Helmut Breineder's animation is as bizarre as it is entrancing.

“I didn’t really feel much pressure to follow a more common path, and I guess it wouldn’t have worked that well for me, because I needed time to figure out what I wanted, and try different things”

What is your background? Did you go to school, or are you self-taught?
I studied at MultiMediaArts at University of Applied Sciences in Salzburg Austria, but quit halfway through, because I didn’t enjoy living in Salzburg.

From there I moved to London where I participated in various short courses and workshops, and started shooting experimental videos which I projected at parties in Brick Lane.

After that I moved to Vienna to work as an Editor for a TV Program, where I learned more about film editing and got interested in image manipulation, animation and visual effects.

Then I decided to go to brazil, shooting my own independent documentary film, and ended up living there for 10 years.

Has being in Berlin influenced your work or you as an artist?
Any Place that i have lived had an influence on me, but for sure Berlin has got a positive influence on my life and work. Compared to Sao Paulo, where i used to work to much extra hours all the time doing Motion Design for TV Commercials, in Berlin I have a much more relaxed lifestyle and work-life balance.

Being sourrounded by a lot of people doing their own personal projects definitely gave me motivation to do more of my own stuff again.

And having more spare time makes it easier to search for inspiration and produce my own ideas.

How do you approach your art? What inspires you or how do you begin to work on a new piece?
Inspiration can come from anywhere anytime. Mostly I try to see something funny in things or situations to entertain myself and others.

To find an idea I usually look at something and start altering and modifying it until it gets more interesting to me, and starts revealing something else or new. It's a search for sense behind the apparent layer, and the joy of playing the possibility of infinite interpretation of the same object or situation.

“Curiosity is one of the major sources for my creativity. ”

Why did you get into animation in the first place? How long have you been doing it?
My initial interest was cinema. I was fascinated by directors like Fellini, Lynch, Kubrick, Jodorowski, Bergman, Lars von Trier, Herzog, to mention a few. After watching the movies by Jan Svankmajer I started doing stop motion short movies. Probably this was the main trigger for my interest in animation.

After directing and producing a documentary film on Japanese immigration in brazil in 2003, which was an amazing experience for me, but unfortunately left a hole in my wallet, I began to work for a big postproduction company in Sao Paulo. That's where I learned my foundations of animation and visual effects.

Very slowly, over many years I started to teach myself 3D.

Parallel to the commercial jobs i used to work as a VJ, showcasing my personal visual experiments at music festivals and clubs.

Later this developed into a collaboration with other artists working together on Projection Mappings on big buildings in brazil and abroad.

What are you into other than art? Any hobbies?
Mainly talking to friends about everything, watching my daughter growing and learning to express herself more day by day, eating sweet things after physical exercise, riding my folding bike without ever folding it, diving once in every while, I want to start making music again.

With you dropping out of school, moving continents and teaching yourself how to use programs, it sounds like you really have made your own path in life rather than relying on what is 'normal', or what it is you're 'supposed to do'. Is this so? Do you find this approach has been good for your personal life and professional career as an artist and designer, Or do you sometimes wish you had followed a more standard path?
I didn't really feel much pressure to follow a more common path, and I guess it wouldn't have worked that well for me, because I needed time to figure out what i wanted, and try different things.

Maybe I would have reached somethings much earlier, but than on the other hand i wouldn't have done projects like the documentary about Japanese immigration, which I consider still an amazing experience.

“In general I believe that many things that make you happy aren’t necessarily the ones that make you successful, so if you only follow a straight path to success, you might miss many other things that would make you feel good.”

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