We are delighted to publish the sixteenth of our new styled interview entitled ‘Mobile Artists on Their Artistry’. Within this interview, we ask highly successful mobile artists twenty questions about their backgrounds, their work, social media, how Covid-19 has influenced their creative life and so much more…
Today, we are proud to feature highly talented and newly self-employed mobile artist Christine Mignon who resides in the beautiful city of Vienna, Austria. Her work revolves around visual storytelling, focusing on people, places and memories.
To read our other interviews in this series with Jane Schultz, Susan Latty, Cindy Karp, Sukru Mehmet Omur, Deborah Kleven Morbeto, Patty Larson, Adrian McGarry, Catherine Caddigan, Rita Colantonio, Sarah Bichachi, Marco Prado, Mehmet Duyulmuş Gerry Coe, Cynthia Morgan and Peter Wilkin please go here.
How would you introduce yourself to someone who doesn’t know your work?
I’d start by explaining that shooting with a mobile phone is considered a new category of art in many parts of the world and should be taken serious. Many people here in Austria still don’t see it that way. And then I‘d let my pictures talk, as I am not so eloquent.
What name do you use within social media and was this a conscious decision?
I use my original name. It was a logical decision, I never really thought about having a nickname or pseudonym, as I have nothing to hide (yet).
What kind of family did you grow up in?
A chaotic but mostly happy family.
Did your childhood influence your ideas about creativity?
Yes, but for sure not enough. There were many things that were considered not appropriate, not socially acceptable or wrong, even if I grew up in the 80ies!
Did your parents support your creativity?
My dad was working all day, but it was he who introduced me to photography. My mum tried her best by sending me to pottery classes, learning an instrument or painting. Art is a very high value for my mum, so I suppose that had an impact on me. She told me a lot about the history of art.
When was the first time you knew you wanted to be an artist?
Does “wanting to be a rock star”with 14 years count? Seriously, I never saw myself as a real artist. Maybe more like a decorator creating beauty by collecting special moments. But right now I’m about to become self employed as photographer, so I will start to see myself as an artist!
What is creativity to you?
Art and being creative is something I need to do. It helps me to relax, get calm, balanced, get in touch with the “here and now”, find inner peace and happiness, but also to grow and extend my borders… Being creative is still my personal yoga.
What did you do before (if appropriate) becoming an artist?
I used to work as a social education worker with families with disabled kids, a mentally rather exhausting job. Some month ago I quit and decided that I will try to be self employed by creating and selling my pictures. I’m not there yet, but I’m positive about my future!
Where are you most creative?
Definitely when traveling, when I get to experience new countries, people, places, situations and especially beaches! There can never be too many beaches!
What inspires you?
Beaches! No, just joking! I’m mostly inspired by the things that happen around me. That’s why I shoot everything, from flowers to street, from still life to landscape. Enjoy the moment!
Who inspires you?
Any other artist who manages to touch my soul, no matter whether it’s photography, painting, music, modern dance…
Does your engagement on social media help you to plan your future projects?
My future project is to have a job that I love with all my heart and soul. So yes, social media helps, as I will need to use those channels to sell my photography.
And if of course seeing other artists work is very inspiring!
What does your average day look like?
I try to find a balance between online-work, getting out to shoot and spend time with friends, but at the moment every day is very different from the day before.
Is it your intention to ask questions or make the viewer question what they see?
It depends on what sort of photography it is. In my street photographs I often try to make the viewer question what they see and I like pictures if they have a social aspect. My pictures of flowers, still life, landscape or animals are not supposed to ask questions but to tell the spectators that life is beautiful.
Is there humour in your work?
I really hope so! No better thing than a good laugh or at least a smile!
How important is failure in your work process? Do you incorporate it into your creative process?
To fail means to grow, if you learn from that process. Sometimes failures turn out to be great pictures!
How do you deal with criticism?
I appreciate constructive criticism, as long as it’s not getting too personal by people who don’t really know me.
Has the Covid-19 pandemic influenced your creative life?
Yes, a lot. On one hand I love to photograph when I travel, which is not as easy as it was before Covid. On the other hand -as a positive impact- it gave me time to reflect on my life and helped me to take the decision to try to make a living with my art.
Who dead or alive would you like to have dinner with?
Hmmm, this is a tough question. What if you choose your favorite famous person and he/she turns out to be really untalkative or dull?! David Bowie staring at the make-up on your face without noticing you? Albert Einstein talking about doing the dishes? What a disillusion! – So, I definitely would have dinner with one of my deceased grandparents, to be on the safe side!
What is the best piece of advice that you’ve heard and still repeat to others?
If you don’t try you will never know if would have worked!
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