cigarettes and heart break are such a classic like burger and fu**** fries so I could go on about the logic of this image for a paragraph here but I wont. This image started for me (like many others) in a textual reference. I often draw inspiration from metaphors and poetry. In this case from a song by my beloved Lana Del Rey:
"You Can Be the Boss" came out 6 years ago and I was so impressed by this strong visual scene she is describing. I could see this cigarette in my mind, as the guy reaches it out to her and she palms it. About a half a year ago, I wanted to convince a guy I liked to go out so I took a cigarette and wrote "wird geil" (it will be cool in german) on it. That's when I thought ok this is kinda cool. I don't remember exactly how the boyfriend writing idea came up, but I was having quite a few bad dates at the time...
Then I started shooting, at first on yellow background. I shot 4 variations of this photo over the course of 4 months 'til I got it right... I really gave this post it's time to evolve and kept shooting and meeting the questions as they came.
The font- This was my biggest challenge. I'm not the best when it comes to calligraphy and writing on those ciggies turned out to be tricky- the ink spreads when the tip of the pen is wide, and rips when it's sharp. The typeface was kind of a big decision- do I go cursive/ serif / tall & narrow? I practiced my writing on literally 30 cigarettes.
The ashes- I was wondering how many ciggs should be in there, should it be like a full bar ashtray, or just a few? should I leave the ashes in or clean it up? The cigarettes were making dirt on set + stinking up my studio :)
The idea of the extra cigarette with the word "end" was completely spontaneous.
I am so happy with this post, conceptually and visually and can now only say, it was definitely worth the while!
p.s. I never got that date with the guy I liked... saw him at a concert a month later and he was a total bitch to me. Silver lining: He was nice enough to send this picture over to me right now (wird geil)... so thanks 💔