Our eighty fifth interview in this series of intimate interviews is with talented photographer and artist Hanni König from Marbug in Germany. König demonstrates that human stories are just as powerful as the greatest works of mobile art and photography, as this interview is replete. Enjoy!
To read the other published interviews in this series including artists, Adria Ellis, Rino Rossi, Mehmet Duyulmus, Alexis Rotella, Lou Ann Sanford Donahue, Irene Oleksiuk, Kerry Mitchell, Filiz Ak, Dale Botha, Lisa Mitchell, M. Cecilia Sao Thiago, Deborah McMillion, Rita Colantonio, Amy Ecenbarger, Jane Schultz, Anca Balaj, Joyce Harkin, Armineh Hovanesian, Kate Zari Roberts, Vicki Cooper, Peter Wilkin, Barbara Braman, Becky Menzies, Sukru Mehmet Omur, Sarah Bichachi, Michel Pretterklieber, Alon Goldsmith, Judy Lurie Wahlberg, Andrea Bigiarini, Sean Hayes, Oola Cristina, Kathleen Magner-Rios Linda Toki, Deb Field, Emilo Nadales, Lydia Cassatt, David Hayes, Jean Hutter, Frederic Deschênes, Mark Schnidman, Fatma Korkut, Fleur Schim, Rob Pearson-Wright, Dieter Gaebel, James Ellis, Marco P Prado, Jeronimo Sanz, Manuela Matos Monteiro, Bleu Chemiko, Manuela Basaldella, Stefania Piccioni, Luis Rodríguez, Marilisa Andriani (@mitrydate) Mayte Balcells (@artofmayte), Nicole Christophe, Jennifer Graham, Cathrine Halsør Paul Toussaint, Carol Wiebe, Julie Denning, Kim Clayton (@berleyart), Karen Messick, Serap Utaş, MaryJane Rosenfeld, Paul Suciu, Susan Latty (@pause.and.breathe),John Nieto, Phyllis Shenny, Joy Barry, Max Lies Derdonk, Rita Tipunina, Violet Martins, Nizzar Ben Chekroune, Lynette Sheppard, Paul-Andre Hamel, Rejane Rubino, Susan Detroy, Rosalie Heller, Wayman Stairs, Cintia Malhotra, Anita Elle, Juta Jazz, Cheryl Tarrant and myself, go here.
What was your earliest childhood ambition?
My grandmother had a friend who illustrated books and drew a weekly series of illustrations in the municipal daily newspaper. She sat in her house and drew only, all day. Her husband was her agent and organised everything else. That seemed to me the perfect existence.
My teachers in art classes always found my drawing talent remarkable, which encouraged me to continue to train my skills patiently.
Baby-sitter. Our neighbour lost her husband early. She had three little boys, the youngest was a few months old. If she needed me, which was the case several times a week, I kept her children safe. Since then, when I was 12 years old, my pocket money has been improved with this job.
Private or State school?
State school, in Germany only a few rich people can pay private schools.
University or work?
Work. I applied to the College of Fine Arts, but I had a wait of two years. My father did not want me to do nothing until then, so I had to look for an apprenticeship. When I started the apprenticeship, he did not want to know anything about a change. He thought women didn’t need to study because they marry anyway. When I was 22, I went to the Technical School of Design, against my fathers will. When I graduated after 2 years, it was more important to me to move out of my home. My father was an alcoholic, it was necessary for me to get to safety immediately. Later, however, I always completed summer academy courses and other painting and drawing courses. In retrospect, I was glad that I did not make my interest in art a profession. This way, I can always follow exactly those subjects that are important to me, not those that are profitable.
Who was or is your mentor?
When I was 16, I had a drawing teacher who supported and encouraged me. He tried to convince my father that I should study art. Otherwise, there was never any support from anyone.
How physically fit are you?
Every day I do exercises for flexibility for 20 minutes and I go to the gym once a week for equipment training. In addition, I walk a lot, I try to walk 10,000 steps a day (which does not always succeed)
Ambition or talent? What matters more to success?
Both. One thing is good for nothing without the other.
How politically committed are you?
I`m not in any party, but I`m always informed and am interested. First and foremost environmental protection and equal rights.
What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?
An own house or a condominium, because the rents are rising and it’s difficult to find a new apartment as a tenant. You just feel insecure if you depend on such developments. But at my age, owning a home is no longer affordable.
What is your biggest extravagance?
I have reduced my working hours to have more time for my personal interests.
In which places are you happiest?
By the sea, by the water.
What ambitions do you still have?
I would like to write and/or illustrate a book. Maybe only for myself. Although it’s too late for a bestseller.
What drives you on?
Hard to say. There is so much. Maybe it’s good that you always try to understand yourself, but never reach that goal. Curiosity, maybe…..
What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?
That I’m at peace with myself and made myself largely independent of the opinion of others.
What do you find most irritating in other people?
Superficiality and that people seldom say what they really think.
If your twenty years old self could see you now, what would she think?
“Oh, you’re still alive! I thought you will never be 30 years old…….”
What object that you’ve lost do you wish you still had?
My old Polaroid cameras. I threw them away when the film production stopped. But now there are some new again…… I have new instant cameras. But they are not as good as my old ones.
What is the greatest challenge of our time?
Stopping the destruction of the environment, the achievement or preservation of peace, the fight against male dominance striving.
Do you believe in the afterlife?
Yes. I imagine that one becomes a kind of spirit or disembodied energy and continues to exist on earth, somehow …..
If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?
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