Meet the talented Mark Wijsman who is a well-known photographer many Instagram fans are probably familiar with. To me he is a fellow creativist who inspires my creative self (and hopefully you too) to just learn and follow your passions passionately with failure, lessons and tenacity.
- He is also into the fine arts as an actor and radio presenter, Mark is our Motivation Crush Monday for this week.
What is your current area of work?
- I’m a professional actor, photographer and radio presenter. As an actor I work in television and commercials, and as a photographer I shoot lifestyle, portraiture and landscape photography. I also present a weekly radio show on Fine Music Radio 101.3fm
How long have you been in this field?
- I’d say around three years? I worked as a communications director for a travel organisation before.
How many countries have you traveled to?
- Probably around 20-25 so far. It’s hard to know exactly as I’m from Europe and we traveled a lot around there when I was very young.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
- I think what I enjoy most is being creative, and having the freedom to be creative in my own way. I create my own work, or am allowed to create my own characters as part of my work. That is my true passion, and perhaps something I only really discovered a few years ago. Being able to move around flexibly (last year I went to New York for to train further) is part of the joy, although when I traveled in my previous job it was equally rewarding. You learn a lot from experiencing other places.
What are the requirements for someone who wants to be in this field?
- Since I do a few different things, I’ll break it down a bit. I think essentially it comes down if you have a passion to create things for yourself, and the perseverance to follow that without supervision, you can come a long way. I’m still trying to find my way in all these fields, but with both failure and success I feel that I’m moving forward. When it was first frightening to not have any security in place, I am now excited and driven by the fact that I need to create my own work. Age is not an issue. I think your twenties are there to just explore the things you like and don’t like, and things you’re good at, but I think our generation will have to get used to the fact that you won’t always know exactly what to do. And that’s ok. Rather use that as an excitement to always explore new things and learn along the way. It’s a cool ride that way.
Do you need a college degree or education to be in your field?
- Not necessarily. I think educational institutes can help you learn the basic skills to for instance be an actor, or photographer. But you can also be a self-taught creative. As long as you reach out to people who are perhaps 1,2 or even 10 steps ahead of you, you can learn a lot from people’s advice. I learned photography by watching other photographers, asking lots of questions and using the internet to figure things out myself. Training for acting in different institutes has helped me too, but I don’t have a degree in either and still make a living. I had great teachers in New York who had the know-how to analyze my skills and make me realize what I needed to work on. It’s always good to ask for feedback, and learn from those who’ve seen it all. It all depends what works best for you. I believe creativity comes from yourself, and the skills you can learn by doing. Failure is also a good way to learn things, as long as you accept it as a lesson.
Where is your next travel destination?
- I am looking to go to Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I grew up in the Netherlands, but became a creative at such a late stage in my life, I already lived in Cape Town when I did. I want to give my home country a chance to see where I stand in that market with the current things I learned living in South Africa. But I’ll still come here, because it’s part of my life now too.
- You can follow Mark on Instagram : @markwijs
See more of his beautiful work on : www.markwijsman.com