And now? -Musings on Brexit from a slightly perplexed EU immigrant

art, artwork, politics, Uncategorized

I remember the day that I moved to London. It was the 28th May 2005 and my former boyfriend and I arrived from Dublin, where we lived for one and a half years. He was Italian and I am from Germany. We were in our early twenties and worked hard to create a life, adapting to different cultures, a different language and certainly different weather.

During the first days of my arrival, I made my first friend. He worked in the building complex, Bow Quarters, that became my first home in London. To this day –more than eleven years later- we are still friends.

And so it went on –I was surrounded by people of all nationalities, races and religions who taught me, who grew up in a relatively monotone demographic, how to be tolerant, patient and kinder. I studied at the London Metropolitan University and observed its student diversity with marvel. Never had I seen such an array of people.

As the years in London went on, I adapted to life in the capital. I see myself as a drifter; one who can’t hold down a job for more than three years and who, as of June 2016, has relocated ten times. My hair and dress style change almost monthly and I so do my eating habits, position of my furniture and tastes for music. I am not attached to material possession and own very little furniture. And I’m fine with that way, despite its nonconformity. Since 2012, some stability appeared as I have become self-employed and have employed British people to work for me.

A few things are constant in my life, however: people and creativity. I have come to terms with the fact that I am committed when it comes to people. My relationships last long and so do my friendships. They are the one thing that kept me going when I was between jobs and flats yet again.

Living away from my own family, I created a new one. Someone became a surrogate aunt. Someone else my brother, another person became a grandmother figure. The fact that they are of various nationalities and races doesn’t matter. I adopted these people into my life and I love them with the same love that I have for people who I am related to by blood. So are my ties to others and the uncertainty that I have now is numbing.

With the UK soon leaving the EU, there will doubtless be changes for many people, myself included. What could happen? Deportation? My guess is that we will have to purchase visas, possibly one for the right to stay in the country and one to work. Perhaps there will be other options, like student and spousal visas. The point is, we will quite possibly have to pay a lot to stay. Purchase the privilege to continue to do what I have been doing for more than ten years. Money I’d rather invest in my art, not into my right to work. Perhaps, there will be interest in immigrants’ salaries too and a resulting cap –like the one that has already been imposed on a few nationalities. If you don’t earn a certain amount, you’re out. Whatever the decisions will be, there is now a deep insecurity within me about my future and, of course, it’s not a good feeling.

I survived so far, lived both in comfort and struggled, so I know I will survive whatever will happen. There was always a way to make it through for me, but for the first time I can see my support pillars cracking: What if I have to leave the people who I love? The ones I have known for more than ten years. The ones who saw me at my best and worst and who accompanied me during the majority of my adult life. One of the two things of consistency that I have ever had. What if I can’t express myself any longer in the way I have always done?

I do believe that I can make friends wherever I go. But when I distance myself from people, I want to make that decision on my own, for personal reasons. Some people are worth keeping and some worth letting go –and that’s a very subjective choice that I want to make but not be forced to make because of political reasons.

For now, with all the ambiguity of the situation, I will live in gratitude to the wonderful people who surround me and concentrate on my second constant: my creativity.

If my future in the UK sees my creativity threatened as well, I know what to do. But that is content for another article.

On the process of creating art

art nouveau, artwork, colours, concept, drawing, synaesthesia

As mentioned before, I have synaesthesia. Mine expresses itself in the connecting sound and visuals.

Read more about in my post “I have synaestesia”. 

When I listen to certain noises, they appear as sound waves or ripples and sometimes flashes of light. What I see is not based on colour pigment but on energy. Music and even frequencies make geometric shapes, which can be fractal or symmetric. Depending on the mood, the visuals are in black and white or very colourful, psychedelic even. When a particularly beautiful shape pops up, I grab pen and paper to sketch it. A collection of the most stunning music I have seen goes into my drawings. Some music is simply and literally divine, without a doubt. When you spot the divinity in others’ art, that means divinity is in you as well. It’s a direct reflection of what you are able to create.

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Understanding how to deal with perceiving sounds in such way took me years. The “other” art I was introduced to as a child was music. I started to play the piano at a very young age and then went to a private high school that specialised in classic and baroque music education. From an early age on, I was listening and analysing complicated music as well as producing it on the piano and in choirs. The strict way of teaching and the fact that by the age of 12, I had a daily school schedule that often went from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., made me very stressed. Add to that the fact that in my grade I was one of the tallest and slimmest girls and then there were braces and glasses as well…. I started to escape from the pressure. Unlike my fellow students, I chose not to delve in drugs, anorexia or self-harming. I chose art.

My artistic endeavours started when I was a toddler and painted a lovely family portrait on the walls of my parents’ flat. I had always had a thing for abstract and surreal art, seeing things in a very different way than limited perception allows most to see the world. Whenever life got stressful, I turned to art. As a teenager, I would spend the whole night drawing and painting and my room’s walls were plastered in my artworks. My friends and family admired the creations and also I thought that were actually really good. An important life lesson I learnt here was that I could turn sorrow, pain, anger, confusion and disappointment into something beautiful and brings joy to others.

I decided against studying art, but chose a close relative of it –interior design. I like when things are practical. Over the years working in the field, I noticed that it was lacking the process of creativity and implementing personality, so I left and looked for more opportunities to do what I do best.

My purpose in life is to soak up all the polarising, beautiful, painful, magnificent and soul-destroying things around me, interpret them and transform them into a piece of art, which in return inspires others to express themselves. I want to take away the fear of artistic expression from people and a huge factor in achieving that is looking at the process of creation. Every process is different but nonetheless just as important as the result. There must be a thorough process when creating, one that allows setbacks and mistakes. Think about all the wonderful inventions and artworks, which were made in error!

If I were to give advice to an artist is would be the following: Always take the long way home. Surround yourself with inspiring people and visit amazing places and then give your all producing something that adds immense value to someone’s life. See the potential that painful situations offer you and appreciate the powerful energy they give you. Transform, catalyse and reinvent that energy so that it can be used to help others.

Give it your heart and soul because that’s the essence of your art and it is what can truly make someone else pick up that pencil and start drawing.

Come, all ye and shoppeth!

3D, art nouveau, brooch, buddha, enamel, figure, glass, jewellery, statue

The (virtual) doors of my Etsy shop have opened and there are some curious pieces filling the “shelves” already.

Here we have a little Tibetan Buddha head:

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And here is the finished Victorian candle holder!

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An Art Nouveau brooch:

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And….well, that’s work in progress: Enamel on glass! Will be soon at the shop.

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Visit here: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/NadjaChristinDesigns

Indeed, it’s all in the detail

3D, candleholder, decoration, interior, jewellery, sculpture

I am refurbishing and upcycling some wonderful little finds and always get stuck marvelling at these adorable little feet of a brass and marble candle holder.

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I’m also giving an Art Nouveau brooch new life. Both will be available on my Etsy shop soon!

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/NadjaChristinDesigns

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Octopus in the Woods

acrylic, art nouveau, artwork, canvas, octopus, painting

Here is the most “what was I thinking” painting that I have produced so far: A poor octopus, lost in the birch woods, observed by judgemental faces and a blue tired lady. The acrylic 122 x 91cm painting is for sale now at Etsy and can be shipped to UK only.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/221745472/octopus-in-the-woods

Octo 1

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Double Mandala

colours, drawing, gril, illustration, mandala, pink, portrait

…incorporating an interesting hairdo!

On this lovely grey Sunday, I sat here with magnifying glasses like the memaw I am not and finally finished the A3 illustration!

Pencil, marker, metallic market and fineliner on paper.

Here’s the making-of and result!

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