Nur Mut, a.k.a. Hannes Schulze, is a Berlin city-boy with a taste for the outdoors. He worked on a sheep farm in Iceland, and is a regular participant in Tough Mudder, an adventure challenge designed by the Special Forces. His photography is inspired by animals and the scenery of Iceland. We met him for a pint to discuss what makes him tick.
What are you drinking?
A Corona with a slice of lime would do just fine. I am not the type for a fancy cocktail.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Probably still someone who does creative work. I love to build and create stuff with my hands. I already did a lot of projects with wood and leather. So maybe something in the area of hand crafted goods. I like the idea of recycling or reusing old materials to create something new that will last at least as long as the product that it was before.
How do you create your images? Talk us through the process.
It’s a spontaneous process. I don’t plan the images. If I am somewhere, have my camera with me and the moment fells right I take a picture. I don’t like to pressure myself. It has to come naturally. A lot of the time it is more important for me to just enjoy the moment and only take a mental image. So there are a lot of great scenes that are just captured in my memory. These ones are mine alone.
What are the three things in life that you couldn’t do without?
Cycling – It’s a great feeling to being able to go anywhere just by your own muscle power. It’s my choice where I want to go.
Duck-Flavoured instant noodle soup – For some reason I just love them.
Secret Icelandic hotspots! On a rainy or snowy day there is no better place to be with the person you value the most. It’s the best!
What’s your favourite place in the world and why?
It’s the farm in the north of Iceland where I spent one year of my life, and the people living there. I try to go there once a year to take a break from the hectic city life. When I see the farm appearing behind the last corner it feels like coming home. I need that.
You love the great outdoors. What is it that attracts you to things like Tough Mudder?
I love to be outside. As a kid I loved to climb, run and jump around. I am older now but I still feel the urge to be active and to challenge myself physically and mentally. I want to know what I can do and explore my borders in both of these aspects. Also, who doesn’t likes to play in the dirt and have a great time with their friends?!
What music or tune are you listening to a lot these days?
When I am working most of the time I just listen to YouTube suggestions. If I then come across some songs that I really like I will create my own playlist with them. At the moment I am enjoying some melodic electronic tunes. It’s relaxing and it helps me to stay concentrated.
Your work is full of fauna. What’s your favourite animal?
I would say sheep. They are a bit stupid but they still have their own personality. It’s a lot of fun to gather them while riding on a horse through the Icelandic highlands.
Graphic Design or Photography?
Both obviously. For me graphic design is creating something new from scratch. With my photography it is more like capturing something that has already been created. These are two very different creative processes that require different approaches, so they don’t compete with each other. I really wouldn’t want to choose one over the other. I think that I have found a pretty good balance right now.