How do you stay creative? After almost 20 years of daily creative work, it’s not easy sometimes to be innovative every day. I make it a point to learn something new, do something new and different regularly. I explore new mediums, I change my subject matter, I take a few days off and do something very different that I enjoy. I go for hikes. I read books about my favorites painters and get inspired by their life stories. That’s how I stay creative.
What are you inspired by? I am mostly inspired by nature, but also by my own life experiences. My life is a real adventure and my past was very colorful and diverse. My childhood was painful and difficult. Creating art is my total refuge and I am inspired by memories that I try to only hang on to.
When I paint it is like a feeling comes over me. Similar to when you smell a perfume and you remember that fragrance in connection with a wonderful experience. The stuff that floats on in my head and heart inspires me.
What is your favorite trend and how have you incorporated it into your designs? I really don’t follow trends, maybe I should, but it is boring to me to live by trends… so I don’t! Instead, I paint from my heart and my inner being. I do see sometimes what kind of colors people seem to like at the moment, but mostly I have to connect with it artistically, I have to feel it.
What is the story behind your favorite design in your DENY gallery? That’s a tough one! My piece “Charles Boyer They Way I see Him 1” is one of my favorites. “Gaslight” was one of the earliest movies I watched as a child. Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman in this marvelous movie, where he “gaslighted” her. Charles Boyer was especially intriguing, playing this dark, deceptive, yet elegant and charming character, and Ingrid in her helpless, confused character, she was such a brilliant actress.
I know exactly where I was and who I was with and even remember the mood and smells around. In those days I lived in Germany and I was with my grandparents on weekends and that is where I saw this movie, together with my grandfather on the couch, while grandma baked cookies that day. The local German TV station used to show old, American-made movies and as a result, I became an old movie buff! These black and white classic films were my glimpse into America! That was my escape then. Watching these same classics today is still a way for me to be in two places at the same time.