1.) Hi Erika! What are you currently working on?
At the moment I am working on three projects:
- PAPERTOWN, a company that produces elements, furniture and landscapes made out of cardboard for the commercial, cultural and social sector.
- DieLichtfabrik, a cultural center that focuses on using the amazing power of art and creativity in a responsible, social way
- The Circus Productions, a platform for international Singer Songwriter and musicians.
Over the past weeks I was actually immersed in filling our new atelier (called the PIER15) with love, pillows and a wooden floor and organizing the amazing opening event.
2.) How comes that you work on three projects at the same time?
Since I was a little girl, I always had this crazy dream about founding a big art-focused school, home and art-cafe for people of most different backgrounds. And on top of it I wanted it to be a farm that saves animals. But it took me 27 years, 5 tours through South America doing street theater, working with kids from poor districts, studying theater, international development and a little dancing, working three years in marketing, having a lot of challenging conversations, undertaking one final journey to Buenos Aires, a renewal of my world view, and one return to finally feel the „NOW GO – take first steps“ impulse. DieLichtfabrik was founded.
When I came back from Buenos Aires at the beginning of 2012 everything went really fast and grew organically. Philipp wanted to take a next step with the “cardboard stage design project” and we decided to professionalize it together with Moritz and Marcus. We figured that sharing a studio between Papertown and dieLichtfabrik could be a perfect match – each one could benefit from the strengths of the other. Only a couple of months later, we signed the contract of our new atelier, founded Papertown and dieLichtfabrik, leased a car was, renovated the atelier, realized a lot of cardboard solutions, and earned the necessary money. We found our way through the jungle of bureaucracy (well, partly), extended the team and finally opened the doors of a new cultural meeting point in Vienna.
I can work in three projects at the same time because they complement each other perfectly. I feel that it’s the absolutely right thing to do. I can rely on our team, and I totally support the moral, aesthetic and artistic message of all of them to a 100% and more. It’s very challenging to work at different projects at the same time, them having very different rhythms, stages and needs. You have to be really aware of that and able to adapt and switch really fast and without regrets. With a great team and tons of notebooks it’s manageable. Besides that, my method is breathing, spontaneous desperate prayers, and reminding myself, that in the end it’s all just… what it is.
3.) How does The HUB & your hosting experience influence your creative work?
If you have a vision that doesn’t fit into the norm you initially always have the problem of not being understood. Especially if you have nothing in reach, to refer to. That’s why I was so relieved when I found The HUB.
The HUB gave me mental support but also a reference I could use and say „Something like an Art-HUB, where people meet, develop artistic projects with a social focus. A place where being a social artist becomes cool again“. Even though the concept and the aims of dieLichtfabrik differ in many points from The HUB, it always turned out ending all questions, when I referred to it. I believe that the mere existence of The HUB is an inspiration and anchor for many of us. Hosting allowed me to have a small insight in the organizational part of the HUB and brought me many, many inspiring talks and good advises from amazing people.
4.) What inspires you the most?
Purity and Honesty. To be deeply and purely honest, is the best, most effective and healthiest inspiration for any kind of
Art, I think. But it’s very hard to get there. To be authentically affected by the suffering of others does not inspire me creatively but it inspires me to act, in a field where I have authority and where I feel responsible.
5.) How was the opening of PIER 15 and what are your further plans?
It was really great! I was touched by all the voluntary effort of the team, friends and family. There was this special atmosphere going on at the opening that made people come in saying: „Wow, I wanna be part of this“ and only then adding „By the way, what is this?“ Since our opening, people from neighborhoods and other cultural institutions keep coming in and telling us how happy they are that finally some positive movement is coming to this district. Just today a neighbor we didn’t even know came in and gave us a plant as a present. These are small things mean a lot to us.
The overall plan for all three projects is to find intelligent ways how to generate the financial resources in order to realize our artistic and social ambitions and those of others. We also want to bring the 15th district to life and help making it a down to earth, positive, creative place. If you want to stay in touch, visit our not yet perfect homepages, write us, call us, talk to us or just visit us at the PIER15. http://www.dielichtfabrik.at
6.) Describe HUB in one word