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Poems of Introspection by Frances Ivy

Poems of Introspection by Frances Ivy

Painting by Zohreh Valiary Why do you cry over lost freedom when the only chains you’re caught in are the ones you locked yourself Frances Ivy Image by Victor Hernandez I will whisper to you words of honey I will make your soul blossom even […]

From Musician to Photographer and Beyond

From Musician to Photographer and Beyond

Art: whether in sound, word or visually has always attracted my attention. As a small boy, I loved to draw and paint. Growing up I always had music around me; in my parent´s car or more often on my walkman. As a teenager, I began […]

A World of Wonder by Niels Tichelaar

A World of Wonder by Niels Tichelaar

At the end of our lives, many of us will have one of two regrets: I wish I had spent more time with family and friends; 2. I wish I had done more traveling. Traveling is far more than about taking beautiful pictures in new places, it’s about the people and the things we learn as a result of our travels. Those who travel see the world in a more open way, and in a time of patriotism and inward looking politics, we need more open people. So travel.


Niels Tichelaar is a photographer and world traveler from Niels, Netherlands. Follow him on Instagram for even more of these amazing shots.

The Beauty of the Human Form by Ryan Morse

The Beauty of the Human Form by Ryan Morse

Artist Ryan Morse creates art not to inform the community, preach religion or change political views on the world. The artwork he creates serves one sole purpose, to display the beauty of the human form through his visual lens. His art conveys that there is […]

Forget the Politics, This City is Worth a Visit

Forget the Politics, This City is Worth a Visit

Although we’ve made huge progress through the development of technology and science, there is one area that sees little advancement. That is in the area of understanding and mutual respect. We continue to perpetuate fear and mistrust towards people who either look or think differently […]

Discover This Hidden Gem in Germany

Discover This Hidden Gem in Germany

My name is Marvin Schweer and I come from Steinhude, Germany. I started taking photos with a DSLR back in August of 2015. Photography had inspired me before but up until then, I had only taken photos with my mobile phone. At first, I mostly photographed our dogs and spent less time with landscape photography. Landscape photography is just right for me because I am very much a nature guy. I love to capture the mood of a quiet landscape in my pictures. Sunrises and sunsets make landscapes shine in a very beautiful light!

Marvin Schweer
https://www.instagram.com/stonehoodpics/
Steinhude, GERMANY

Can Anything be Done about the Inequality in the World?

Can Anything be Done about the Inequality in the World?

Can anything be done about the inequality in the world or are we doomed as a species to continue to oppress the weak, the poor, the less fortunate? If you look at the general development of the last couple centuries, you might become really frightened. […]

I’m Shooting for the Moon, If I miss, I will Fall into Your Arms

I’m Shooting for the Moon, If I miss, I will Fall into Your Arms

I want your respect, not your body. I’m shooting for the moon, if I miss, I will fall into your arms. Illustrated https://www.facebook.com/illustrated911/ Saskatoon, CANADA Note: featured image by Samson Bush

Superman and I Have Too Much in Common

Superman and I Have Too Much in Common

As a young boy I wanted to be superman….until I realized what it means to fly.

Chukky Gerald Ibe
https://www.facebook.com/chukkyibe
Hamilton, CANADA

How Poverty Shaped this Canadian Musician’s Life

How Poverty Shaped this Canadian Musician’s Life

At the time I wrote this song, United Way was campaigning “artists against poverty” which was something I experienced first hand growing up. In the first verse I talk about how my parents worked day and night to provide for my brother and me, and […]

Rock Throwing by Sara AlSouqi

Rock Throwing by Sara AlSouqi

We were taught that there are three types of rocks. The first, is an aftermath of volcanic eruptions hardened like new born anger, raw and invincible The second, is layers of time pressurized into staying where the softness of sand lives no more The third, […]

Immortality: An Interview with David Tollmann

Immortality: An Interview with David Tollmann

Walking into the Tollmann studio you feel like you are walking into the laboratory of a mad scientist. Paintings cover every wall. Sculptures and eccentric looking lights are scattered around the room. David stands in a corner talking with one of his collaborators. We are introduced and from that moment on, his presence lightens the mood.

How to describe David Tollmann? In any other setting, he would be described as extroverted, restless, and all over the place. But in this setting, he is simply an artist. You can see from what he says and how he acts that art is more than his way to make money. He breathes and lives art. “I’m seeking to create a painting that makes people react in amazement. I’m trying to improve my skills so I can transport what I have in my head unto the canvas. I want to create goosebumps in people,” he says to me as I admire one of his latest creations.

You soon come to notice the tension he lives in. “I’m searching for a bigger meaning. When I was young, painting was like being a child on Christmas morning. I have a raw wooden plate here. To turn that piece of wood with nothing on it into something with meaning, with your hands, that’s amazing!” He is in search of that feeling; that excitement he had as a child. With the politics of the art industry, you can see that at times he is not completely at ease with his work. “I called a big gallery for the opportunity to have an exhibition. They thought my work was good and showed eagerness to work with me. Then they asked about my educational background. I told them I’m self-taught. They said they could not work with me because I don’t have a piece of paper. When you have no master degree or education, then you have no value.” In spite of those criticisms, there is still a bit of that child-like innocence in his aspirations within the art world. “I want to be immortal. I want what I do and what I’ve done to last longer than I do. I want to be immortal with my art.”

I want to understand why Tollmann chose art as his life purpose, so I ask him about his beginnings. “I was born into a dynasty of artists. My father is an internationally recognized artist and my grandfather even worked alongside Pablo Picasso. In my youth, I pursued other passions, though. I worked in gastronomy. Did an apprenticeship as a cook. I had a start-up as an event organizer. I organized parties. I did so many things. Then I moved to Hannover. I had time to think about what I wanted to do. It was during this time that I started painting in my apartment. Over time I created my own workspace. After my first exhibition, I quit my job and started painting full-time.”

His latest obsession is with faces. “I like painting faces. The most convincing way to transport expressions is through faces. When you watch someone’s face you can read so much information. I acquired the ability to paint clearer, fine and intricate eyes, face lines and emotions. The expression is deeper.” Particularly in the eyes, you notice the detail and effort he makes to transmit his vision into these paintings. It is as though the paintings have a life of their own. You almost feel like you could ask it a question, and it would respond.

Who are you inspired by is my next question. “I’m inspired by Picasso. I have him on my leg. Picasso said, ‘if I knew what art is, I would keep it to myself.’ Art doesn’t need to make sense in a realistic way. Eyebrows can be placed wherever you want. I love children’s paintings because for a child an apple doesn’t have to be round. It can be square or triangular, and that’s perfectly fine.” It is this type of thinking that distinguishes him from others, but it is also why he is often misunderstood. “People think I’m crazy. Non-creative people don’t understand my life. They want me to adapt to their way of thinking and living.”

That discussion leads us to the topic of money and its role in his life. “Just having money doesn’t make us happy. Don’t take it so seriously. I don’t want to look at my life and say ‘I’m old and I have money but I have no health.’ For the moment I just want to enjoy. If you have security then you lose your passion. You don’t know why you do what you do. When I have money I spend it. It’s arrogant to say, but I don’t need money. I don’t care about money.” Some people may take exception to that statement, but he clearly lives it out. His attire is comprised of a black sweater, black pants, and no name black shoes. At one point he mentions that his cell phone contract is about to be canceled because he hasn’t paid his bill, and he hardly shows any care. “If I could,” he says, “I would live in this studio and sleep on the couch.”

As we prepare to say our goodbyes he mentions, “I won’t sell one of my paintings to someone who doesn’t love what I do. I’m not interested in the money. The money is a bonus. I just want them to love the painting. Art needs to have a value but it’s not why I paint. The money I make I reinvest in my painting materials. To be an artist is lonely and expensive.” With this in mind, we say goodbye and bis bald.

David Tollmann
http://davidtollmann.de/
Hannover, GERMANY


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