Name: Julia Bahlsen
Origin: Hannover, Germany
City: New York, USA
Education: Currently studying Photography as a BFA at Parsons The New School for Design, New York.
Why do you do what you do?
I love the buzz that I get from creating something new, something that stimulates and intrigues. Seeing the image that I was aiming for come to life is true excitement for me.
Could you describe your style and how it developed?
I wouldn’t say that I have a definite style just yet. It’s quite an educating process, I’m testing the waters in all kinds of directions, always determining if what I’m doing feels right or not, and taking orientation from that. At the moment I shoot a lot of very clean and pure black and white images with little deterring the viewer from the subject.
Where do you get inspiration from?
I moved to New York a year ago and it’s a constant form of inspiration, both in what excites me and what I dislike. Assisting other photographers is a great form of education of what’s possible technically and creatively, and in the wider art world the people I can connect with both off- and online are a continuous source of ideas.
What is the best part about working within the creative industries?
The people and freedom – everyone is constantly re-defining themselves and their creative output. The possibilities for collaborations are endless.
What do you wish you knew about your business before you got started?
To always be prepared, no matter where you are, to meet someone who can
further your career. It’s all about being open to whomever you might come across. I met the editor-in-chief/manager of PLATEA at a Halloween party and now I work for him– what are the chances?
Has your style develop/change over the time being active?
I’m at the start of my career so my aesthetic and the way I perceive sights around me has changed drastically, which can be seen very clearly when scrolling through my blog back in time. I hope that it will continue to change and eventually morph into who I really am as a photographer.
Who would you like to work with?
Photographers: Inez & Vinoodh, Patrick Demarchelier, Giampaolo Scura Models: Candice Swanepoel, Daria Werbowy, Liu Wen, Karlie Kloss, Lindsey Wixson
What is your idea of success?
In a way it would be to have reached a point at which I am confident in what I do, as well as where my work is recognized and published. However, is there really a point where one is completely satisfied with one’s work? Every lesson we take from work, in combination with the motivation to do better, is what pushes us forward; if we were more than happy with what we create, we would stop innovating and just repeat ourselves. So to me, success is a relative term that should be acknowledged, but which you should not rest upon.
Is there a message that you are trying to portray through your work?
Through my photographs I want to make the world focus and refocus, until it might recognize that small moment’s uniqueness or beauty.
Do you believe it is important to raise artistic awareness in your country?
Coming from Germany, I believe that a very strong art scene already exists and is rising, especially in Berlin; however this should be spread across the whole country, as I believe that artistic awareness does not just involve looking at something pretty, but it activates part of your brain that can help stimulate ideas in whatever field you work in. Therefore it’s a win-win.
In your opinion, how important is it to culturally educate through art?
Art is a defining part of a community, country or city’s culture. Especially in a country like Germany we place immense value on technical or engineering careers, and art students are often seen as the ‘drop outs’. I passionately disagree with this view: those challenging what he have now and what we are progressing towards, those questioning again and again, looking behind the scenes, asking questions- those individuals come from the art world. My friends in the classic German courses are studying huge amounts of information, and have scarily
elaborate tests to prepare for, definitely. But me? My course teaches me to think for myself, to look closer time upon time, to free myself enough from conventional constraints to truly form my own opinion. From my point of view anyone, may it be an art, in engineering, a medical student, benefits from education through art.