Johanna is a young artist and textile designer from Straßbourg / France. She arrived in Berlin with the nighttrain from Zürich /Switzerland in May 2011. “It was fucking cold on that first morning in the city” she says.
You could have moved anywhere in the world. Why Berlin?
I visited Berlin a couple of times in my holidays and I always liked the atmosphere. Time passing, I realized that I didn’t want to be a visitor anymore but really like to live here, and I also liked the idea of being a tourist in France! Berlin is also close to my native country, so I can still visit my family and friends back there when I feel like doing it! Besides that I speak German which helps me alot.
So what are you doing here?
First of all I am working as a freelance textile designer and illustrator, selling my work in my online shop Supermarket as well as in places you can step in around the world. I spend a lot of my time drawing, painting, reading, sticking, sewing, weaving, taking photographs, walking though the city with friends. I’m also posting daily about things that caught my interest and share my photographs on my Blog Bonjour Johanna. I’m also learning Japanese and consider going back to studies, the Visual Art of Africa program offered by the FU looks pretty interesting to me. And last but not least, two days a week I work in the lovely café Marketta in Mitte!
What do you like most about Berlin?
Berlin is full of space, I rarely bump into someone, you can’t say that about Paris! For me a very nice point is also that it is still affordable. If you work creativly you need a lot of space and I can find that here. I could never afford this in France. But for me affordable also means to have the possibility to go out and have a hot chocolate and a slice of cake somewhere without paying 10 Euros. The city is really green which means a lot to me, the people are often more open minded than in France.… well you got it a lot of good points!
What is your favorite neighborhood?
I just moved to the Schillerkiez in Neukölln. I love that the Tempelhof field is right around the corner. It feels like you are in a holiday somehow. I also like that it’s such mixed neighborhood. There are not just German or European, but people from all over the world that live together in this area.
Do you think that Berlin is a multicultural city?
Of course! In France, I met a lot of people who just arrived from oversea countries when I was a Fine Art School Student, but it was almost the only place where I met them. Here I have so friends from all over the world, and I enjoy hearing and learning about so many different cultures, sometimes I feel like traveling while just staying in Berlin.