Thoughts from our recent intern Xhen who joined us from Germany at the end of last year via TTPL. She offers her perspective on how art is viewed and participated in by young people today.
Do you know what art means? Well, let me copy and paste the definition from Oxford Dictionary in here: “The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their own beauty or emotional power.” So, in fact we are all artistic in a way, but not everyone has the courage to show the world its hidden talents.
I was always fascinated by art, although my fascination was in the history and its development. I was asking myself often why, so many people are not interested in art especially the younger generation. Do they feel out of place in a way when they enter a gallery, because they do not know anything about the artist or even don’t have any clue about the works?
Art is like any other subject you can learn about. You just need to find the time to read all the wonderful books about art, artists or simply go to a gallery and admire some pieces.
When you feel to create something just do it and even it is not perfect do not be disappointed. Art takes time, you can develop your own style and notice what you like and what you do not, never thinking that your work is ridiculous or everybody could do your work. If that were so your artwork would have been produced a long time ago. So be patient and do not expect to be wonderful at the beginning; babies aren’t able to walk like models when they learn to walk for the first time.
Surrounded by creative, open-minded and heart-warming people, I began to understand at an early age, that what makes you happy relates to your own creativity. Do you remember the film “Dead Poets Society”, when John Keating said to his students: “Medicine, law, business, engineering: these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love…these are what we stay alive for.” I think with this saying he was recognizing something most people sadly forget nowadays.
In my article I will introduce you to two talented people, who I am lucky enough to know in person, they are my friends. We went to school together in Germany.
Introducing Dana Koehler
One of these young artists is Dana Koehler (19 years, Hamburg). Amongst friends she is known for her skills using her pencil, focused on fine details. But there are some works painted with acrylics as well as watercolours. She started to draw very young but began at the age of 13 to go into details. For her, art/drawing is her balance to reality, within the colours and shades she found a place to be.
The first piece of hers is called “The Great Champion” and is based on the film “Dreamer”. She was inspired by the saying: “You are a great champion. When you ran, the ground shook, the sky opened, and mere mortals parted. Parted the way to victory, where you'll meet me in the winner's circle, where I'll put a blanket of flowers on your back.” She loves horses and wanted to capture this moment in a picture, working with watercolours and black inks she created the piece.
The second piece is called “Ladybug”, which is drawn with pencils. Her inspiration was found by the original picture, hung in the family that she babysat for. This picture is linked with the children and their happiness; therefore, it has a personal connection to Dana.
Introducing Lilli Lassen
Lilli Lassen (18 years, Hamburg), another artist, told me once: “So, if you ask me when I started to do arts, I can only tell you it has always been there, and it will always be there.” All of her life she has been surrounded by art, since her mother is a freelance artist, painter and author. She grew up in an artistic family, her brother is into music and her father was the lead in a pop band back in the nineties, where he met Lilli’s mother.
Lilli found her passion in writing, but also does some paintings and drawings. She mostly uses pencils, enjoying keeping everything as simple as possible without any equipment.
Her pieces are simple pencil drawing and she draws whatever comes to mind. This piece depicts a girl. Something streaming out of her eyes and mouth, which representing the emotions she feels and the words she speaks. From her head emerges something which may be a flower, a symbol of the beauty she springs from, or in the other hand it could be flames as she seems to burn down trying to tell someone something. She tries to tell of something beautiful but is not understood, so there is beauty and pain combined in this picture.
The second pencil drawing piece shows different perspectives and it seems like each person is losing pieces of themselves. They would merge with each other, like one does in a crowd of people, but every face looks different and unique, showing the beauty in the individual.
Art for them is personal, they create something to express their own feelings. Their goal is not based on impressing someone, but simply being away for some minutes form reality. Compared to Dana, Lilli just uses her intuition, whenever she feels to create something she does. Her inspiration is found in every art which has the power to make people feel something.
With a certain picture in her mind, followed as a template, Dana starts her work. She uses a template, so she can focus on the details and show them in her work. Dana finds her inspiration in her enthusiasm for certain things, her drawings/paintings based on things she is passionate about.
Dana does not have a certain person, who inspired her. Her creativity flows while watching films, especially animated ones. An inspiring person for Lilli is her mother, because she has always done what she loves no matter what people say or think about it. Also, books are a source of inspiration. Lilli loves to discover pencil drawings as well as reading anonymous poems, while listening to music.
Because of her huge captivation with colours, Dana is open-minded when it comes to the question of which art form she would create, she simply replies with the fact, that she just loves colours and their different shades within, and it is this she aims to reflect in her pieces.
Two different personalities and to different ways to create something, so what we have learnt through these people is that art is individual and does not have any rules, so get out of your chair and find your personal connection to art!
If you want to find more about each one of them, visit their Instagram pages. On Dana’s page, you will find more works of hers.
Dana Koehler: https://www.instagram.com/dana_klr/
Lilli Lassen: https://www.instagram.com/lilli_la/