Christoph Niemann is an illustrator, graphic designer, and children’s book author.
Since July 2008, Niemann has been writing and illustrating The New York Times blog Abstract City, renamed Abstract Sunday in 2011, when the blog moved to The New York Times Magazine.
The documentary starts off with his quest to design a new The New Yorkers cover. In the video, he has his own personalized workspace. Anything that comforts his mind is there. His workspace is all about him, him and him. He says that abstract art is the most important form of art, according to him. It is to master the technique of starting without jumbled thoughts and getting rid of anything unessential and irrelevant in making a point.
He says that his worst critic yet was his Art Professor- Heinz Edelmann and his method of teaching was not by encouragement. Niemann confesses that art is not to be simple, each idea requires specificity. The New Yorkers monthly covers had no relation to the contents inside. He realizes that he has to think of something out of the box.
He starts by working on a virtual reality cover. He expresses that he like to take examples from real life. He starts to draw his inspiration from the NY Subways. He tells that he is pretty fond of New York because people understood his work. His style was based on cultural experiences. Everyone was intrigued by his work.
When he was new to NY, he tried various methods to find his creative streak. He tried sitting at a cafe that overlooked busy streets and busier people but it made him lose focus and it had no impact on his work.
So he concludes that him as a person loved interacting with the city but him as an artist liked solitude. He stresses on the fact that artists have to comprehend that both realities are different.
He has taken time over the years to figure out his strengths and weaknesses.He’s observed that he usually feels grumpy when working for an outcome that has ended in success. So, when he feels joy and peace, he feels suspicious aboutt how the outcome will turn up.
He truly believes that inspiration requires going out of your comfort zone.
The best art that is created is when the artists and the viewers’ perspectives match. But a big problem with this routine is to always reinvent storytelling with new viewers. He overcame this obstacle by creating Sunday Sketches, where he did unplanned and instinctive art.
This way, by evaluating his every work as an artist and his methods to achieve the desired result, he produced something that was ingenious ! His The New Yorker cover consisted of the front and back view of a woman entering a subway train and the digital art that went with it showed different perspectives of New York’s standard places which the residents as well as the viewers could relate to. His work ethics paid off !