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VS CHICAGO – Russian Life Style Magazine


VS CHICAGO Russian Luxury Magazine is the primer Russian Language publication that covers all cultural and social life of Chicago and USA. Based in the Chicago area we excel in capturing the urbane metropolitan lifestyle that all Russians crave.

Interview with Martin Heine – VS CHICAGO December 2012


Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

As a child, born and raised in Porsche hometown Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, south Germany, I was always sketching weird creatures, submarines and space ships. My parents were wondering where those fantasies are coming from. With twelve, I got one of those oil color beginners sets, and soon, the first painting “Origin of life” was on a canvas. After many friends begged me to get one of my paintings, I sold my very first creation. The passion for art was inflamed! But I also had another big hobby: Electronic components and to build little radios, flashing lights and playing with sensors, Lasers and all kinds of other electronic stuff. After a 3 years apprenticeship at the Electronic Lab of University Stuttgart, I started to study electrical engineering in Reutlingen Germany, and moved the the United States soon after graduation, where I ended up as an industrial design engineer, mainly in Automotive and Medical Equipment. To combine Art and Technology was always my dream. I believe art needs a purpose, rather than just to be pretty. And technical devices on the other side fulfill a purpose, but most are ugly and uneasy to use. The combination of both is the key I always thought – and still do! However, today, I sell more paintings on canvas than industrial designs, and my those are exhibited, displayed and hanging on walls in the US, Dubai, Ireland, Italy,  and Germany…  In public popularity, fun and satisfaction, art and design definitely wins over technology for me!

If there is one thing that would sum up your advice to those who want to be famous, what would it be?

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.

Mark Twain, Letter to Mrs Foote, Dec. 2, 1887

Become an Icon! Market your art! Be seen! Be creative – not just on the canvas! Create as much art as possible. Be recognizable! And don’t store your paintings in the basement or in the garage! – rather hang it at some public walls, even for free. Cooperate with known companies and become a part of their advertisement or send some of your art to a charity, while making sure somebody writes about it!  And if you are inpatient and want to become famous quicker: Create a scandal! Get naked and squeeze yourself in between two glass sheets, surrounded by a wooden frame and hang from a crane like this right on top of times square! Write with big letters ‘living artspace’ on that crane! The police will come and take you down! They will let you go later, because you are just a ‘poor crazy artist’ 😉 But it will be filmed by lots of reporters and ‘living artspace’ will be all over the News ;). Regardless of whatever you do, never give up! Most time, you don’t see any success at all, you don’t see anybody looking at your art, and sometimes, not even one single friend of your 1153 Facebook friends releases  a ‘like’ after you uploaded one of your paintings. Don’t get disencouraged! Just keep believing in yourself (remember Mark Twain: ‘ignorance and confidence is all you need in life’) and enjoy what you are doing!

So, how do you keep your sanity in this incomprehensible, crazy world of art?

With Vodka and Mark Twain! 😉 haha Just kidding.

To be a ‘real’ artist means that you usually struggle before you become famous! No matter what! You have an exact imagination of how the wonderful world should be and you work your but off to get this over! When you start a painting, sometimes it doesn’t turn out the way you imagined. You get angry, you tare it down or you throw your paint brush against the canvas. Then you start again. You barely have enough money for living, so you need to get a ‘real’ job to be able to survive. And this makes you in saint, because you can’t do art whenever you feel creative. And then, when the weekend is finally there, time is so limited, that you get completely stressed out. Another day, you open a daily newspaper at one of those stressed out moments, and there this really bad art, which hits you right into your face: some guy throwing water bomb balloons filled with paint against a big canvas, describing how deep his art is, and that he just opened his first exhibition at some big ass bank entrance hall. And when they asked him the question how he became such a ‘famous’ artist, this guy replies: “ >> Well after I retired from work, I got bored and didn’t know what to do with my life. So I thought I go to a hobby store, buy a canvas and throw some paint on it. <<” – this is the time when you open a bottle of vodka, trying to drink some frustration away!

Unfortunately, art has nothing to do with art! Its all about public popularity. Bad ‘Hobby Artists’ are spreading out like mushrooms, and create so much noise, that its getting harder and harder to make a living with art. Those hobbyists don’t need to live on art, and pollute the art market. But a true passionate artist is depending on his work!

Do you ever think: God, I’m really lucky?

Absolutely! Every day I think like that! I am lucky that I have two hands, one holds a brush, the other one the paint. I am lucky that I have two eyes, to be able to see what I am painting, I am lucky that I have two ears to be able to listen to my favourite music while I am creating art, I am lucky to have a place to sleep, money to be able to buy canvas, oil and color pigments. I am lucky that I have the opportunity to do this interview! The only thing I haven’t had luck so far is to find the love of my life. But maybe it is the passion of art, through which I am able to receive the love of the universe now – with everybody in it. What a powerful love is that? !  God, I’m really lucky!

What’s is your greatest attribute?

To accept myself, to love my life and forgive others. To realize, that – compared to others – my life is not really that bad at all, like I always thought in the past. When I was younger, I always believed,  that I am so off with so many things. Why couldn’t I be just like this cool business man with his shiny car! Like this actor laying at his pool! Like Salvador Dali with his weird look, or like Albert Einstein with his Relativity theory. They all seem to represent that perfect icon! They all are known for this one thing of what they did or do. I on the other side – full of energy to explore it all, I always felt like being all and nothing. Yes – I can paint very pretty pictures, but unfortunately I have to go to work to make a living. So I thought I am not a real artist! Ok then, maybe I am becoming a scientist. But I was very different than all those ‘scientists’ Ok then… maybe I am … hm… a … musician…. Today I am me! And I love it! Just the way I am. Life is beautiful. I never ever want to be someone else! I found myself. People see me threw my art! My art is is the window to my soul. I don’t have to explain anymore. My paintings became my icon. My channel of communication. I am not  jealous anymore, not angry, no judgemental, not afraid! I found that deep true satisfaction of being one with yourself and the universe.

What’s is your greatest fault?

I fail in business. I am way to idealistic and naive. I love to just be, to let myself fall into color and shapes. I trust all people and believe in the good mind of them. I fail to say ‘no’. I sign contracts which bring me in disadvantages. I just want to love and be loved, do art and live in harmony without bureaucracy, bookkeeping, bills and invoices. Money is noting else than a constantly flowing virtual value, which I am not focused on as the subject. Money buys materials, like brush canvas and paint, but the painting has a different value than the materials its made of. I don’t pay bills on time, because I simply forget time. What is ‘time’ anyways? And why exactly do we all rush somewhere?

What suffers more – the professional or personal?

Definitely the professional what suffers! What is the definition of ‘professional’ anyways? Is there really such a thing like ‘professional art’ ? How can creativity be professional? Art is always personal! Art is emotion. Professional emotion? I don’t think so!

What do you think is the secret to success?

Don’t just have ideas only – you have to actually do it! And you have to do it all! Regardless of what other people are saying! Whatever you do, you always will meet people, who will tell you that there is no way you can succeed! Ignore it! My father was one of the worst. All my crazy ideas I passionately presented to him where mostly turned down. He encouraged me to go to collage and to learn a real job. Well – I did, and in the same time, I still had all confidence in my ideas, and I swore, that one day, I will proof to him, that I can be successful in whatever I was dreaming about. Always turn a disadvantage into an opportunity! Maybe this kept me going after all. Dance like nobody is watching! Never give up! Believe in your dreams and live your dream! And what ever you live – this is what you are! Don’t think: ‘One day I am going to be successful’ Rather realize: I am successful right now! You actually are! You are just not aware of it.

Where do you find great talent?

Great talent you find everywhere. But people are mostly not aware of their talents and don’t believe in themselves. They just can’t break out of their worlds, but looking up at those, who express their talents, saying: I can never do this. ‘Yes, you can!’. Not everyone can paint, but some can play an instrument, or love to count numbers. However, most people don’t do for living, what their talents are.  Why?

What most important do you search in people?

Authenticity and people who achieve and live their dreams! People who are relaxed and in balance with themselves, with deepest satisfaction in exploring, creating, building. And people who are loving and have moral!

Tell us about projects that you working now

Top secret of course! *smile*. Well – I was getting more and more requests for living artspace tatoo designs. So I am currently working on Living Artspace Tatoo design concepts. The first tatoo is actually on skin already and more will follow. The fashion industry is starting to call as well. So together with my management, we are working on concepts here as well. But it is to early to disclose any details. Just be surprised! A lot of cool stuff will come soon!

What are you reading now?

VS Chicago of course! And whenever I don’t read VS Chicago, I love to read Eckhard Tolle, Joseph Murphy and Dan Brown. I recently discovered, that a traffic jam is way eaysier to overcome with a good book in the car, than without. This is usually the time I read.

What are you looking forward to?

There is always something to look forward too! When I am in my studio in Stuttgart, I look forward to my house in the mountains. When I am in the mountains, I look forward to the City Stuttgart. I think it is one of the most important to be able to look forward to something. And one of the worst, if you have something coming up you hate, like a dentist appointment. So always find something to look forward too and life will be much or fun! In the long term, I do look forward to a cute little house somewhere in northern Italy. I already started to look.

What the best advice you ever got?

I have not only one, but three most best advices I ever got. Besides my ultimate favourite of all the advices I ever got, which I mentioned it earlier: >> “ All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence ; then success is sure. “ << is: “ >> Always try turn a disadvantage into an opportunity << “ and “ >> don’t dream about your life, live your dream! <<”

To be able to live your dream, which gives you an ultimate in satisfaction, you need to be ignorant (don’t take anything personal, don’t try to live other peoples lives) and self-confident (believe in yourself and just do it) and you need to move forward positively and try to find usefull step-stones in every act of life, even those you think are useless or wasted.

What’s your professional mantra?

“The Brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all” This is written on the back cover of Richard Branson’s book ‘Business Stripped Bare’. Art is business unfortunately! Art is the engine and business is the gas to run it. Without gas, engine will not run. And without an engine, gas alone will not be able to move you. And if you are afraid to put gas into the engine (it might blow up) everything is senseless. With cautious, there would be no airplanes, no rockets, no cars, no buildings, no hot showers in the morning. The braves where the ones, who where ignorant and self confident ignoring all warnings, and just did it. Art is an adventure, just like a ride in balloon. And to reach the place in our world where you want to get, you need to gas up your engine.

What are your goals?

There is nothing more rewarding than to see your work being out there, recognized and loved. My next goal is to see the Living Artspace logo on T-shirts, coats and jackets. To generate this hype, a movement, where old design ideas are being replaced with new ones. Today, the definition of satisfactionary success is not measured by the balance of your bank account anymore, but by the level of public popularity. We all want to be a part of this world. Loved and recognized by the society of this planet earth and beyond.


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