Five Questions with Benno Erhardt

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Benno Erhardt. Born and raised in Switzerland with an American heart, I decided to study graphic design, as I simply couldn’t get myself to fit the mold of lawyer or economist. Currently I work for a small boutique branding agency in Switzerland, dreaming of becoming a grease monkey some day soon and enliven the Swiss streets by merging muscle car era rolling sculptures with eco-friendly power plants.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I live, breathe, drink and eat visuals. I love forms, lines, shadows and reflections. So therefore, I immerse myself into whatever I am working on and seek to attract anything that might induce creative coma of the senses. Or I just procrastinate until the last-minute and hope my intuition and poor guardian angels will save the day again. I love going to libraries just for the fun, or sit on a bench and observe people. Then I sketch ideas or simply dive into the digital canvas and doodle. But ultimately, isn’t it our innermost brilliance, which produces the kind of yummy solution which we end up marveling at? Ego tends to exaggerate its involvement in our most brave and delicious creations.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Wow. This is hard. I love books. Many of them. Recent great one: The Café at the End of the World. Read it. It’ll get you thinking. And that’s a good thing. Another great one: [amazon_link id=”B000NJL7AK” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Measure of a Man[/amazon_link] by Sidney Poitier. Last but not least, [amazon_link id=”3518260049″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Hirnforschung und Meditation. Ein Dialog[/amazon_link]. With Wolf Singer and Matthieu Ricard. Brilliant. Read it in German, but I think original is in English. I could go on and on. Go to your local library. Pick a book. Any book. It’ll be the one for you. Books pick you, not the other way around.

What is one piece of advice that you’d like to give?

Challenge yourself and your conditioning. Every day. You have no idea how messed up your mind is. And while you’re at it, go ahead and discover the brilliance lurking in it. It’s freaking awesome. And, oh yeah, seek to love, whatever it is you do. Accept some days you won’t like what you do, but if you don’t love what you do, quit. Now. Today. Shape and sculpt your own happiness.

What is one idea that you’re going to bring to life in 2012?

Uh oh. Here it comes. Commitment. Ok. Fine. My fears are overrated. Time to turn them into action. Because the energy they produce is staggering. 2012. Jump off the cliff. I guess that’s what I’ll do. Time to assemble that airplane in mid-air…