Buy my magazine “Pools – comics, writings, personality tests”

My magazine „pools – comics, writings and personality tests“ is out now. 

You can order it by contacting me: ingridwenzel.de/kontakt/

It’s 28 pages. color print. english. 14,8 x 21cm.  12 Euro including shipping. It’s full of fun, jokes, stories, comics and other pool related stuff. I even drew my own advertisement in it and you can check out two personality tests.

I also made this video to show the work in progress.

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ingrid wenzel pools magazine

Los Angeles

In December I went on a field trip to Los Angeles and Northern California. I worked on stand-up notes, an illustrated diary (coming) and took these five photos that I (obviously) edited. While you are looking at them, why not think about seeing me live?

For example January 31th at Zinnschmelze Hamburg (Hamburger Comedy Pokal)!

In Bielefeld on February 22nd (Bielefelder Kabarettpreis)!

March 20th & 21th at Atelier Theater Köln!

Or basically every night in Berlin.

All dates are here: https://www.ingridwenzel.de/termine/

I do have a few days where I am not booked. If you need me to host a show, do a comedy set or draw illustrations, contact me.

Or check out my portfolio: https://ingridwenzel.myportfolio.com

Love,

Ingrid

Wenzel on Venice Beach. Not in this pic: My tenosynovitis (Sehnenscheidenentzündung) – due to a translation mistake I told everyone I have ARThritis.

 

Santa Monica Train Sunset with Fine Art. Next to me sat a dad with his child who yelled “I LOVE TRAINS” and I couldn’t agree more.

 

Freeway as seen from the Getty Center. It took me 2 hours by bus to get there (would have been faster walking). I got off the wrong stop on that freeway  and a Getty employee shuttle gave me a ride (thank you).

 

Classic Los Angeles Scent. (Breathtaking view from the Getty Center)

 

This is not me (yet).

 

Golden Gate Bridge. “All streets and sights here are called sunny or golden. German street names are named after poets who died in the 30 year war.”

 

This was Christmas Day. Normal Neighborhood. This is not a miniature. This is an actual house. Note the flag on the left. 

 

Photos of the Berlin Comedy Open Mic Scene

When I perform in small rooms, I like to take photos of the other comedians with my phone. I love catching intimate moments of pure concentration, anticipation and also introspection, solitude as well as joy and tender interchanges. Before they metamorphose to onstage personas.

The moments before a performance, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, have something ritualistic, sacred to it. Comedians going over their notes look like they are praying.  Writing their new jokes on hands becomes a ceremonial tattoo. Nervously trembling back and forth looks like a walking meditation. The donation boxes taken from some apocalyptic church. 

And next to documenting the performer, the photos reveal the atmosphere of show room architecture and German interiors. Jazz cellars, East German pubs turned hipster cafes. Lastly, my goal is to document our comedy Avantgarde before we are all rich and famous (fingers crossed). Here are some snapshots I took last night at the weekly open mic Kottikomedy at Monarch, directly at Kottbusser Tor in Berlin.

Edit Sept.5: I was proud of my shots so I sent them to photographer Sergey Sanin for feedback. He edited some of them and now our church of comedy looks even more intense.

Paul Salamone (c) Ingrid Wenzel / edited by Sergey Sanin
Aurel Mertz & Thomas Kornmaier (c) Ingrid Wenzel / edited by Sergey Sanin
The donation jar (c) Ingrid Wenzel
Maria Clara Groppler (c) Ingrid Wenzel / edited by Sergey Sanin

How to make Cold Brew Coffee

When I stayed in California, I had this ritual. Every morning, I would walk up to this coffee shop, I forgot the name. I would order their iced coffee and start my day. I would take a walk, sit down on a bench, read and draw a bit under a tree, take a nap at the botanical garden and at night perform at an open mic. And then I already awaited the next day to repeat my ritual. Those were the happiest days, and they started with cold coffee. I was bewildered how they make it taste so smooth. The bitterness of coffee kept to a minimum, leaving no trace of brown coating on my tongue. Just gulping down brown, tasty water. How did these magicians do it? Today I know. It’s cold brew! It’s tastier than drinking cooled, old, bitter coffee from the day before. Today I make cold brew myself. It’s super easy! And cheaper than running to the coffee shop every morning, though I miss that ritual. That’s why I illustrated this autobiographical recipe for you from the first time I ever made it:

I refer to this first batch as the Cold Brew Disaster. From then on I never strained it as thoroughly ever again. I dump the coffee mix through a rough strainer, that’s it, and remind myself to stop drinking before I hit the viscous goo on the ground of my cup.

I drew this illustration with the app procreate. I can’t stress enough how much I love this app. I uploaded the time-lapse video of my drawing process here:

 

Animating Illustrations with After Effects

I took baby steps this month. Remember the time when your brain had to think about which foot to move where? I do, mentally, because I took an animation class. Animating a character taking step after step was hard! I’m an artist, no programmer. We follow rules only to break them. If I feel like it, I stick a pool cue in dirt and paint on a mattress. But with animation, every frame, every time cue, every movement has to be on point. You can’t conceal a computer program with a wet brush. I have so much respect for animated movies now.

I wanted to learn Adobe After Effects to elevate my .gif making skills but what I also learned was how to suppress my anger. If this had been an online course I’d be yelling at the program but I sat with other people in a class who didn’t know how lucky they were that I can contain myself.
We first started out animating a ball, which was so much harder than I could ever imagine. To keep my spirits up I gave my ball a funky face, as you can see below.
Getting deeper into the mechanics I actually had fun, because now I understand how to use it for animating my own illustrations. You can look at my experiments, my baby animation steps, right here. I’m partly embarrassed by the simplicity and at the same time so proud of them because now I know how complicated simplicity is. 

And here are some links to the program, if you are interested to check it out:
https://www.adobe.com/products/aftereffects.html (I’m just wondering why their featured gifs look so much more elaborate than mine, ha!)
https://ed.ted.com/series/?series=animation-basics (good basics!)
https://aescripts.com (more advanced stuff to see what’s possible)

The major eye roll gif above is pimped with a special jitter effect that I think is cool.
This next gif is part of a series of animations, partly taken from this After Effects tutorial:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgBo-00_GWc (I have to reduce the file size and quality, so my website won’t blow up):

 

Plus me as a fruit fly, possibly my best work of art ever:

Yes, there’s more. A classic horror story:

Okay, why not, lastly, here’s a video of a pig doing a make up tutorial when suddenly realizing they don’t need all this superficial crap to be happy:

 

 

As always, I’m happy about feedback. Do you like this? What AE tutorials did you enjoy? Which effects come in handy? Do we need more animations or do you prefer my analog drawings? I try to learn more about it now. Let’s see how long it takes until Pixar hires me, because I think my animated fruit fly is basically movie ready.

 

 

 

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Ein Beitrag geteilt von Ingrid Wenzel (@wenzelgram) am

Categories Art

RoboCup Junior at Ideenexpo 2019 in Hanover

I’m on Comedy summer break which means I have time for other tasks – yay!  These past two weeks I worked for one of the world’s biggest youth fairs: Ideenexpo 2019 in Hanover. It’s basically a playground for future professions with a focus on technology, science, crafts and IT. I was moved to see young girls and boys naturally play with the exhibits like car racing, explosive chemical labs, wild robot arms. I wished there would have been an Ideenexpo when I went to school. Maybe I would not have become a comedian but an aerospace engineer.

My job was to host certain programs on stage as a member of the Impulspiloten entertainment team. Amongst others, I interviewed animal ethicist Prof. Hoppe and he explained how to reduce animal testing and the ownership of experimental cells. Masons described to me how they can never walk past a construction sight without looking at what exactly they are building. And a young paramedic told us what’s it like for her to drive an ambulance and rescue people.

I hope to get photos from the fair soon but for now I do have one video. Next to all the experimenting, 500 girls and boys from 21 countries came to the fair to enter the contest RoboCup Junior. Their self-constructed robots competed in disciplines like soccer, rescue and onstage entertainment. It was pure joy! For the opening ceremony I was asked to illustrate and animate a video of all contesting countries. My main focus was to stress every country’s uniqueness without being too on the nose. And I did not double- but centi-checked every flag. Too bad I was not able to see the show myself but I was told later that the teams jumped up and cheered when they saw their country on screen and I might have shed a tear when I heard that. Here’s the full video: 

 

Kunst Cartoons und Interview bei Monopol

Monopol Magazin für Kunst und Leben hat meine Cartoons über Kunst geteilt und ein Interview mit mir geführt:

Ingrid Wenzel zeichnet, was sie gerne im Museumsshop sehen würde: Die Stand-up-Comedian, Illustratorin und Kunsthistorikerin denkt sich Produkte aus, die von Kunstwerken und Künstlern beeinflusst sind und erdet so deren Aura. Wir haben die 30-jährige Berlinerin gesprochen – und zeigen ihre besten Kunstwelt-Cartoons.

Ingrid Wenzel, in Ihren Cartoons verbinden Sie Kunst und Witz. Warum kann die Kunstwelt ein bisschen mehr Humor ganz gut vertragen?
Ich glaube, dass die Kunstwelt nicht nur viel mehr Humor vertragen kann, sondern auch selbst total viel Humor liefert. Dafür muss man sie nur mit offenen Augen betrachten und für komödiantische Assoziationen und Gelegenheiten offen bleiben. Humor ist auch eine Chance, um Kunstverständnis zu fördern und Menschen den Zugang zu Kunst zu erleichtern. Aber manchmal mache ich mich auch einfach gerne lustig über Dinge, die im Museum passieren. Ich bin zum Beispiel mal an einem Gerhard-Richter-Gemälde vorbei gelaufen, vor dem eine Frau stand, die laut vorlas, wer es malte: “Ach, eine Gertrude Richter!” Sowas kann ich mir nicht ausdenken, das ist zu schön.

Neben Ihrer Tätigkeit als Illustratorin und Stand-up-Comedian sind Sie auch studierte Kunsthistorikerin. Welche neue Perspektive ermöglicht Ihnen die Auseinandersetzung durch Cartoons auf die Kunst?
Während meines Studiums in Bochum und Stockholm habe ich die Kunstszene immer als etwas spaßbefreit empfunden. In meinen Referaten habe ich beispielsweise immer gerne kleine Witze gemacht, über die dann jedoch keiner gelacht hat. Humor wird immer verstanden als “sich über etwas lustig machen”, dabei ist Lachen ja gerade etwas Verbindendes. Für mich ist Humor vielmehr die Auseinandersetzung und Wertschätzung der Kunst. Ich möchte die Kunst nicht bloßstellen, sondern durch Humor noch mehr auf den Punkt bringen und einen neuen Zugang schaffen. Ich kann mir vorstellen, mal eine Comedyshow in einem Kunstmuseum zu machen, als neue Art der Kunstvermittlung. Genauso, wie man die Ikonografie bei der Betrachtung eines historischen Gemäldes lesen lernen muss, braucht man bei meinen Cartoons Kenntnis und Vorwissen, um den Witz in ihnen zu verstehen. Ich mag also beides, Humor als Zugang zu Kunst und Kunst-Humor.

Können Ihre Cartoons auch als eine Kritik an der Kunstwelt gelesen werden?
Meine Cartoonreihe ist keine direkte Kritik an der Kunstwelt, aber kann durchaus einen Diskurs eröffnen. Als Beispiel, ich fand Banksys Schredderaktion ja schon lustig. Das Motiv gibt es auf Tassen und Kissen. Seine Kritik am Kunstbetrieb und der Kommerzialisierung seiner Kunst überspitze ich noch, indem ich mir ein verkäufliches Produkt seiner Kunst geschreddert vorstelle. Ich übertreibe also etwas, was eh schon existiert. Wenn ich das Fransenkleid wirklich einmal im Museumsladen sehen sollte, weiß ich nicht, ob ich lachen oder schreiend in einen Schredder rennen soll.

Mit einer der letzten “Tatortreiniger“-Folge oder dem neuen Netflix-Film “Velvet Buzzsaw – Die Kunst des toten Mannes” gab es kürzlich wieder einige Produktionen, die mit den Klischees der Kunstwelt spielen. Würden Sie sagen, dass Kunst-Cartoons vielleicht auch Gefahr laufen, diese Klischees zu reproduzieren?
Absolut. Klischees sind leider immer der einfachste Weg zu einer Pointe. Dieses “Ist das Kunst oder kann das weg?” kann ich nicht mehr hören. Es ist leider immer einfacher zu sagen: “das kann ich auch”, als sich wirklich mit abstrakter Kunst auseinanderzusetzen. In meinen Zeichnungen reduziere ich ein komplexes Kunstwerk auf ein imaginäres, verkäufliches Produkt. Für mich ist das mehr Hommage als Klischee. Mal mache ich mich über ein markantes Merkmal der Kunst oder die Rezeption und Vermarktung lustig. Als ich beispielsweise vor dem Rothko-Original stand, auf das sich mein Badewannen-Cartoon bezieht, hörte ich eine Besucherin sagen: “Hm, das ist ja nur rot-blau.” Nicht die Kunst selbst, sondern ihre Betrachtung versuche ich mit dem Badewannen-Cartoon zu karikieren. Ich würde das Badeöl übrigens trotzdem kaufen, eher als eine Postkarte oder einen Seidenschal.

Was unterscheidet die sprachliche und die zeichnerische Auseinandersetzung mit der Kunst?
Bei einem Bild ist immer schön, dass man zeigen kann, worüber man redet. Ich kann schnell verständlich etwas darstellen, was es nicht gibt. Stand-up ist ein wortlastiges Medium, es ist sozusagen das Malen von Bildern in den Köpfen der Zuhörer. Das ist die Verbindung beider Sparten. Ich glaube, wenn ich die Cartoons nur mit Worten beschreiben würde, könnte niemand folgen. Das gesprochene Wort muss immer in der Realität verankert sein und das Publikum sieht nur mich auf der Bühne. Dafür ist man bei Stand-up viel auf Reaktionen angewiesen. Ich kenne mein Publikum im Vorfeld nicht und muss erst herausfinden, wofür es sich interessiert. Es ist ein Gespräch, für das ich die Zügel in der Hand habe und bei dem ich auch auf die Zuhörer eingehen kann. Bei Kunst muss ich ja selber wissen, dass sie gut ist, aber bei Stand-up Comedy weiß ich erst, ob mein Witz gut war, wenn die Leute lachen.

Woran arbeiten Sie aktuell?
Neulich habe ich mich wieder an eine lustige Situation erinnert: Ich war kürzlich in einer Ausstellung mit lauter Landschaftsmalereien und dachte bis zu dem Zeitpunkt, dass Selfiesticks das Schlimmste seien – doch dann sind Leute mit Nordic-Walking-Sticks an mir vorbeigelaufen! Daraus will ich noch eine Zeichnung oder eine Comedynummer basteln. Ansonsten schreibe und zeichne ich jeden Tag und trete fast jeden Tag auf, das ist eine wunderbare Mischung.

Vielen Dank an Julia Zalewski für das tolle Interview. Als ich einer Journalisten-Freundin sagte, dass ich selten so gute Fragen gestellt bekommen habe, sagt sie nur trocken “gewöhn dich bloß nicht dran”. Danke!

Die Cartoons habe ich übrigens bei meiner letzten Liveshow gezeigt. Es gibt noch irgendwo ein Video davon, mit Lachern I swear, ich suche es heraus..

How to deal with artistic rejection

How to deal with artistic rejection is the topic of my newest comedy bit since my favorite comedy is rooted in truth and sadness. In my bit I exaggerate and make fun of rejection, whereas in real life it is sometimes hard to do just that. As long as you make art, you will be rejected. The only way for no one to hate you is to leave the paper blank. How can you keep on making art with all the scars rejection has given you? I made these guidelines and posted them on my instagram stories some weeks ago. I got lots of feedback for it so I’m posting them on here too. They’re a hybrid of personal insights, all those self-help books I once read and good conversations with artist friends. Thanks for that.

  1. Don’t let it break you. Keep on doing what you love! Remember why you’re creative in the first place. Don’t stop.
  2. Don’t change your art for people that don’t matter. Let’s say a certain institution rejects you. Ask yourself, why do you want them to accept you so badly? Do you really fit in there? Would you have to change the core of your work for them to like you? That’s the artsy equivalent to angsty teenagers doing shit to be friends with shitty people. Don’t do that. Find a way to get appraisal from the right institutions.
  3. Rejection means: people see you and your work. Just keep it up until the right people see it. Seek people that like you and not just tolerate you.
  4. Keep praise from friends and fanmail in a feel good folder. Go through it when you think everyone hates you. Because that is never true!
  5. Not everyone will love your art. And that’s good. If you really want to appeal to everyone, you’ll eventually water down your art and it will be printed on cheap postcards at tourist shops. The more specific your art the more specific is your target audience. Finding that is hard, as I can tell you gladly with my three fans.
  6. Feel the pain somatically. Can you turn it into creative energy? Like make a sculpture with a buzz saw, draw a watercolor with tears and mascara, go on a gun rampage with a paintball gun, write a funny diss track? What do you feel? Anger? Anger can paint great paintings, write deep jokes and beautiful songs. I don’t glorify pain, but often today’s tears become tomorrow’s soil.
  7. Remember your work is not you. This is especially hard to acknowledge as a stand-up comedian. When the audience hates you, they hate your essence. Still, I try to separate Ingrid from stage Ingrid, an even more brazen, ballsy, callous version of me. Keeps me sane.
  8. Many others get rejected, too. You’re not the only one experiencing it. Don’t feel special, ha! Read biographies of famous artists. Which hardship they went through to follow their dreams. (I don’t know if this is just the urban legend of Arles, but apparently, Van Gogh has never sold one paining in his lifetime). By sharing your own story you can connect with others, who feel the same. Just don’t get dragged into an unproductive, downward spiral of lamentation and self-pity. Lament and then get back to work. These jokes don’t write themselves.
  9. Spoil you inner child. Remember what makes you happy. Now do that! That chocolate cake, a warm bath, a visit to the circus? Do it!
  10. Can you learn anything from it? Maybe there was some tiny truth in that rejection mail from that art school afterall? Maybe there is something I can actually do better? We can often improve either our art or our attitude, after we wiped away those tears.
  11. Now, focus on your next steps, what’s ahead, the future, new goals, good people that matter!
how to deal with artistic rejection
how to deal with artistic rejection

None of the above tips work for you? Well, there is one last, tiny truth, that hurts the most about rejection:

People do not get hired based on quality. Booking is arbitrary. No matter how much in control you are about your work, at some point you run into industry walls. It is merely up to you and your personal capacity to endure pain: you either jump over that wall, turn your back at it or smash your head against it.

Steve Martin’s famous quote „be so good they can’t ignore you“ is a myth. If you are that good, you will not need them anymore. 

Institutions reject good artists. That’s a common industry practice, so their own prima donnas won’t get scratched. If a music label builds up the next star, they buy up all similar artists to eliminate competition. German has a beautiful word for this: Karteileiche („card file corpse“ – a sleeping member, no one intends to wake up). Besides that, institutions send out harsh rejections to keep up a climate of fear to hold on to a respect and artistic relevance they have lost long ago. 

So here’s my last advice: Surround yourself with good people to stay sane. Develop and take care of meaningful friendships. Painter Rose Wylie says „unsuccessfulness gives you freedom.“ Stay independent. Find a source of happiness outside of your art. Be good to yourself. <3

Fruit Flies were my Muse at Sommerakademie für Komische Kunst

It all started with a fruit fly infestation in my apartment this summer. Mind you, I’m untidy but not filthy. Fruit flies magically give birth to themselves once they smell food. And I didn’t immediately take out the melon rind and apparently became the queen of my own fruit fly colony. 

The timing was especially unlucky because I was to leave to Lake Tahoe the very next day. I thought I had extinguished all larvae. Two weeks later I came back to a fly covered apartment as if I had forgotten a dead body. 

Still Life with Fruit Flies
Still Life with Fruit Flies (feat. Matisse)

 

It was useful that I learned how to golf in Lake Tahoe because these new hitting skills came in handy. In a three hour kill streak I murdered all flies. And for those I couldn’t reach on the ceiling I set up vinegar death traps. And here’s a tip for you, if you ever have a fly plague yourself:

Do not put the vinegar traps next to open windows. In fact close all windows. Because all the flies outside will be attracted to your little vinegar cocktail party. 

Also, don’t leave food or trash around ever. In my fridge, I now have a unit for food, one for drinks and one for waste.

And lastly, do not leave empty bottles around. My fly tribe did not survive, as I had thought, on that one melon juice stain. Judged by an enormous fly graveyard next to the empty bottles, they had lived off molecular beer particles. Until all the alcohol was gone and many addicts dropped dead. 

 

Self Portrait with Fruit Flies (feat. Matisse)

 

I’m happy I had a fruit fly infestation. 

The day after my massacre I went to Kassel to attend the Sommerakademie für Komische Kunst. For one week, twenty cartoonists from Germany, Austria and Switzerland met, drew cartoons and drank beer under the guidance of German comic legend Gerhard Seyfried and the Caricatura Gallery. And my fruit flies functioned as my muse for ten artworks, cartoons and even paintings. I included some of them in this post. All of our works will now be shown live at Stadtmuseum Kassel opening September 14th.

 

Interieur with Fruit Flies (feat. Matisse)

 

 

And here, my dear blog readers, a gallery with photos both from the Summer School and Lake Tahoe (all Sommerakademie photos (c) Caricatura Kassel):