Did you ever wonder, what type of pretty human is behind our colorful artwork? Well here is the answer, and she is called by the name Monja Gentschow. Monja is a Berlin based artist, who studied Visual Communication at the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee and the Universität der Künste. She is in charge of her very own watercolour-manufacture (monifactory) over at one of Germanys most popular art- and designblogs ignant and crafts the entire artwork of the Berlin Techno label keinemusik. Amongst a million other projects. We are very grateful for the work she did for our blog! Read here how Albrecht Dürer got Monja into painting and why she thinks Berlin street art is overrated. Whoop whoop!
PDC: Hi Moni, you have the most amazing clothing style, what do you have to say for yourself?
Monja: Haha. I noticed, it’s always a pretty wild mixture of: one very cheap thing that I found on sale or second hand, one piece that somebody gave me or traded with me, one that I had to save money for and one from my mother/father/sister/boyfriend. My range of colors is selected pretty intuitionally, I kind of transfer my mood on my clothes. Happy patterns on sunny days, weird motives on strange days, grey colours when bored, red colors when there’s a chance of blushing and so on.
PDC: When did you start to make art and how?
Monja: I guess I have to go with the very Klischée response: before I started thinking. And probably like every little child with thick colorful crayons.
PDC: Tell us about your artsy education…
Monja: In the beginning it was autodidactic since nobody in my family had the urge to draw. My parents gave me many art books and I started copying pictures I liked. The first pretty realistic copy was a portrait of Albrecht Dürers mother, when I was eleven. That’s when I decided to become a painter or something close to that when I am grown-up. In school I concentrated on art class and after my diploma and a year of traveling I started studying Communication Design at the Kunsthochschule Weißensee, where I will get my Diploma hopefully soon, when I find the time to get started.
PDC: You say about yourself that you are a “desartist”, what do you mean by that?
Monja: That was a description that I found for myself when I wasn’t sure if I am an artist or a designer. Or close to a disaster haha. Today I don’t see the necessity to chose. I guess I am something in-between or both at the same time.
PDC: What inspires you most?
Monja: That changes a lot from time to time. But I am always amused and inspired by humor, word gambling, surface textures and color scheming.
PDC: You created the whole label artwork of the Berlin Techno label keinemusik. What do you enjoy most about your work for them?
Monja: I really like that we don’t work for each other but with each other from the first minute on. It’s always a lot of fun to find the cover motives. We send many mails of ideas and moodboards back and forth, then they get tons of drafts from me, tell me what they like, I draw a next round and so on. It’s also nice that we’ve already worked together for so long. It’s good to see how our output became more confident and mature. And also really funny to see and hear the very early attempts.
PDC: Tell us about your 3 favourite projects in the past?
Monja: I designed a little shirt collection for the label UCON. The prints came out really nice, they look like I actually drew on the shirt. They will be released in autumn. A job that was and still is really fun, is the CI for the bike rental “Hello World”. I am a big racing biker myself, and Sdoe who owns the shop is one of the nicest persons to work with with a sure taste for style. The artwork for the booklet of Prinz Pi’s album “Kompass ohne Norden” was really fun too.
PDC: You are the essence of a Berlin insider; any places you recommend where you love to hang out?
Monja: The “Hasenschenke” in the middle of the park “Hasenheide” has the best Bockwurst in town. It’s not a place of absolute beauty but has it’s very own charm. For food I love to go to the backyard of “3 Schwestern”- a restaurant located in the “Künstlerhaus Bethanien”.
PDC: What do you think of the Berlin art scene?
Monja: I think that I should know more about it. And that there should be less talking about street and urban art.
PDC: If you could move to another city or place just like that, which one would it be and why?
Monja: I really don’t know. I just know that I wouldn’t choose New York, London or Paris. I still have to find that place that can keep up with Berlin.
PDC: What is your wish for the future?
Many thanks for the interview dear Moni!