. If I do watch TV, it is most often documentaries about almost everything. For movies, I really like those with less words and more beautiful scenery like 'Pina' and 'Grand Budapest Hotel'.
Spieltrieb by Juli Zeh. (English: Gaming Instinct). I just adore how she is able to play with language. There were lines in this book that I had to read several times because they were so unique and beautiful in a way that is not easy to explain. No idea though if anyone could translate her magic into another language.
That's hard. I love far too many dishes. [Maybe also because my mom is said to be the best cook in town. Always wondering when she learned that while having two kids and being a full time self-employed architect.] Okay, if I had to pick one, it would probably be 'veal strips in cream and mushroom sauce' - vegan version of course!
STAR WARS OR STAR TREK?
Actually, *ducking* neither.
WHAT IMPORTANT TRUTH DO VERY FEW PEOPLE AGREE WITH YOU ON?
The biggest crime on this planet is the meat/diary industry. It is so easy change our eating habits into NOT being part of the murder/rape/torture of these wonderful creatures. Most people actually know these facts, but we close our eyes and stay with our habits. Every single one of us could be part of changing the world into a better place. If we all did some little things we could have such a massive impact on this world.
WHAT IS THE IRONY OF YOUR LIFE?
How ironic is it that the one part of my body that I really need for photography is damaged. I am super shortsighted and my retina surprises me with holes quite regularly. I patch them, but they say people my age shouldn't have these holes, so I wonder how often I will be able to patch them before it completely falls apart. Well, there are already a few blind photographers, right?