Art and happiness are connected

Connecting two shapes

For me, art and happiness are connected. They belong together since my childhood and they go hand in hand ever since. My parents are huge art fans and already at young age they made us part of their passion: we went constantly to museums, galleries and art shows and my father shared his knowledge about art and art history with my sister and me. As long as I remember I’ve always enjoyed art and my admiration and respect for art and artists grew constantly over the years. But though going to art school felt completely natural I never considered to study art and become an artist myself. Visual art to me has always been the highest creative discipline, something that wasn’t reachable for me.

Instead I studied graphic design and worked more or less happily as a designer and art director for many years. It was only a couple of years ago that I felt that I needed to find a new challenge in my professional life. Designing and working with the computer basically all day felt more and more restrained. My energy was low. I had to give myself a good stretch and get away from the screen! Painting has always been my biggest love and deep down I knew that I needed to figure out how to follow that vocation. There was just no other way.

But HOW are you an artist if you don’t study to become one? And WHAT to make? How could I work without assignment, briefing or deadline that have been my daily routine for so long? That was scary! To be honest: I still don’t know the answers and it is still not easy to establish a routine and get work done every day. But one thing I know is that you just have to start. With mini steps or big gestures. It doesn’t matter as long as you get going and make the stuff you feel you need to make. And it helps to not even think of it as art, or to try to make sense of it.

The best experience I’ve made so far is that trying to find the answers to my questions itself is super exciting: The curiosity, the reading about art, the thinking and writing. Buying material. The sketching, trying and testing. It’s not about the final result, it’s the process that makes me happy. As Shakespeare said, “Joy’s soul lies in the doing.”