Writing with the sun, oder: Wie die Heliographie Storytelling verändern kann

Den Namen Michael Papadakis verbindet man mit der Sonne. Der Künstler aus den USA “malt” mit Sonnenstrahlen und definiert gerade die Technik der Heliographie neu. Er hilft Marken, ihren Bekanntheitsgrad zu erhöhen, und zeigt dabei, wie die Heliographie Storytelling verändern kann.  The Balvenie, Go Pro Mountain Games, The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) haben bereits Michaels Kunst für ihre PR-Botschaften in Anspruch genommen. Im Gespräch mit mir erzählt Michael, was es bedeutet, mit der Kraft der Sonne zu malen. (Das Interview ist in englischer Sprache  und ist urheberrechtlich geschützt). 

Hallo, Michael!  Introduce yourself to our readers

M. P.:  My name is Michael Papadakis. I am 31 years old and I am a sunlight artist living in Southern California, USA. I have been creating sunlight art for nearly 6 years now. 

Michael “malt” mit der Sonne für  The Balvenie

You are an artist who paints with the sun.  How did you become the SunScriber?

M. P.: Since I was a child, I have always created art using traditional tools like pencils or brushes. In 2012, I left the USA for 1.5 years to travel and see the world with my own eyes.  I found myself in Central Asia, high  up on the Pamir Plateau, where I felt so close to the sun I could almost touch it! It was along this route called “The Silk Road” that I discarded my traditional art materials and decided to use a magnifying glass only to create art. 

Could you describe your technique? What is heliography? How innovative is it? 

M. P.: My technique includes an array of mirrors and lenses in which I focus sunlight onto organic materials such as wood, paper or stone. The term “Heliography” was coined by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce to identify the process by which he obtained his earliest photographic images. 200 years later, I am re-defining the term. I simply tell a story through different forms of Sunlight. Heliography literally means “writing with the sun.” I owe much of my process to safe practice.  I always wear protective goggles, protective clothing, hats, etc.  I bring lots of water for hydration as well as for any unintended flames.  I always think about my surrounding, I always take my  onlookers into account and respect Mother Nature whenever I write with the sun in public!  

Michael bei der Arbeit

Why did you get so interested in the sun?

M. P.: You know, my whole life I always remembered how sunny every day seemed to be.  As if the sun was following me, I never remember dark and gloomy days.  I’ve even lived in places like San Francisco and Seattle, these areas are known for clouds and rain, but all I remember is sun and blue skies!  It was as if the sun has been following me my whole life, trying to get my attention.  Well, I can honestly say the sun has my attention, I will continue to look upwards.

What exactly do you paint?

M. P.: Anything.  Portraits, landscapes, logos.  I am most interested in social awareness and in creating narratives through filming the creation process.  I believe that the “artwork” is only the “end result” of a greater story, the story of creation!

Do you also paint people portraits?

M. P.: Yes, of course! I even paint “plainer” portraits, meaning that I don’t sketch, I have my subject sitting in front of me and I paint their portrait with the sun only!

Der Blog “Mashable” veröffentlichte im April 2018 einen Beitrag über Michaels Kunst. Michaels Arbeit auf Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sunscribes/

Sunlight can be an effective tool in building brand awareness. Can you tell us a bit more about this?

M. P.: If you look at my portfolio, you will see that I have teamed up with some major brands – for example with The Balvenie – to help them tell their story through heliography.  Heliography is a performance art and a form of storytelling. I use my talent to help companies create unique and creative marketing campaigns. 

What are your projects for the future?   

M. P.: My plan is to travel once again, to some of the sunniest places on earth.  I will fill my backpack with 1,000’s of lenses and protective eyewear, and travel the world, teaching people to create art and stories with the sun.  I hope to inspire hope and justice by spreading “heliography” and bringing light to some of the darkest parts of the planet!

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