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Katrin Eismann  –  photographer and digital artist
Click for larger image " As I look to the outside world, I am really looking within myself, and as I look within myself, I see the Universe. "
How were you motivated to choose your particular field?
  I have always tried to understand where and how I fit into the Universe. When I was young I was very interested in biology and nature. As I studied evolution and ecology I was learning how we all fit into the scheme of life and how each one of us is a complete microcosm within the Universe. Being an artist allows me to investigate, experience, and express how and where I fit into the scheme of life. As I look to the outside world, I am really looking within myself, and as I look within myself, I see the Universe. Most importantly, art allows me to investigate the world around me. When I have a camera in hand I am an explorer – discovering unseen worlds so that I can understand them and myself better.   Click for larger image
What can you share about your creative process?
    Enduring art speaks to the human condition with emotional honesty and clarity. As a practicing artist it is difficult to recognize if my images are or will be of any enduring value. Art is successful if it stimulates a reaction or discussion within the viewer. This catalyst–reaction process enables art to exist long after the paper has crumbled away or the musical score has faded into silence. The most important art takes place in our minds and I hope my images spark a discourse within the viewer about their relationship to the Universe.

My creative image–making process involves curiosity, conceptualizing, creating, and sharing the final work. Curiosity is the inspiration, the spark that starts the art process and keeps me interested in life. My curiosity can be piqued by a random sunbeam striking a rusty surface, even a tidbit on the news that reveals a side of world events I had not understood before. Conceptualizing an idea or previsualizing the image gives me the framework to make decisions about an image. I have to understand what the image is about before I can select the best tools and techniques to express the idea.

Creating the image allows me to work with both my hands and my mind. I actively seek out image elements that will be part of the image and then I turn my mind off and let my hands and experience take over to create the image. In the pauses I carefully study the image to listen and learn from it every image teaches me about myself and where I am at a certain point in time and space. Sharing the work allows the viewer to see, think about, and discuss how I see and interpret the world. A romantic concept at best but it still reflects the very reason that I became an image–maker the less isolated we all are from one another the better chance we have to live peacefully with one another.

What ideas do you have for a future human community on Mars?
  Good art addresses the relationship of the artist to the times and world they work in. The challenge to working on Mars will require the artists to venture forth and create art in a New World where previous experiences and images are simply memories. The challenge will be to find meaning in an environment that we have only observed from a great distance. Like ancient cave drawings the first marks we make on Mars will be the artifacts and legacy for generations to come. We must look farther and closer than the most powerful telescope has allowed, we must establish our own perspective that will come only from our direct intellectual, emotional and physical relationship with a new planet.  
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