Our artists are at the heart of what we do and are therefore a huge part of the JUNIQE community. But what does ‘community’ mean to our artists? We wanted to understand what connects and inspires them to do what they do—here’s what they had to say...
Respect and cohesion
For Leemo, everything is connected—"We humans are one big, chaotic, fabulous organism!". To the Hamburg-based artist, community means first and foremost respecting each other and sticking together. On the artistic level, Leemo says, “it means that everything is constantly changing. I always try to reflect this constant change in my work."
No room for egos
For ideas to really flourish, there needs to be a sharing of knowledge, ideas, and experiences. In a community, it’s important to put egos aside in order to make progress—this is Chris Abatzis’ take on the c-word. Chris explains "we all profit more from each other when we help and support each other. I am convinced of this. No matter what it's about."
Strength and kindness
Building connections with people who share common perspectives, attitudes, and interests is a driving force of inspiration for Victoria Verbaan. “I try to evoke emotions of kindness and strength through my work, which in turn creates a community where we can all connect in a way that is uplifting, healthy, and inspiring”.
For Dieter Braun, community is essential to the creative process—despite the introspective nature of his work: "I can only create my art alone. The nature of my job is very introverted. Without the knowledge of a large community of great artists and helpers around me, I'd feel like the white sheet of paper that you stare at, struggling to fill. But when I admire the work of my brilliant colleagues, I'm wondrously inspired every day."
Together, even when apart
Mark Scott-Davies and Kiwi Suumin Birks, aka Fox & Velvet, consider themselves lucky to have creative friends all over the world, as they always have somewhere to go for advice, encouragement, or “just to have a laugh!”. They say “We live on a very community-oriented street, and so even in these uncertain times, we’re comforted by knowing that we’re all connected and looking out for each other. This positivity feeds into our work, which we try to keep bright, happy, and playful”.
Making the world brighter
Mareike Böhmer has the good fortune to meet many like-minded artists all over the world. In this tight-knit community that has developed over the years, everyone benefits: “we support each other and exchange information, and help each other with questions or problems. We’re all in the same boat: we love art, and want to make our world even more beautiful”.
What does community mean to you? However you define it, one thing is certain: it makes the world a more colourful—and beautiful—place.
Words: Eva Klann
Translation: Caitlin Hughes