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6 life lessons artist Maser learned from Copenhagen’s bustling street art scene

‘I was hugely influenced by Copenhagen’s artists when I was younger’.

Carlsberg Ireland / YouTube

‘MY WORK HAS BEEN a constant narrative over the past 20 years, and the time spent in Copenhagen has definitely inspired parts of that.’

You may not recognise Maser at first glance, but you’ll definitely recognise his work – he’s been the creative force behind the likes of the 3D-effect ‘U ARE ALIVE‘ mural in Dublin and this eye-catching wall in Limerick.

He is also one of four Irish personalities taking part in The Danish Experiment.

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The web series created by Carlsberg sees Maser, chef Kevin Powell, stylist Jo Linehan and Kodaline bassist Jay Boland discover what they can learn from Copenhagen to take to their creative careers back home. It follows the group as they explore ‘the Danish way’ of living, learning what makes them so different to their European counterparts.

Copenhagen has long since been a massive influence for Maser – having travelled to the city many times earlier in his career to experience a vision of what Dublin’s street art scene could look like one day.

Here’s what Maser learned during his trip to the colourful Danish city, and what we could learn from living #TheDanishWay.

1. A local artist can provide the best tour guide

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Despite the fact that Maser has visited many times to Copenhagen, teaming up with happiness expert and local Meik Wiking meant that he saw the city from a whole new perspective. He says that getting a local’s perspective is a brilliant way to see new things:

“I learnt things about the city from a new perspective. I got to see it through Meik’s eyes rather than just as a tourist. I’ve been to Copenhagen to paint numerous times over the years so this was a refreshing new look on different parts of the city.”

2. Take it down a notch

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And what did he learn from the locals? It’s actually two very simple words which have been the biggest takeaway from the entire Danish Experiment experience – slow down:

“The key thing I learned was ‘don’t be stressin’, it will get done”. I believe that though, it’s always my way. Their ‘downtime’ is valuable, I appreciate that, take those moments and enjoy them.”

3. Get the balance right

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As we’ve discussed earlier in the series, one of the reasons that Danes manage to always rank so highly in international happiness studies is their attitude to life-work balance. It’s something that was inspiring for Maser and the way he works:

“The Danes that I met and hung out with knew how to have a good laugh. I can be very serious about my work most of the time and I can see they are the same but they made me realise that as long as you have the balance right, good times can be had all the time.”

4. Bikes are the future

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Cycling around the city was nothing new to Maser, who already uses a bike to scoot around Dublin city. And it’s a brilliant way not to miss brilliant street art, he explains:

“It’s my mode of transport around Dublin. Now Dublin feels much smaller so I’m happy buzzing about on my bike but I gotta say Copenhagen is tough on the legs! The best way to see street art is to just get on a bike and you’ll come across it.”

5. Learn from your international peers

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Maser was one of the pioneers of the Dublin street art scene and it was the city of Copenhagen that first made him realise how big a street art scene could be:

“I was hugely influenced by Copenhagen’s artists when I was younger. I was so inspired because these guys were living the life that I idolised. OK some may be doing some ‘no brainer’ job to pay rent but they all hung out together all the time painting and sketching, doing what was important to them.”

In fact, it’s a relationship that remains to this day between Irish and Danish artists: “We did that in Dublin but it was on a smaller scale – this was a bigger community of artists and us Irish just clicked with them. Still, nearly 20 years later we are all good friends.”

6. Embrace the power of street art

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When you’re living or travelling within a city, Maser reminds that the street art is such a monumental part of it’s culture: “It’s the voice of people on ground level.” In Copenhagen, you’ll find it everywhere, he explains:

“It’s everywhere – you can’t miss it. It’s along train lines from the airport, city centre walls, rooftops, trains. Make sure to get to Freetown Christiania, I’ve painted there a lot over the years, it’s a great community. If the sun is shining it’s a great spot for a few drinks and food in the sun, too.” Or what Meik and the locals would call ‘hygge’, which is what Copenhagen is all about.

Want to find out what makes Denmark one of the happiest places in the world? Keep an eye out for the next episode of The Danish Experiment, which will be unveiled on TheJournal. Follow Carlsberg Ireland on Facebook and Instagram to tune in to the series and for behind-the-scenes edits . Enjoy Carlsberg sensibly, visit drinkaware.ie.

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