Qompendium is an evolving and ever-changing platform for philosophy, art, culture and science, represented by a series of print publications: magazines, books and monographs. Furthermore, it is enriched by a gallery concept, a work shop and a fast-moving online portal.
From Terry Richardson’s assistant to multi-awards nominee, Cellina von Mannstein has permanently listened to her instincts and is driven. Infinite energy, passion, and the temptation to over come obstacles have skyrocketed Cellina to the world’s most wanted new photographers.
Cellina von Mannstein was born 1975 in Düsseldorf, started out as a production assistant before moving on to director’s assistant and to art direction.
Qompendium: Cellina, do you see your world in black or white?
Cellina von Mannstein: In white, if it is the truth that white is the sum of all colors. Otherwise, I see the world in colors just as it is. In black, sometimes too. I think it is good to have a dark side. To me it only shows that you do have deep moments; fears and that you are a sensible person. Out of the dark you get lots of power and it is nice when you feel the moment that light and joy is getting back to you, to refill your heart and make you do beautiful things.
Have you ever brought your dreams to paper?
I have almost always brought my dreams to photo paper. Just that sometimes you have such beautiful dreams that you can’t even catch them on paper. And there is so much fantasy and imagination inside me that my work would also function without a physical canvas. Sometimes I feel almost as if I am in a part of photography in real life. It is the centre of the big playground. Actually that’s the nicest part of my profession. Isn’t that the reason why you are doing it?
Photographers depend on magazines for exposure and work. If magazines would be eliminated tomorrow would your career end?
I don’t think so. On the contrary, I would end up saving enormous amounts of money, that’s for sure. For editorials you do not get paid except for only a few magazines. I would keep on clicking and concentrate myself on doing more art work without the necessity of compromises regarding fashion I would have to use, or the make up products my make up artist would have to use. I would fully concentrate on my initial passion: photography and art.
Many of your colleagues have other goals and photographic styles. What photography have you never understood?
Mean pictures, e.g. some paparazzi shots like a husband fucking some woman and these images getting published around the world. This makes me angry. I feel bad for the wife and most of all for the kids seeing these pictures of their dad with another woman. What for? Just to ruin somebody’s confidence and reputation and even much more?!
Well, paparazzi do that for magazines and money issues. What are your taboos then?
Hurting somebody on purpose and out of disrespect, that is what I detest. On the other hand I am not sure of my reactions in life and different situations. The situations will make me decide. Sure we can be all animals and in the worst case, also able to kill. For example if I had kids and somebody wanted to harm them, as a mother I wouldn’t know how I would react so I’d have to say there might be no taboos.
Speaking of children, what was the first thing you learned as a teenager?
I loved my teenage years. It meant trial and error. I learned that you just should be clever enough to reach out for something and that creativity and inventing things are very helpful in that. Also that you are allowed to behave as a teenager the way you like and that mistakes are only there to learn from and that there is nothing wrong with making mistakes.
Ever run out of ideas? What did you do then?
When I run out of ideas I get so sad and confused that I fall in a hole full of other and new ideas already waiting for me ... My motto is “keep on clicking.”