Stream of ideas

Where do the ideas for my sculptures come from? The best thing about them: they never run out. A short visit to the source of the «Muse», my «Windy Sisters» and «Three Kings, clueless».

Sometimes I run out of wood, pigment or sharpened chainsaws, but I never run out of ideas. Only once an idea is realised do I know whether it is any good.  Until then, I cannot be sure: taking notes, sketching, rejecting.

Connecting to the source
Years ago, I realised that I am surrounded by a constant stream of ideas. If I do what inspires me, then I am in a place where ideas keep flowing. It’s a relief to find that it’s not «me» who has the ideas. The ideas have me— if they want to and if I am open.

Sure, even now I sometimes feel stressed when I put myself under pressure for a competition or an exhibition jury. Sometimes I am in the creative flow, at other times outside of it. Certain activities help me connect and open the door to the Source. Activities such as letting go (easier said than done), singing, dancing, visiting exhibitions or other artists, reading, travelling, hiking, caring for plants, cooking.

There is nothing special about it — we can all do it in our own way. In my life as a sculptor, there are three realms where ideas start flowing again and again: in everyday situations, when meeting art and from inside. I simply need to open my eyes …

1. In everyday life
In the morning, I take the train to my studio. Sometimes the flow of people coming towards me within the confines of the station annoys me. Other times, I marvel at the people surrounding me: at how they hold their smartphone, their newspaper, a child. The variety of gestures and attitudes we take at any given time on life’s stage amazes me. If I see something that I would like to depict I add it to my collection of sketches.

On the train, I tear a portrait photo from the newspaper: the writer’s facial expression and her posture touch me. During a trip to Berlin, I notice a postcard from Deutsches Theater: how cheeky and cool is the pose of the actress, with her cardboard crown and index finger. I close Bernhard Schlink’s novel «Olga» and know: the image on the cover will be added to my collection of sketches.

This newspaper portrait became the «Muse»:

This postcard inspired the three clueless kings:

This book illustration placed four «Wind Sisters» in a stiff breeze:

2.Meetings with art
Exhibitions and exchanges with fellow artists are a never-ending source of inspiration. I am touched by a funny idea or a pose realised with precision, amazed by certain angles or colour accents.

«The Captain» was inspired by one of Johannes Hepp‘s sculptures.



3. Inside of me
«Dis-Dance» was created in 2009; the man and woman are about 24 cm tall. The work emerged from inside of me, out of the urge to reduce the encounter of a man and a woman to its very essence.

Inner images always play an important part, even if a work is inspired by something I see or experience.

Most of the ideas that come to me are never realised. And they always mutate when executed.