Max Siedentopf is a german/african creative who grew up in the deserts of Namibia and since then has worked in Berlin, LA’s China Town and is currently working in an old church in Amsterdam. Max’s range of interest goes from taking pictures, creating videos, making bad street art and nice books to stealing photos on the internet. His main objective is FUN! Max hilarious project “Let Them Eat Cake” is just one great example of what it means to work on cool stuff. Check out his interview below and visit his website www.maxsiedentopf.com.
How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
A 23 year old german-african who likes to make a lot of very, very bad jokes that no one gets or just ignores.
Whom do you look up to?
And usually people taller than me.
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your way of thinking?
All the people that I surround myself with have in some way of course. I’ve always had some key people at different stages that shaped me a bit more and fuelled my motivation and passion. When I was 18 my thinking got majorly influenced when I found out about the dutch creative agency KesselsKramer. Their work was and is unlike anything else that is around and I really appreciate the way they approach problems. I immediately felt drawn to them. Since then I’ve worked at their Los Angeles and Amsterdam office.
How do you define creativity?
It’s the rush you feel when you suddenly get stumbled out of our daily routine.
How did your photographic career start?
It still needs to, I don’t really like to be put into just one box, I prefer to jump around the different boxes and rather let the next idea decide the best suited medium. The number 1 objective however is always FUN and photography is great for that.
What was your favourite project and why?
Usually once I’m done with one I’m already thinking of the next one without much time to reflect about the last one. That’s why my favourite projects are the ones that were never made and are still bouncing around in my head without any restrictions.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your career as a photographer?
I’m usually busy with too much at once. I enjoy working that way, it never gets boring and just opens so many doors you would’ve otherwise not thought of, but I do believe that sometimes focusing on only 3 projects instead of 14 at once helps the quality of work.
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
I think every person has a creative spark in them, many are just afraid to take the first step. I often also see this with other creatives that have difficulties because they’ve set up to many boarders around them. I usually just go for it and think to myself that I’ll deal with the consequences later.
Do you have a favourite quote that describes what you truly believe in?
I live by a mix of:
Rafaël Rozendaal haiku: “If you’re not early, you’re late.”
Anthony Burril’s iconic poster “Work hard and be nice to people.”
and Mily Cyrus’ “I came in like a wrecking ball”.
What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
All I know is that the more I know the less I know.
21 year old Max was better off with what he knew.
Is there anything else for which you would give up your passion for photography?
I’m pretty much passionate about every medium of expression, so I would probably just continue with the next one. If I had to give up my passion to make things, then I would probably just spend my days in the sun and swim all day long.
All images © Max Siedentopf