Interview with Pearpicker
q)Please introduce yourself.
a)Hi I'm Bene , 24 years old. I study illustration in the forth semester. When I do art I call myself 'pearpicker'. It is 'Birnenpflücker' in German. That's what my mom called me sometimes, when I was a kid and did something stupid. But this doesn't mean, that I call myself like this, because I think my art ist stupid ;-) I just like the name. q)Where do you live and work? a)I was born, I live and study in Muenster, Germany.
q)How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?
a)I love to and do mostly draw ugly, hairy, overweight and mutated people/creatures, halos, metamorphoses and masks. Unnaturalness is totally after my fancy. I see naturalness and normality everywhere, so why should I draw it!?
q)How did you start in the arts? How/when did you realize you were an artist?
a)Like almost every kid, I started drawing in the kindergarten. I always drew and painted, but the first time I remember, where I started loving it, was at my grandparents, where I spent a lot of time and where I drew a lot. My grandfather often read fairy tales to me and my sisters and inspired by that, I drew figures and creatures out these fairy tales. I always had problems with calling myself an artist. I knew/know that I had a certain talent, but I first realized, that I'm something like an artist during my studys. Circa one and a half years ago.
q)What are your favorite art materials and why?
a)I like old, yellowed paper and pencil best. I mainly draw with drop action pencils and ink pens, because I like the fine line you can draw with it. It's perfect for detailed drawings, which i do mostly. I also like the use of digital coloring, because it's easy and you have a huge scale of colors.
q)What/who influences you most?
a)Oh, that's not easy to say. I believe my ideas come directly from my mind, which is a little weird sometimes. There's nothing that influences me knowingly. Except life in general and other artists, who can be very inspiring, too. I always search for good artists on the internet and there are so, so many talented and inspiring people out there.
q)Describe a typical day of art making for you.
a)Unfortunately, there are too few days, where I can make art all day, because of my studys (which I love by the way) and my sidejob in the callcenter (which I don't like, but is neccessary to finance myself). But when I have a free day, I sit at my desk, draw, listen to music, drink coffee, in between I read comics, artbooks or magazines and simply enjoy it.
q)Do you have goals, specific things you want to achieve with your art or in your career as an artist?
a)I haven't found a place or category, where I see myself and my art in the future. But I would love to do artworks (posters, lp-covers) for bands, editorial illustration and maybe draw comics sometime (that's what I'll try in the next time). The most important thing is, that I'm able to live by the money I earn with it. I never want to do anything else but art.
q)What contemporary artists or developments in art interest you?
a)Some of my favorite comic-artists and/or illustrators are Anke Feuchtenberger, Atak, Martin tom Dieck and Gipi. Some of my favorite painters/artists are Max Neumann, Egon Schiele and Horst Janssen. And there are a few upcoming artists/illustrators i know through flickr.com, who I believe, will have success in the future and who I admire. Frederik Jurk, Ward Zwart, Tommaso Meli and Brecht Vandenbroucke are some of them.
q)How long does it typically take you to finish a piece?
a)It doesn't take long. Normally not more than two hours, cause my drawings are usually not bigger than A4 size. Actually I'm working on a bigger piece, where only the sketch took me more than one hour. It always depends on the size.
q)Do you enjoy selling your pieces, or are you emotionally attached to them?
a)I didn't sell any pieces yet, just traded some with other artists. But I'm definitely emotionally attached to my drawings. My walls are full of my favorite own works and I would miss each single one. There are some which I would never sell.
q)Is music important to you? If so, what are some things you're listening to now?
a)Music is very important to me. I always listen to music and I'm emotionally attached to music, too. At the moment I mainly listen to Portugal. The Man, Arcade Fire and The Velvet Underground. They are my favorites. I can always hear them and they never bore me. I get bored of things too fast. Especially of music. I'm always searching for new bands. q)Books? a)I like reading and I read a lot at the moment, which is a little bit unusual, cause reading-time is mostly rare. The last books I read were 'The catcher in the rye' by J.D. Salinger and a few books by Charles Bukowski (I love this guy!) and Cees Nooteboom. Currently I read a novel by Janosch, who is also a great illustrator.
q)What theories or beliefs do you have regarding creativity or the creative process?
a)(Sorry, I have no good answer to this question right now.)
q)What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing) when you're not creating?
a)I love watching movies, listening to music, playing guitar, reading, playing games and meeting my friends.
q)Do you have any projects or shows coming up that you are particularly excited about?
a)Yes, there's an upcoming solo-exhibition in September, in Hannover (Germany), which I am very (!!!) excited about. It's my first solo-show.
q)Do you follow contemporary art scenes? If so, how? What websites, magazines, galleries do you prefer?
a)Yes, I follow the german comic scene which I do by reading the magazine 'Strapazin' and visiting www.reprodukt.de (they publish the best german comic books). The German art/illustration magazine 'Jitter' is a nice lecture, too. Most younger artists I know and whose work I observe are people I know by flickr.com. Through this I discover a lot of great websites, galleries, fanzines etc. I have no special favorite, cause there are too many.
q)Ask yourself a question you'd like to answer, and answer it.
a)Are you lucky? Yes I am!
q)Any advice for aspiring artists?
a)Always get and stay in contact with other artists, collaborate and interchange with them, build networks. Show your art to others, publish it in the internet, accept criticism, never stop doing your thing. Nobody will notice you, when you don't present yourself to the world.
q)Where can we see more of your work online