By Martin Sollmann
I was born and raised in Germany. In 1995 I moved to Amsterdam to study visual art at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. In my student years in Amsterdam I was in the lucky position to have a small apartment in De Jordaan, now one of the most wanted spots to live. The lack of space made me move to a somewhat larger place in De Baarsjes, where I am still living. I switched visual art for writing. My visual occupation changed to graphic design. At the moment I work as a freelance graphic designer.
I love spontaneous art, creativity, I love underground. I prefer subculture to high culture. I love self-made. I love being superficial, I love deep thoughts, even if I can’t stand them at times. I love cheap beer, but I hate cheap wine; I prefer expensive wine. But I don’t like expensive restaurants. I love literature. I love to be stylish, I love fashion, but I hate everything that is posh. I can’t stand spoiled teenagers. Sometimes the ring on my finger (which is not a wedding ring) seems to be the only important piece of clothing I am wearing. And I prefer to have more love items than hate items on the list.
Amsterdam is a city on the move. A lot has been invested to transform Amsterdam from a 70’s squatters’ city to a European business metropolis. In the flow of change run-down suburbs have been rediscovered and artists have been given the opportunity to settle there. Now Amsterdam seems revitalized, there is a new breeze of creativity running through the city and in many areas you see new bars opening and find cultural activities. I love Amsterdam because there still is a lot to discover, and I love the art, I love the tiny and cozy bars, the concerts, I love the mix of the 17th century cityscape and the nowadays (sub-)culture.
When I came here I was only curious how it would be to live in a small big city like Amsterdam, and to have the experience to live abroad. Since then I’ve had my ups and downs with Amsterdam, but it always kept challenging me. Now I feel like I have my own history in Amsterdam, and it slowly became something like my hometown. I love Amsterdam!