Monday, February 28, 2011

German blogger feature: Muellerin Art

Müllerin Art is another German blogger Crafting it Forward in 2011, but I wanted to give this blog it's own special feature. Full of original photos of the author's lovely artwork, I'm going to go ahead and say Müllerin Art is right up there with another one of my favorites: Genine's Art Blog. I'm currently in slash mode when it comes to my blogroll (and my overflowing Google Reader inbox), but the Müllerin Art blog is actually getting added because it's that good.

So of course I was thrilled when Michaela Müller agreed to be interviewed for my Living Colors German! Yes, I made the leap! It seemed to be the most appropriate way to go about this interview, so Michaela was gracious enough to correct some German grammar errors in my questions and I've offered to translate her answers in English to allow for a bilingual post. I have to say it was a little nerve-wracking to dive into contacting somebody randomly auf Deutsch, but I figured if I didn't try I'd never know, right? (seems to be a running theme as an American living abroad). I'm so glad it worked out and that I'm able to introduce you to Michaela Müller. Welcome Michaela!


1. Your blog is called 'Müllerin Art'. What does 'Müllerin Art' mean, anyhow? Dein Blog heißt 'Müllerin Art'. Was heißt 'Müllerin Art' eigentlich?

This is tricky for English speakers because it's a play on words. 'Müllerin Art' is the name of a special recipe for how to prepare Forelle fish...just like the millers used to make it, so 'Miller's Style' would be the best translation. Of course, in German, 'art' means 'style', but in English it means something when somebody has such a boring last name as Müller (Miller), a double meaning like this is great!

Es ist eigentlich eine Bezeichnug für ein besonderes Rezept, einen Fisch (Forelle) zu zubereiten.... so wie die Müllerin es macht...nach Art der Müllerin... in englisch hat es was mit Kunst zu tun, und wenn man schon so einen langweiligen Nachnamen hat... solche doppelten Bedeutungen mag ich sehr!

2. Tell us a little more about the role creativity plays in your life (official work, hobby, etc). Kannst du erzählen, was Kreativtät für dich bedeutet (im Alltag, auf der Arbeit, als Hobby, usw.)

I'm a freelance graphic designer and for the past 15 years I've been creating logos, brochures, fliers, corporate design concepts and sometimes illustration projects. Aside from my business projects, I'm always creating and designing in everything I do: gifts, birthday cards, and little decor items; I love wrapping up gifts, sewing bags, drawing and making collages in my sketchbooks and on trips, and lots more.

Ich bin freiberufliche Graphik-Designerin und gestalte seit 15 Jahren freiberuflich Logos, Corporate Design, Broschüren, Flyer und manchmal auch Illustrationen. Aber unabhängig von Aufträgen gestalte ich ständig immer und überall, ich entwerfe Geschenke, Geburtstagskarten und Dekokram, packe leidenschaftlich gerne Geschenke ein, zeichne und collagiere in Skizzenbüchern und auf Reisen, nähe Taschen und vieles mehr.


3. What made you decide to make creativity your profession? Warum hast du dich entschieden in der Kreativ-Welt zu arbeiten?

It was never a question for me. Even as a child I was always gluing, drawing, coloring, desiging, and making little books.

Etwas anderes kam für mich nie in Frage. Schon als Kind habe ich immer gestaltet, Büchlein gebastelt, gezeichnet, geklebt und gemalt.
Da ich aber immer konkrete Aufgaben brauche, war die Entscheidung für ein Graphik-Design-Studium eindeutig.

4. What tools and mediums do you usually work with? What do you like most about them? Mit welchen Werkzeuge und Medien arbeitest du? Was ist besonderes attraktiv an ihnen?

Sketchbooks are my foundation for my work. Everything is possible in my sketchbook: fleeting ideas find a home; ideas are developed; shapes are tested; colors combined; reminders, found items, samples and thoughts are added in; drawn items leave trails that create starting points for the next page, and so on. It's ideas, and not final versions, that go into the sketchbook; in this way lots of things grow out of it.

Für meine freie Arbeit ist das Skizzenheft die Grundlage. Im Skizzenheft ist alles möglich, Flüchtiges findet seinen Platz, Ideen werden fixiert, Formen ausgetestet, Farben kombiniert, Erinnerungen, Fundstücke, Muster und Gedanken eingeklebt, zeichnerische Strukturen hinterlassen Spuren und geben den Startpunkt für die nächste Seite. Nichts muss sein, aber vieles kann daraus wachsen.


5. Do you ever find yourself in a creative rut or bored with what you've been working on? If so, what do you do to get inspired? Wie schaffst du es, dich zu inspirieren, wenn du das Gefühl hast, in einen Trott zu verfallen oder von deinen Projekten gelangweilt zu sein?

I'm always coming up with new ideas and stuff, so it's rarely boring. Inspiration comes from everywhere, not just all the pretty blogs that I often look at.

Mich reizen immer wieder neue Ideen und Dinge, so dass es selten langweilig wird. Inspirationen lauern überall, nicht nur in den vielen schönen Blogs, die ich mir zu oft anschaue.


6. Have there been any defining moments in your creative journey? Gab es besondere Momente in deiner kreativen Karriere?

Perhaps it was after graduating from Gymnasium/high school. I received my rejection notice from a school in Düsseldorf and I then realized that the only choice left was the one I really wanted: I would pursue graphic design studies. Six months later I was accepted into a school in Münster, no problem.

Vielleicht war es damals nach dem Abitur die erste Absage auf meine Bewerbung bei der Fachhochschule in Düsseldorf, die mir klarmachte, dass ich keine Alternative habe, dass ich Graphik-Design machen will und nichts anderes. Ein halbes Jahr später hat es dann ohne Probleme in Münster geklappt.

7. What is most difficult about your work? Was ist das Schwierigste an deiner Arbeit?

The hardest thing for me is to work long and hard on a project and then suddenly come up with new and different ideas that make me want to change everything.

Ich finde es am Schwierigsten lange und konsequent an einem Projekt zu arbeiten, zu schnell kommen wieder andere und neue Ideen, die umgesetzt werden wollen.


8. How would you encourage a young artist exploring your field? Wie würdest du einen jungen Künstler/in in deinem Bereich fördern?

Stick with it, do your own thing, do lots of drawing, turn of the Computer (I should do this too!)

Dabeibleiben, das eigene Ding machen, ganz viel zeichen, den Computer mal ausschalten (sollte ich auch!)

Thanks so much for sharing with us Michaela! If you like the images you see here, you should check out her blog!

Like this interview? Read other artist interviews in the Living Colors series.


Jutta said...

Great interview, and I enjoyed reading it in both languages! I studied German in school but that was years ago, so it's good practise :)

Allison said...

I loved Michaela's answer about how she chose her career "and I then realized that the only choice left was the one I really wanted"

I wholeheartedly believe that often "doors are shut" or "doors are opened" to the paths that we are, or are not supposed to go down.

Great post, great blog!

Christine E-E said...

You had a great set of questions to help us really get an idea of the personality of your guest... CONGRATS on delving into the bilingual blogging! I think you pulled this off very well..
BTW - love your blog! especially, the bobbing doll...

Kelly said...

So excited to "meet" some German artists this way - thank you for putting this together!

Tracey said...

I loved seeing and hearing about her process. And I LOVE LOVE her work. Beautiful!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Your blog is so beautiful! And I adore the little nodding girl on your sidebar - how cute is she!! XOL

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