Last week I went to Berlin. I was invited to speak at the Pictoplasma festival, the conference on character design and art. My work is perhaps not the first thing that pops into mind when you think about this happening but the presence of characters and inanimates in my work can't be denied. So I agreed to join in and wrote a talk for 40 minutes, as requested. It was extensively time consuming to put together. But the nice side effect was that it also forced me to take a step back and look at my work with other eyes. The process of a working life can elapse fluently and writing the lecture made me realize that it's useful to reflect. It helped to put my work in perspective. At the same time, by setting out my creative past my goals for the future got refreshed again.
The talk itself went well. I was happy to see that, despite of my head being in a snotty cold cloud, it all went as rehearsed and the response was positive.
The days in Berlin were fun. The city is welcoming and spacious, with many wallet friendly restaurants and creative area's. I know of some colleagues who moved to Berlin because of the affordable housing and studio spaces. It's not all that hard to envision doing so. (Personally, the cold German winters frighten me off).
At Pictoplasma I've met colleagues I only knew from their work (Nathan Jurevicius, Faiyaz Jafri) and also enjoyed hanging with fellow creative Dutchies (Raymond Lemstra, Mark Verhaagen, Sauerkids Taco and Mark and Maaike Hartjes. Btw, Maaike has posted a great drawn Pictoplasma report on her blog (multiple episodes, in Dutch). Here are some of my Berlin snapshots;
Above; Walking around Mitte with Raymond - The conference area was situated at Alexanderplatz and the Babylon movie theatre - When out, the weather was mostly rain free but the water cold air managed to pierce through my jacket.
Berlin is a fine place for those who like old moped/motor models and flea markets - Mauerpark market's top item; this strangely attractive tiger painting. I didn't buy it though. I got these two tiny toys in stead. Their faces were hand painted and the plastic was of a beautiful mixed kind. One is a wobbly toy and the other holds a miniature whirligig in it's abdomen (vintage promotional give-away's, perhaps?).
Visiting the Bee Kingdom's glassblowing demo. Damn, what a craft! Heated glass is such a weird taffy like material. They explained that even with years of experience a glass artist can't avoid losing a work in the process every now and then - The Sauerkids are live painting, Faiyaz is watching - Raymond giving his lecture at the Babylon theatre.
Personal preparation exercise; getting in touch with the base of the Babylon. Last pic's; talking the talk.