Interview with Birger Karlsson
SHIVRAJ: How did you get into cardistry or where did you see it first?
BIRGER: As most cardists I started out doing magic. I learned a few false cuts through tutorials on youtube and stumbled upon some cardistry and XCM videos. Over the course of about 2 years I went from only doing magic to only doing cardistry, mostly just from only watching youtube videos.
SHIVRAJ: How would you define 'cardistry' in your own words?
BIRGER: I was going to write something in the lines of it being a portable playground but Kevin Ho beat me to it.
SHIVRAJ: Who/What inspires you the most and why?
BIRGER: I get inspiration from all kinds of things to be honest, but I feel like the fact that I might inspire someone else boosts me like crazy.
SHIVRAJ: What is your creative process of making moves?
BIRGER: In my talk at this year’s Cardistry-Con I briefly went over the different "methods" I use while creating (challenges, happy accidents, etc). These are really just methods of coming up with an idea, rather than a finished move. The process I use to perfect the idea created is usually the same for all methods. I always try to visualize the finished move before letting my hands do it. This way I can work on moves anywhere, at any time. I can get a clear view of how I want the move to look like even before I pick up a deck. But keep in mind that this is not how the move will look like, but how I want it to look like. From here I do my best to make the move look as close to the visual I've had as possible by mixing tons of trial and error with even more visualization.
In short, this is an example of my full creative process:
1. "If I could do anything with cards, what would I do?"
2. "What would it look like?"
3. "How do I do it?"
SHIVRAJ: How do you overcome a 'Creative Block'?
BIRGER: I don't really do anything when I get a block. A creative block isn't such a big deal for me actually, I just go on to perfecting older things. I'm not in a rush to create, I know ideas will come sooner or later.
SHIVRAJ: Describe your style in one word/sentence.
BIRGER: Trying my best to push the limits of what others think is possible to do with a deck of cards.
SHIVRAJ: What role does the art play in your life or in simple words why do you do it?
BIRGER: I do cardistry because it's fun and I'll probably stop when it isn't anymore.
SHIVRAJ: How do you think you can help in improving the field of cardistry?
BIRGER: I always respond to messages sent to me. I feel like it's a relatively easy thing to do and I find it somewhat essential to be open and welcoming to people for the art to grow.
SHIVRAJ: What is your favourite move by you or by someone else? What do you like about it?
BIRGER: My favorite right now is probably "Spring spin" by Chotu. Once you've learned it you do it effortlessly and it always gives a great reaction, both to cardists and laymen.
SHIVRAJ: Which is your favourite cardistry video of all time?
BIRGER: This got me drooling back in the days.
SHIVRAJ: What do you think about the concept 'Cardestroy'?
BIRGER: I think it's awesome to see new "subgenres" of cardistry. I hope we keep opening doors to unexplored grounds every once in a while.
SHIVRAJ: What genre of music do you mostly listen to?
BIRGER: As of now I mostly listen to all kinds of rap.
SHIVRAJ: What do you do other than cardistry?
BIRGER: Spend time with my girlfriend.
SHIVRAJ: What are you further planning to do in your life?
BIRGER: This is the kind of question I'm trying to avoid every time relatives visit.
SHIVRAJ: Any contest/contests you've participated in/won?
BIRGER: I've participated in a bunch of contests of different sizes. Most recently was CCC 2016 where I ended third.
SHIVRAJ: Any advice for the community?
BIRGER: Just stay as welcoming and helpful to new cardists as you already are and continue to amaze me with all the crazy-crazy instagram videos.
SHIVRAJ: Any last thoughts? (If any)
SHIVRAJ: Thanks a ton for your time! Have a nice day, cheers!
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