The second one in our talks series - Mona Osterkamp, also known as the "Wizard of Gifs". Art Director of Berlin-based jewellery brand Jukserei & a graphic designer in one person. With tracks that Mona is listening to while cycling through the busy streets of Berlin. If you ever wondered what kind of music an Art Director with impeccable taste would listen to in the past month, then this is it.
How did your love story with Berlin start?
Mona Osterkamp: Purely by chance. After living in Hamburg for many years, with 6 marvellous months in Copenhagen in between, I decided it was time for a change. I applied for jobs all over Europe and spontaneously got one in Berlin. At first, I wasn’t too keen about moving to Berlin–I never really understood the hype–and it took me around a year to truly feel at home here. At the moment I can’t really picture myself in any other city though, at least not in Germany (I still have this vague dream of living in Paris, Marseille or New York one day, if only for a few months). But I really enjoy living in a city like Berlin, buzzing with life and culture, that offers so many possibilities and freedom. At the same time, it can also be quite tough sometimes. I would call it an ongoing love-hate relationship.
Tom àdam: What’s your morning routine?
Mona: As a true Pisces, I need a lot of sleep. Meaning I usually don’t have a lot of time in the morning, at least during the week. I get up, get ready, have a sip of juice (currently orange-carrot-ginger, you gotta stay healthy) and hop on my bike to go to work where I most often have breakfast since we get a delicious bread delivery from Albatross Bakery every week. On the weekends I take a lot more time: staying in my pyjama all morning, having breakfast on the sofa and preferably reading a few pages in my cozy new armchair before getting ready to start the day.
Tom àdam: What’s on your reading list at the moment?
Mona: Walk Through Walls by Marina Abramovic. I didn’t know too much about her before and am also not a huge performance art fan but I came across an interview with her in a podcast and got immediately fascinated. The book is an honest and captivating look into her life: from her upbringing in Serbia, her work over the years to her personal relationships which are deeply connected to her art. It gives you a good and meaningful insight into her approach to art, pain and spirituality. Next up, I would like to read another book by Patti Smith. I binge-read Just Kids earlier this summer and genuinely loved it.
"On the weekends I take a lot more time: staying in my pyjama all morning, having breakfast on the sofa and preferably reading a few pages in my cozy new armchair before getting ready to start the day."
Tom àdam: How important to you are the clothes that you wear?
Mona: To me, fashion is about belonging. The clothes I wear should emphasize who I am, how I define myself or rather express who I want to be. Whether it is related to a certain (sub) culture, personal values or simply a representation of taste or lifestyle in that current time. The right clothes also help me to feel confident and comfortable in my own skin. Of course, it’s not only a matter of clothes but it can play a part.
Tom àdam: How did you come across shooting on film??
Mona: At first, it started mostly as a fun way to capture moments with friends. I often bought disposable cameras and took pictures of certain events. I was always drawn to photography but quickly realized during my studies, that I had no interest and endurance to become a professional photographer. So when I got my first analog camera (a birthday present by my boyfriend at that time), I slowly started getting more into it again. Film allows me to focus on a certain moment, light, colors, a gesture–it’s about capturing an atmosphere. And as often in life: sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But I’m usually amazed at how well most images turn out. There’s just certain magic when you shoot on film.
Tom àdam: How important is creative freedom in your work?
Mona: Highly important. As a designer, your job is to find individual ways to visualize or express things creatively but of course, there are many ways to get there and do so. Creative freedom means to me that the other person trusts and values my work but it doesn’t mean that there’s no room for input. Being able to exchange and discuss ideas in a respectful manner is equally important for me.
Tom àdam: If you have to choose one typeface that would be you. What’s your pick and why?
Mona: That’s a tough one. There’s always typefaces that you like more than others or that you’re using frequently at a time, even though I always try to discover something new. I can’t really pick one specifically that loudly screams Mona but I’d say in general, it might be a contemporary Serif with some soft details.
Tom àdam: What comes to your mind when you see and wear tom ádam?
Mona: Sophisticated leisureliness and nonchalance with a good conscience.