Tell me a little bit about yourself, who you are, and where you are from.
I am an artist living and working in Paris for the past 6 years. I am half German, half Slovenian; and was raised in Germany.
How do you describe yourself as a creative and the kind of work you do?
Creativity is composed of so many things: ideas, passion, visions, personal input, traveling, sharing, listening, etc. Actually sharing is really important to me. Sharing experiences and stories lived. In a way we all live the same issues, even though they present themselves in different contexts. So my personal idea of creativity is not just the “back office” of creating but also the importance of spreading out positive messages of often difficult lived experiences, in order to try to help and support others, and to share with as many people as possible.
As a multimedia artist, what does your job entail?
It consists of a lot of things including administrative work and a lot of technical organization (often not so sexy, but really necessary); as well as creation. I personally do a lot of writing. It’s in general the base of my creations, followed by key words, little drawings, etc.
How did you get to where you are today? What has been your career path?
During my Master in History of Art and Philosophy I worked at Sotheby’s in Munich. I specialized in Middle Age Art: old bibles and manuscripts, Gothic Architecture – and I guess that’s where my love for Iconography, hidden messages and Symbolism comes from. It’s all about decoding and passing messages on different levels in a very delicate and subtle way. The period of the Middle Age is still a real passion and inspiration to me. When I think of Dante Alighieri or Hieronymus Bosch, I would say that the Middle Age is nowadays far more contemporary than we all think.
Have you had any mentors who have helped you on your professional path?
I would say that life has been my biggest teacher and mentor, and it still is. Life experiences have given me instructions and have brought me closer to who I am. I won’t say that this is or has always been easy – but it’s all about having the courage to get out of your comfort zone.
What is one of your favorite projects you’ve worked on and why?
Every project is exciting and unique in it’s own way, so I do not have a favorite one. But I worked my last piece of video art for nine months – a short film, called What Are You Fishing For. It deeply moved me. It’s about the symbolic meaning of fishing at first sight – fishing for your life, a new life, your soul, your dreams.
What are you currently working on?
A big sculpture called meteorite; and some new video art works are spinning in my head. I can’t go into detail at the moment as I am only in the writing phase, and everything is still kind of foggy.
Does your work reflect your emotions or current experiences?
I think artwork or every creative work reflects emotions or experiences, so this is the case for my work as well. I try to share as much as I can, in the hope that my story and the things that I’ve learned from life could help other people. My medium is my artwork. Life is about sharing – about exchanging. So let’s be generous!
When are you most creative? When do the best ideas come to you?
It can happen at any moment. I always have a little booklet and pen with me, so that I can write down stuff any second. It always starts with a key word, and sometimes a whole story turns up with images and visions. I immediately have to sit down and get that on paper, before it disappears from my head. When the story becomes clearer I often sit down in a church to finish my writing work. Not because I am so religious, but because I really like this calm and magical atmosphere that you can find in old churches.
Where do you find inspiration?
Life inspires me. Sounds so stupid, but it’s so true. The simplest things can bring me a flash moment, like a walk in the nature, a rotten wall on a building or the smell of the snow. Moreover people, especially children. Isn’t life a bit about finding again your innocent children eyes full of pureness and love? That honesty they have, and the pure way they look at the world? But this time with the knowledge of everything you already experienced in your life! So yes children are my big teachers as they still see the world in their early ages the way it really is.
How do you define success? What has helped you to become successful as an artist?
Success is when one person says thank you, for the work you did. Than you know why you are into this.
What had helped me was a lot of hard work, and living my passion. Which means I struggled for years to really find what I wanted to do, and it’s not always easy to stay in there and to keep on believing and holding on to your dream. I am glad I had good people around me that believed in me and supported me. It’s a gift and I feel like saying a big THANK YOU to all of them.
Have you had any eperiences that you’ve learned from that have led to great success?
Sometimes we are so desperately focused on one thing that we wish for, that we finally were blind to the opportunities and the simple idea that there are other ways in life to get to your aim, and not just one path. So it’s just hard to let go of ideas and moreover illusions, and try not to control life – as it’s not controllable, even though we would love to control everything due to our fears. I don’t know if that leads to great success, but it leads to more happiness and to being more true to yourself and to others. So “yes” if success means as well being authentic, than I am definitely on a lovely, successful journey.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received in general, or about how to be more creative?
I recently learned, or moreover felt in my heart what it really means to be humble. We often use words and statements that are quite abstract, and our reason or mind understands them, but still we can’t feel them. They are words, and ideas without soul content that make us just act or react. It takes time to fully integrate them in our heart and soul. So humbleness, as I experienced it, is all about not expecting anything in life. This makes you feel exactly in the NOW, with compassion and love, without control and manipulation, without fear. I guess that was one of the greatest advices and teachings I’ve received in the past few weeks.
What advice would you give to others interested in following in your path?
You can’t see the stars without the dark.
To learn more and check out Annina’s work, go to www.anninaroescheisen.com.