Your secret to keeping a work-life balance: Travel. Nature does really draw my attention, so I try and go to far away places where I can firstly relax and secondly be inspired. I like to seek out new destinations with a reason in mind, so my next trip is to Puerto Rico and Costa Rica – I sought out the most bioluminescent places in the world. For me, it’s about exploration and experiencing something completely different to what I’m accustomed to.
Your creative process is… Quick. Each job with Tim is different – we normally start with his idea and then I’ll research the story and it ends up being quite an organic process. On the day of a shoot, it comes together and I think that’s what gives it its believability – if you spend too long agonising over an idea then it starts to feel staged; our trick is to try and make it feel as real as possible. I used to be a lot more methodical, the German in me, but now I’ve learnt to be more spontaneous. You never quite know what’s going to happen in a day, and I love that. There are no rules and it is very experimental work, I've had to teach myself a lot. It's about tricking, smoke and mirrors, that’s what gives a picture its magic.
You have a great appreciation of colour: And yet I find colour quite terrifying! I try and keep my work looking quite feminine but still with an edge. I’m always fighting that idea, I don’t want things to be too cute or too girly, it’s a fine line. For inspiration, I don’t normally dwell too much on things that are of the moment; I don’t look at fashion shoots. I usually go quite far back and research surrealist paintings or old films because they have a lot of charm about them.
Looking back, what has been your greatest challenge? It’s all been a huge challenge – starting a business, running a team – but probably the most difficult aspect is constantly looking for new ways to be creative, to not repeat yourself, to always try and push the boundaries. When I worked on the windows for Hermès, I spent two weeks researching it only to discover that pretty much everything has been done. Ultimately, we hope to surprise people and that can be tricky – you want people to have a reaction when they see your work, whether something is incredibly beautiful or a bit uncomfortable, the whole point is to get that reaction. That’s the fun of it, too, and probably one of the main reasons why I love working with Tim. There’s definitely an element of humour in what we do together.