Petra talks about the sources of her inspiration and on how to sustain a creative business of a multimedia/video artist.
GS: Where do you get inspiration?
PB: I like exploring new places… other people’s work. I love a combination of art and architecture: how space is thought of and how we engage with space. I get a lot of inspiration from architects: FrankLloyd Wright, Mies Van Der Rohe.
GS: What helps you develop your multimedia projects?
PB: We do a lot of ground work and research. We calculate a lot.
We build scaling models, create elevation plan, and make our own sketch-up file on the computer.
We create our multimedia compositions based on the site’s model.
We edit our video in Final Cut.
When we apply for grants we have to preconceive our ideas. Once a grant comes through we go back and fourth: developing ideas and developing the project: lots of site visits, technical team consultation, lots of communication.
GS: What is your advice on getting exposure and positioning oneself as an multimedia artist?
PB: Chose your opportunities wisely but use them
Lots of ideas start and develop first in your basement…
Here is my basement story: I have always been fascinated with the block of ice as an art object:
Block of ice? What can I do with a block of ice…?
I though that we should project on ice.. And I wrote a proposal, but nobody wanted it: it is messy, not lasting, you can not sell it.
But I still wanted to do a show with it at a gallery. I took 10 blocks of ice and projected slides on them through slide projectors. The exhibit was publicized and one event producer saw it and loved it. He commissioned us to do a show for a private event projecting on the nine tons of ice suspended in the air… Here is the link to the show: Skywall.
When you believe in something make sure you get it out there.
Trust yourself. And Keep working.
GS: What is your advice to the students who want to enter a creative profession?
PB: Do it! Do not think too hard, make work and share it your work to your friends.
Your friends are the best supporters.
Develop your marketing materials and publicize yourself.
I always think to myself : Why did I become an artist.? How to find a way for people to need what I do? how do you create what people want…
It is important to connect with your audience, any audience. Sometimes we do projects for Children’s theatre and it is amazing to work for children and sustain a creative dialogue with them. You learn a lot through it.
GS: What did you study?
PB: I studied Art and Performance in Germany. It is a very loose curriculum. You see your professor one a month. You have to be self organized self motivated, make and share your work to get input.
Kiki Smith was my professor one semester. I learned a lot from her:
Kiki showed us how to make a sketchbook: every day rip one big piece of paper apart, assemble it into a sketchbook and draw . Very little every day, but it will help you stay engaged and you will capture your ideas and eventually you will have a body of work.