Adam Vogt attended the art foundation course at the Liechtenstein Art School and then studied visual arts with a focus on comics at EPAC in Saxon (Valais). Until last year he financed himself with a part-time job in metal construction and is now trying to work full time as an illustrator. He likes to experience the nature and culture of different European regions by van or on foot. Adam Vogt grew up in Széksard, Hungary, as well as in France, Italy and Liechtenstein and currently lives in Triesenberg, Liechtenstein. He is 28 years old.

Where and how did you grow up?

Mainly in the south of France, but later also in Italy and from around 2008 in Liechtenstein.

My parents had quite an alternative lifestyle. Without a fixed abode, we spent the dry season mainly in nature, the winter with friends or in rented flats. My eight siblings and I were also exclusively home-schooled until we arrived in Liechtenstein. That left a lot of time for reading, drawing, building tree huts and daydreaming, which naturally awakened my interest in art and especially illustration and stories.

'Linda from the black lake' (colour sample for a children's book), 2018

Could you describe your professional background?

In the art foundation course at the Liechtenstein School of Art, I was able to try out very many different media, such as film, installation or sculpture. It was very useful to realise that illustration and the sequential narrative form were what interested me the most after all. So I looked for a degree course in these areas and came across EPAC in Saxon, the only school in Switzerland that offered a specialisation in comics at the time.


Were there certain events or stations that were formative for your career?

In the preliminary course, I was asked to always put the concept before the implementation in my work process, which goes against my natural workflow and at first blocked me quite a bit. In retrospect however, it helped me to reflect better on my work and to get to the point more precisely. Nevertheless I then had to learn again to trust my subconscious and to seek first and foremost the fun of drawing and storytelling. Approaching a work instinctively at first and only later adding the necessary conceptual constructs that give the work a certain depth is currently roughly my process.


Has your environment supported you in your career?

My parents, even though they knew little about art, always motivated me to draw and paint as a child and never put any negative pressure on me in the sense of ‘learn a real profession’. During my short time at secondary school, I was unfortunately not given much support and had to find out for myself what career prospects drawing could offer. From the art foundation course onwards, the criticism and appreciation of my fellow students provided feedback and also carried me along to a certain extent. For some years now I have been sharing my life with the Triesenberg illustrator Eliane Schädler. Through our constant exchange, the development of my work is always encouraged.

'Anima' (poster design with spring allegory), 2020

What are your current activities?

Since 2019, I have been trying to live 100% from my work as an illustrator without a part-time job. This means that I’m putting off larger projects, such as writing and illustrating my own comic, in favour of smaller and shorter-term commissions.

At the moment I’m preparing for a three-month stay in the artist’s studio of the Liechtenstein Ministry of Culture in Berlin. There I will work on an illustration project together with Eliane Schädler, which will be presented at the Visarte Liechtenstein Triennial in August 2020.

‘The Best Emergency in the World’ was published by Atlantis Verlag in 2020

Does what you are currently doing fulfil you?

Depending on the project or assignment, sometimes more, sometimes less. Work feels good when, for example, an assignment demands something from me that I am happy to give, i.e. when I share the same vision with my clients or partners. Those are the projects where everyone involved is satisfied at the end. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work out exactly like that: you also have to compromise, clarify misunderstandings and somehow straighten out other people’s concepts and ideas. This flexibility demands a lot of energy and patience, but is very satisfying when it succeeds. You are constantly learning something on an artistic, business and human level.


Do you think that you yourself have an influence on whether your activities are fulfilling?

Largely yes, most problems arise from bad communication, misunderstandings or a wrong approach. For me the best indicator of the quality of a work is always the fun I have doing it. Things that are tense rarely bring anything good.

‘La jolie Frousse’ (excerpt from a short comic), 2018

What or who inspires you in everyday life?

I am a fan – I have never lost my enthusiasm for good comics, music and films. Every time I enjoy a successful piece, I think to myself: Amazing that this is possible! I want to make it to that level too!


What or who gives you strength and energy in everyday life?

Enough sleep, a stress-free start to the day and the prospect of a completed and successful project.

‘The Power House’, 2018

There are ‘magic moments’ when everything seems to fit. Moments that fulfil, inspire and give strength. Moments that confirm that the effort is worthwhile and that what you do is meaningful and valuable. Have you already experienced such moments in relation to your own activities?

I like to see art as a perspective on reality. We create images, texts, sounds that highlight, clarify and convey a certain aspect of reality.

When I look at or read a visual work of art, I borrow the artist’s eyes to a certain extent. This is somehow magical and can also enrich my own vision in the long term. When I create something myself and then notice that other people absorb it and it moves them as much as it moves me, that is pretty much the highlight of my activity. Then I realise that I am not only a ‘consumer’, but that I can also give something back and participate in this artistic dialogue.


Do you actively do something so that such ‘magic’ moments can happen?

I try to do the best I can with every project, to combine technique and idea as sensibly as possible so that it comes across the way I want it. But people have very different sensibilities, which makes it impossible to address everyone all the time. So I am aware that I do not have full control over such moments.

‘Liechtenstein Map’ for ELF Association, 2019

Are there moments when you doubt what you are doing?

I have doubts almost all the time, it’s part of my work. If I can’t get feedback on my work for a longer period of time, for example because I’m working on a book or don’t have any assignments at the moment, the doubts increase even more. In these moments, I try to persevere and not get lost in too many thoughts. The best way to avoid falling into such a hole is to stagger different projects so that there is always something that can be finished. You can do this, for example, by tackling smaller side projects: last year it was a calendar, this year a series of T-shirts… But it’s important to keep track of your time and energy so that you don’t mess up your priorities… which is easier said than done.


In retrospect, can you find something positive in difficult moments?

You’re always smarter in retrospect. But it’s not always clear whether it was really such an instructive experience or whether you just tell yourself it was in order to feel better. But it doesn’t matter, because you can’t go back anyway. So that doesn’t really bother me much.

‘jumelles’ (two characters from a future comic project), 2017

Do you want to contribute to society with your activities?

If I can contribute to broadening other people’s horizons in certain areas that are important to me, in the same way that happens to me when I experience art, I am more than happy. If they also feel entertained and have fun in the process, that’s even better.


Is the recognition of other people or the public important to you?

Yeah, sure. I don’t make my art just for me. If it doesn’t interest anyone, there’s no point. However I’m fine with it leaving some people indifferent and I’m aware that I produce niche art that some people might find too cryptic, too dark or too old-fashioned.


How well can you live from what you do professionally?

2019 was my first year as a self-employed illustrator and honestly, I brought in far too little money for it to go on. If things don’t improve in the next few months, I’ll need a part-time job again. This of course affects my work. At the moment, it’s difficult for me to take several weeks to finish drawing my children’s book or to get my comic properly off the ground. So the priority is on smaller commissions and projects that can be finished more quickly and are also worthwhile in the short term.


Is there something that is particularly occupying you at the moment?

Actually, just to be able to stay independent and then also find a good balance between commissioned work and my own projects.


Is there something you would like to (increasingly) spend time on in the future?

I am very interested in the way people deal with reality, their various means of escape from it, especially when it goes in the direction of neopaganism or survivalism. Some of this will certainly find its way into my future work.


What are you most grateful for in life?

For the opportunity to shape my life in a way that fulfils me most and not having to worry purely about survival.

And of course for your invaluable work with your art association Schichtwechsel. Thank you! 🙂

Laura Hilti, January 2021



All photos/pictures: Adam Vogt

This interview is part of the project ‘Magic Moments’ by Kunstverein Schichtwechsel, in which people are interviewed about their careers, activities and their magical as well as difficult moments.

Curated by Stefani Andersen and Laura Hilti, Kunstverein Schichtwechsel.

Supported by Kulturstiftung Liechtenstein and Stiftung Fürstl. Kommerzienrat Guido Feger.

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