We had the good fortune of connecting with Claudia Six and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Claudia, what do you want your legacy to be?
I want to be remembered for the world that I created and for the comfort that it gave. Since I started working creatively I always thought of myself as an escape artist and my biggest hope is that I create something of value for other people. A place where they like to follow me to and creatures that somehow touch them, make them feel something. Of course I started doing what I do out of my own need to escape and out of my own motivations to somehow manifest my imaginary worlds and imaginary friends. But in the end I still would hope that what I create is a place for a lot of people to go. A world that is surreal and irritating but is also welcoming and magical. I also would love if people would remember the empathy that came with this world. The empathy that you need to have in order to feel that my creations are alive, in order to relate to an inanimate object and I would wish that this empathy somehow bled through into our real world. I, for example, love watching the little things; small animals, birds and insects and all. Things that a lot of people simply overlook. I have total empathy for those small beings. This actually is how I create my world and creatures. Out of that enthusiasm and empathy for creatures that are normally not really seen or well respected. I do call my creations imaginary but really they are just shadows of all the little and big creatures in our world. And of us, in the end.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
A did have times when I said that I am a puppeteer and I soon realized that people do not expect what I am really doing when they approach my work with the word puppeteer in their mind. So I started wondering why it obviously is so hard to explain what I really do and I think it’s because of the different genres that I work in that it’s sort of complex. Coming from a background in fashion and textile design, theater, performance and fine arts it was always tough to give “my baby” a name. I have to confess that it took me a lot of time to make peace with the thought that I will always be confusing in the many different things I do. I remember when I attended the Pictoplasma Academy in Berlin (it’s an Academy for Contemporary Character Design) that I finally found some peace of mind because I found that a lot of people work with creatures and characters and that I am not the odd one out. But even there I was asked if I can know who I am when I am doing so many different things. And to be honest; for the longest time I didn’t know who I was and it took a lot of energy and effort to keep going exactly the way I did. Because I could see that people in fine arts would place my work into the performance corner. In the theater world they would place me into the fine arts corner. And this is ongoing but I got used to it. It doesn’t scare me anymore. On the contrary; i even have the feeling that it’s my strength that I work so many different mediums, not my weakness. I think that was a lesson to learn. To be ok with it that people won’t understand what I am doing right away. But I think the right people will always be attracted by what you do, one way or another.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I think we are talking L.A here and i’ve never been to L.A. Sadly! I would love to visit and i want to check out all the exciting places i read about here. But i do live in Vienna and i would be happy to tell people about my favorite places here but i don’t think that Vienna favorites are interesting? If so, let me know! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
As strange as this might sound, I think Stephen King deserves a little credit in my creative story and also, very much so, Spike Jonze. Let me explain; I grew up being terrified by the movies that were made out of Stephen King’s books and I think (as bad as most of these movies were) they still kind of gave me the feeling that there is another world existing right next to ours and that there are creatures and entities that can come and visit. Sometimes they are good, sometimes they are bad. But who is to judge what’s good or bad anyways? Also Stephen King gave me valid input on how to approach creative work. I love one quote of his that says: “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” So he inspired me to work hard and to work with a lot of discipline. (I am also a huge fan of his books. They are way better than the movies!)
Spike Jonze inspired me with the bravery that he brought to his creative work. All his music videos and movies, they feel like he is really taking all the risks possible to create his visions. There actually was a time in my life where I really would have loved to be him and where I approached my day with a “What would Spike Jonze do” Attitude.