MindCliff was created somewhere between 2012 and 2013 by two students at the John F. Kennedy high school during their senior year. It started off as an activity, evolved into a hobby, and finally turned into a passion. While one artist found interest in surrealism and cartoons, the other artist had become fascinated by color patterns. Together, they would create something new and unheard of. Working as a collaborative, they engaged in each other’s work to create something bigger than each individual could achieve alone. When asked what MindCliff as a collaborative is supposed to represent, they explained the symbolism behind overcoming mental obstacles during the process of making art. MindCliff is a pseudonym to indicate the artist’s block, something that artists are constantly confronted with. Like many other artists, they work hard to surpass any obstacles they meet.
Seeing that MindCliff has maintained their own style, it has become hard to categorize their genre. Using elements of Abstract art, Surrealism, and Realism, they create colorful illustrations that depict cartoons with psychedelic notes, representing the Berlin urban lifestyle. Berlin is a fast-paced city with detail and diversity, and its sporadic nature is reflected in Mindcliff’s work. Another reflection to be found in Mindcliff’s work is the digital age we live in, with loads of information to process. When asked about their inspiration, they explained that it’s quite simple: music and lectures. While using inspiration from their everyday environment, they tend to zone in on electronic music, and they enjoy listening to the philosopher Alan Watts. When it comes to real-life experiences that inspired them, they expressed the importance of travel and explained how something an art teacher said a long time ago had touched them until this day: they were told to “…look through the eyes of an artist and it would change their perception of everything.” To this day, they never stopped thinking from the point of view of the analytical persona of a modern day artist.
When asked about MindCliff’s goals, one answer was very personal and the other more open. One member of the duo explained that his drive was created through the lack of support in his career choice, wanting to ultimately create something that could be appreciated by even those that haven’t always backed his decisions. But they both agreed that they see themselves one day starting a clothing line, which would be displayed throughout the whole of Berlin (possibly even the whole world). The other member added they would also start 3D modeling soon, and would spend more time animating.
The work of an artist can be a constant struggle. Indecisive thought patterns can be found in all of us. These two artists are struggling at the moment with mental blocks (hence the name MindCliff) and with the choice of pursuing a focus on analog or digital art. Frustration comes and goes with the feeling of not reaching perfection. One problem MindCliff has identified in themselves, is that they don’t work as cleanly with lines as they wish to. However, this might just be a part of the artist’s perfection complex. Looking at their artwork, it is easy to admire the geometric lining and formation of their drawings. We questioned what goes through their heads while creating art. While one stressed the importance of not thinking too much and letting go of all intense thoughts, the other answered that sometimes he goes deep into his thoughts (but not always).
They are men of peace, they find harmony, and spiritual rest in nature. While they use art as a way of escapism, they’ve managed to create their own reality. The advice they have appreciated the most and would give to other fellow artists is to never hesitate to try new things and to never compare yourself to others. “Focus on making art to make art.” They are turning their hobby into a career and would like to inspire others to do the same. ‘Anything is possible if you have your mind set to achieve your goals.’