Monday, 22 November 2010

Studio visit to Olaf Hajek and Martin Haake

We have just returned from a great trip to Berlin - even in the rain! We packed a lot in to the 5 days. First stop was a visit to Olaf Hajek's studio. Olaf was very welcoming and made room for the 12 or so students who appeared on his doorstep. He let his riffle through his book collection, talked about his career, the industry and how he firmly rejects working digitally. He finds that there is so much work being produced digitally, he feels that the work is "too much the tool". He talked to the group about how he has to explain his working process to clients who sometimes don't understand how long it takes to produce his images using traditional techniques. The studio was filled with brushes, inks, paints and reference books. Olaf exhibits his wonderful paintings as well as working as a commercial illustrator. He feels that he has been able to sustain his career as he has stayed true to himself and while at one time thought that his work would be deemed old fashioned as it was not produced using digital media, he now feels this is his strength and one of the reasons why clients like his work.

We learnt that he shared the studio space with Martin Haake (one of my hero's!), who then arrived and I nearly fell over. Martin had just returned doing a talk at a college in the UK, so did not mind casually showing us the presentation that he had put together for this. In contrast Martin had let his work develop naturally with digital processes. He found the advantages were that it made his work more flexible and he could make changes for clients. Thankyou to Olaf and Martin for letting us be so nosey!

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