Meersburg: How artist Bernd Kirschner made it from China by studying design

How is life as an artist? What are the benefits of being a freelancer? What fear drives him? These and other questions were asked by design students at the Bodensecreys Art School in Mirsburg to Bernd Kirsner, an artist living in Constance. In 1999, Kirschner himself completed his initial study directly in the bright room of the lake.

Learn strengths and weaknesses

“Early studies helped me a lot then,” said the artist, who has already exhibited internationally in China, France and Hungary. “After graduating from high school and serving the community, I knew I wanted to do something creative, but I was still very stupid,” he admits with a smile. He actually wanted to study graphic design, but during his early studies he realized that painting was more suitable for him. During that time, he learned his strengths and weaknesses. “It gave me structure.”

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The industry chose to be free

One student of the current year asked if he was now able to make a living from his industry or if he had to take a part-time job first. Kirschner frankly explained that he was also very lucky. At the end of his studies at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart, he had a successful final exhibition and the first galleries noticed him. “It simply came to our notice then. In fact, he doesn’t really want to talk about money. “I did not choose art to be rich, but to be independent.”

A statement that prompted another student to ask: “How do you deal with freedom and are you really free when you work in the gallery?” Winners of a number of awards, two Academy Awards, and a number of grants have responded that independence also brings danger. He knows artists who only used to party. A lot of self-discipline is needed, he said, and “you have to learn to work independently.”

Artist Bernd Kirschner (standing to the right) tells design students at Bodenseekreis Art School in Meersburg ...

Artist Bernd Kirsner (standing to the right) talks about his life to design students at the Bodensecreys Art School in Myersburg. | Photo: Lorna Kom

The gallery expects continuity and reliability

If you want to work with the gallery in the long run, you need to consistently do well and meet the exhibition deadlines. But he can still organize the day independently and decide on his own time and work. When asked, the painter, who mainly works with oils and acrylic paints, replies that there is frustration, as well as “none of the stages feel like it”. Then self-discipline is needed to get out of the crisis. It’s important for him to enjoy his work, “because you are good at what you enjoy,” he said.

Kirschner also enjoyed passing his experience. He has worked as a guest lecturer at art schools in Huangzhou and Mirsburg, China. “It gives you a nice feeling when you see your students progress,” says the new dad.

Lecturer Davar Lubisik, who was one of his teachers at the time and still teaches at the art school, confirmed that Kirsner was well received by students as a lecturer. He is not that “scholar”. When asked if he was proud of his former student, Lubisik replied that he did not deserve to be. “He did it himself,” explains the artist, who also lives in Constance.

Alumni prove to be an inspiration

Kirsner’s entertaining discourse, including an account of his position in Asia, was well received by young students. Konstantin Klaus says it’s great to see Kirsner down-to-earth. Otherwise, Ostracher says, many artists quickly became arrogant, but Kirschner seemed too humane to him. For himself, he took with him that it could also work for a living from the industry. “My personal motivation for doing more has increased,” said the student, adding: “He has inspired me.”

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The director of the art school, Anna Blank, confirmed that the newly introduced series of discussions with artists and alumni of the preparatory course was well received by the participants in the preparatory course. He reports at a Zoom conference with former Meersburg graduates who are now studying at Stuttgart Design Academy. “They asked their questions,” Blank says happily.

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