How did you get started doing what you do?
I originally studied Communication Sciences, Psychology and Marketing. My goal was always to work creatively, however, I could never find a job that really enabled me to express what I wanted to express. At my first real job after college I realised while doing a 365 project that photography meant the world to me so I quit my job and dedicated my life to it ever since.
How would you describe your creative style?
It’s a rather reduced and minimalist interpretation of street photography. Very intense and colourful, but also very gentle. My creative style and output is deeply rooted in my personality, history and perception of life.
What’s your inspiration?
When it comes to life, I’ve been inspired quite a lot by close friends as well as well-known people who simply chased their dream. In terms of photography, my biggest inspiration is my eye, heart and soul. It may seem egocentric, but I’m deeply convinced that your biggest inspiration in photography should always be your inner creative soul and child.
What is art to you?
Art is my saviour and anchor in life. I suffered from severe depressions twice when I had to life for something I wasn’t living for. I will never do that again in my entire life. Always do what you love. Always.
What does your typical day look like?
Since I’m traveling around the world most of the time, it’s always different. It also depends on the projects I’m working on. Sometimes the only thing I do for weeks is capture golden moments. Then there are months where I spent most of my time working on my dream projects I want to bring to life. However, I generally start living my passion between 7 and 9 in the morning and usually go to bed at 2. Photography is the first thing that comes to mind in the morning and the last thing I think about before I go to bed. What I love most about being self-employed is that I can schedule everything the way I want to do it. Sometimes I work 16 hours a day, sometimes not one single minute.
How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
It always depends. Some moments I honestly took in the blink of an eye, others I’ve been trying to create for years. Ideas come, they go and some grow and grow till you feel them. It’s incredibly hard to tell when something starts as a thought and ends up as a signed and limited print in someone’s home.
How do you keep motivated?
I’m fortunate enough to always be highly motivated to chase my dreams. Someone once said that if you really love something, you don’t need motivation. That’s only meant for things where your intrinsic and extrinsic rewards don’t really convince you. However, of course I also have days where swimming against the current is just too much. Then I simply go out, have fun or meditate. There is always time for a field trip as a self-employed person.
How would you say your surroundings have influenced your work?
Although I’m a somewhat messy person, I’m incredibly anal when it comes to my compositions. I’m pretty sure that the reason for that is my mom, because she always told me to clean up, but I never did except for my photos. Other than that, my personality, experiences and ways of perceiving life have been highly influential so far.
What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
At the end of my life, the biggest purpose of my art is to make me and others happy. That’s all that truly matters to me. Everything else is secondary.
How have others reacted to your work?
I consider myself very fortunate when it comes to that. I’m on the lucky artists that creates art that appeals to a rather broad audience while being exactly what I want it to be. There are others who express themselves in a way that only very few like.
What do you want others to take away from your work?
Everyone who is familiar with my work knows how deeply committed and passionate I am about my art and life. Whether it’s my videos, articles, books or photography, they all say the same thing: love life, do what you love and love yourself the way you are.
What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
It’s going to be fine, Marius. It may seem hopeless, but it isn’t. The reason why you can’t picture yourself in a job is that you will and have to create your own at a certain point. Go with the flow, don’t be so hard on yourself and simply embrace this wonderful journey to your inner self.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
It’s more of a philosophical advice, but life is always flowing like a river. You can either surf on that inner wave of yours or desperately hold on to things that are impossible to keep. Go with the flow, allow change and be open to anything positive in life.
Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
Never ever forget that being an artist may be one of the most creative things you can do, but at the end of the day you are still a product on a market. It a business. Learn just as much if not even more about business then art. Otherwise you won’t make it. It’s a very hard and inconvenient truth must people misunderstand, but once you get the hang of it it’s so much fun. Always believe in yourself, never ever give up, reinvent yourself, dare to make experiences and push yourself to the limit. Heard it a million times already? Me too, but it’s the recipe for success.
What are your thoughts on art school?
I never went to art school, I don’t have anyone in my family who did or even went to college and none of my friends attended one. Going to art school can be an incredibly rewarding and enlightening experience, but I have the feeling that a lot of graduates are lost once they leave that bubble. If I had to create an art school, I’d make it mandatory to combine it with a business degree. Express yourself in the wildest and most creative ways imaginable while creating a strong brand, distribution channels and taking care of PR, taxes and accounting.
Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
I have so many dreams I’m working on right now. The next one will be my very own clothing line called Eye, Heart & Soul. It’s made for all sorts of creative souls around the world that are deeply convinced that these are the most important tools you have to create incredible photography. Besides that, I’ll publish my very own premium print magazine called NEOPRIME Contemporary Fine Art Photography (check it out here.) It will serve as a timeless stage for outstanding fine art photography. Somewhere down the road I want to dedicate more time to doing charity in the field of mental illnesses, write more books and bring every dream I have to life.
What’s your dream project?
There are just so many. However, my biggest dream project is simply being able to do what I truly love and that I’m free in how I want to spend my day.
What art supplies do you use?
A Fujifilm XT1 with a 18mm 2.0 lens to capture my golden moments, a Macbook Pro Retina to edit them and a GoPro 4 Silver for my videos. That’s basically it. Honestly, all you need to reach the whole world is a used laptop and an average camera. I won most of my 21 awards with a used and old camera.
What’s your process like?
As I mentioned earlier, it’s always different. Let me give you an example. Recently I dropped my $1600 lens. It was completely broken. It simply couldn’t focus anymore. I tried to take some photos with it, but they were all blurry. In order to spin this around, I wanted to take a set with that broken lens. Eventually I captured the intense and colourful atmosphere in the red light district of Amsterdam with it. As a former broken soul I portrayed broken characters with a broken lens. I sold so many prints of that set later that I already paid off the lens and turned this accident into a second signature I’m using from now on.
How could the art industry become better in your opinion?
Since I’ve only been doing this for 2 years, I’m way too new to this to understand all dynamics of the art world. However, I gained certain insights so far such as the importance of business I mentioned earlier. One more thing I’d love to see is that the art world gets rid of its elitist reputation. For most people art appears to be only made for the very few who can afford it. I’m sure that if more people saw art as something affordable and artists would open themselves up for the business side of it, we would have less starving artists and more happiness all around.