We were at the start. Soon the race will go off. We struggled to rank 4 in our coxless pair. We were qualified for the Junior World Cup. Before the season we received the training plans of the seniors without letting our coaches know. After qualifying they said to me: “Of you, I would not have thought that you can do it”. The weekly mileage lasted 6 weeks. In the end I was a substitute who snuck out at lunch time to met a girl. In 1990 were two German teams: GDR and BRD. I was on the BRD team and took by the way my first photos.
Then it was back to training as an electrician at BASF. I read extensively the SPIEGEL and the ZEIT during training. After the end of my sporting career I fell into a depression. The structure I was used to was suddenly no longer. Instead, I bought a camera and photographed as if possessed. I ultimately joined a club of artists. They organized events in extraordinary locations. Suddenly I met artists who lived free, which made me afraid. At the beginning of my university studies, there I had the chance to go to Sarajevo. Shortly after the war. Since I had forgotten my passport back home, I risked crossing the border with only my identity card. It almost did not work out. In Sarajevo, I photographed. Unfortunately, many images were destroyed during development in the laboratory. The family we stayed at had lost their mother through a grenade strike. In the bedroom door were bullet holes.
Two of my friends lived a year in Italy. So i visited them in Florence and we went to the Uffizi. At this point i was just open for contemporery art. In the Uffizi i was only looking for screens to play with. Art knowledge needs self education and time. A year after that i visited an exhibition with art work from Cy Twombly. My art knowledge wasn`t so good so i ask my friend: “Is Cy Twombly serious?”.
During my studies i was in Hamburg. Internship at a famous ad agency. I did a lot of research for a book project for the CEO. I also started a creative project for the Creative Head of the agency. The whole team drunk a lot. After an ad party I woke up on a park bench. With the subway all the way to the last stop and sleep on the park bench next to the noise. At this time advertising felt import to me. Thank god that has changed. With a friend i try to start an agency. We were not too successful (a little bit) but it was advertising in the real life. The advertising agency business today is underpaid, overworked and absolutely not cool.
To study in a small town has its advantages. People focus on their studies. Jazz, Funk and Germany Sport saved me. Once I put on my favorite wrinkly jacket and drove to the mailbox in a friend’s car, the police stopped me. My radio was blasting jazz and I was barefoot with my freaky jacket on. “Have you taken drugs?”. The police in this little town were corrupt. Years after my time in this town there were a big trial with a lot of attention from the German press. I did live in a small castle in the forest. In winter it snowed in the Black Forest. With my rowing friends we started to build a business plan for a startup. The idea was to show the costumer news in books, music, films and events on personal preferences. We tried it too big and we didn’t have someone who knew something about IT.
After graduation I re-circled to Berlin and started at a film festival. In addition to the Curation I designed a concept for brand building and requested EU money. The balance sheet was put together by me so it worked to promote. Again, I was surrounded by artists who were free. But this time I was able to handle it better.
As for marketing, it was being associated with a part of UNESCO that sounded promising. The project was founded in the GDR and the whole thing was pretty crusty as a result. The year was disappointing. At a meeting with the Chinese they asked “Where is your brand?”.
As I continued to operate the curating, I was invited to Paris to show the film program. On my way home i took a taxi to the airport. The driver was so f****** sleepy and i was happy and excited as we arrived at the airport. One year later I got the chance to screen my new short film program in Switzerland.
Now I had reached the point where I just wanted to photograph. Everyday i made a city tour. Taking some photos and visiting galleries and art exhibitions. I did that for half a year and sold 30 of my images to a company. The success of this uniqueness remains. In 2013–2014 I learned a lot of IT stuff and read a lot about business models, social media and start ups.
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i have a smartphone now. and i start taking photos.
10 Things i learned along the way:
1.Competitive sport is a great education.
2. Knowing some artist makes you fit for life. 1) they live without security 2) the need less money for life 3) they know how to enjoy life 4) they always look for new ways to create something.
3. Always read books. I made the mistake and missed that point for some time.
4. Make things and share it. I didn’t show my photos to the people enough.
5. To be happy, build friendships in your youth. Later they are maybe lifetime friendships. Competitive sports in the youth is great for that.
6. Read art books, go to exhibitions and talk about it. You can use the knowledge in many parts of your life.
7. If you live in Berlin and doing art, have friends who are making art AND also have friendships with people how have regular day jobs.
8. Never stop learning. There are great stuff for free at online universities.
9. To learn coding you don’t need an official education. (for germans :-) ) You just need brain + passion for it.
10. Start a diary.