My wife calls my studio setup “Mission Control.” Sadly for her, though, I have not perfected my setup. I could always add on more! As I’m always looking for new technical ways to create and make my workflow more comfortable. Like I said, now with my interest in programming and having the ability to create my own digital brushes, it is something I could and will probably do forever.
What’s your relationship with Instagram like?
It’s been great. Instagram is kind of an invaluable platform to see an artist’s works. I mean, nobody can just jump on a plane to Japan at the drop of a hat and walk into a gallery to see works by an artist they’ve heard is putting on a great show. Instagram is an accessible 24/7 gallery. I love that.
You have more than 150,000 followers on Instagram. Has it been a steady climb or was there a moment it spiked?
It’s always been gradual, but there were a few points where it did explode. I manage my account myself, reply myself and say hi myself. There’s no magic behind it for me in gaining followers, but having people like Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, Miley Cyrus, members of the Gorillaz and Lady Gaga having shared or liked my works has helped hugely. Once they did that then, yeah, my phone was buzzing for days!
What was it like being asked to create the promotional artwork for Lady Gaga’s 2017 Netflix documentary Five Foot Two?
Crazy. I’m really proud they chose me to produce the artwork. The filmmaker and director, Chris Moukarbel, contacted me directly on Instagram and had chosen me specifically to create the cover and promo work. This was unusual for Netflix to say yes to, as they have great talent there, so I was really thrilled to be working with them, too.
It was a dream gig. The director is such a great guy, hugely talented. He had a vision but gave me space and trusted me to do what I do. Netflix was amazing and hugely supportive throughout the process, also. Lady Gaga, her manager, her team who shot the image I worked with, were all just really positive, easy to discuss creative processes with and were all thrilled with the outcome. Seeing my artwork blazed across a billboard on Sunset Boulevard and in Times Square was surreal as fuck. Clicking on Netflix and watching the documentary for the first time was really emotional, too.
Is art a full-time gig for you now?
Yeah, it is now. But three years ago — in fact, just before the Lady Gaga job — I was also washing pots in a restaurant to get by. When my co-workers saw my artworks for the first time they were like “Why are you here?”
I’ve also been a bicycle repairman, post office sorter and a graphic designer in an ad agency. I liked washing pots the most. But I don’t make art for money. I make art because, well, I couldn’t stop if I tried.
Who would your dream client be?
My dream client would be the Berlin Symphony Orchestra and creating artworks for the Beethoven anniversary concert celebrations. They’ve been postponed until next year. So you know, I’m just throwing it out there in case someone over there is reading Penthouse.
What are you working on right now?
I’m reworking/upgrading artworks to higher resolutions for my store and actually in the process of creating some huge custom pieces for a well-known actor. Can’t share who. Can’t share what, but you never know … they might.
Sadly we could not show much of it here, what with the nudity prohibition and all, but as you may have guessed, dromsjel.com will get you where you need to go, should you wish to see more Pierre Schmidt art. We have no one with an art degree handy around here, but clearly faces — and particularly eyes — have some special significance in the Pierre Schmidt world. … Oddly enough, Wikipedia shows a picture of the Lady Gaga image (as of this writing), should you have an interest, and it simply would not do to skip the obligatore Instagram link. (We accidentally do a lof of things we should not do. We endeavor not to do them on purpose.