Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Jonas, I live in Maastricht, and I’m an artist working mostly with photography but also with music. Originally I come from the South of Germany. Through a quite coincidental journey I came to Maastricht already around 12 years ago, together with my brother, to study at the Arts Academy. Since then I have been quite active here. I’m somebody who really likes life and I use different artistic mediums to connect to the essence of life and share that. That’s my main focus and the feeling I have of what I need to do in my life.
What do you consider your distinctive achievement?
For me it’s quite hard to picture out one achievement, the most important or most special moment. When I stop and reflect, I realize that everything that happened and what I did made me who I am now. And I’m very grateful for all of this. All the things I ever wanted, they all belong together, big steps, small steps, also the difficult moments… being aware that everything belongs to letting you be who you are is a very important achievement I think.
What are you looking forward to?
At the moment I’m really looking forward to continue moving to the time that is ahead of me. Last year I did a lot, but I also questioned a lot about my work and myself. There were a lot of things growing under the surface. If you compare it to a plant, it’s like the period when the roots are growing a lot underneath but you can’s see anything above the surface… and suddenly the leaves start growing again and the plant starts blooming. That’s how I feel at the moment. I didn’t show many things… because it was a certain process that I was going through. And now I realized that a turning point came naturally. I feel like a lot of things are well prepared and about to get out this year. I’m really looking forward to that, and I want to enjoy that.
What advice would you give to other professionals?
[…] Patience is very important, combined with trust and motivation. It sounds a bit cliché but it’s also just very true. Being an artist is not the easiest thing. We live in times when we have a certain idea about what an artist is, with an exciting life and expressing him- or herself. But I think basically it all comes down to the feeling you have as an artist and the fact that you follow that feeling for a reason. You focus on the things in between, and on questions that other people maybe don’t ask that much. It’s sometimes quite tricky, it cannot promise you much security many people are looking for. (But then, what is security?)
It’s something, which is very fluid. Sometimes everything goes in an easy flow, but there are also moments when you might ask yourself “What am I doing here? Why? I cannot make a living… does it make sense?” It’s all part of it. And the patience, following that instinct you have, and giving it all the time it needs, is I think very important.
[…] Nowadays technologies make our lives go very fast. […] It’s a bit like those plants in a glasshouse – they’re like our society today – they’re given all they need to grow very fast and to look the way we want them to look like. But once they’re taken out of the glasshouse they maybe look nice in the beginning, but then they won’t make it that long, because they are not used to nature and its changes. And as a contrast you can imagine a big old tree, influenced by weather, storms, maybe some branches are broken or a bit weird. But it has its own strong character and it grew slowly with patience, which gave it strong roots and many stories to tell. […]
What are the challenges that we need to overcome to make cultural entrepreneurship more accessible?
I think it’s always good to open up in a way. When you are active in the cultural environment, it’s quite important to find different ways or platforms to connect to other people and make it accessible. I think it’s all basically about bringing people together to share an experience and creating space and time for that. Nowadays we are constantly busy with connecting using Internet. It’s great on one hand, but it’s also very fast, superficial and sometimes quiet isolated. That’s why it is important for a balance to keep doing the same also in the physical dimension and give people an experience they can be part of and share together in ‘real’ life.