Freitag, 27. Mai 2011

textiles + illustration

laura amiss is an illustrator and designer working with textiles and print. originally coming from the north of England for the last seven years she has called amsterdam (the netherlands) home. there she works freelance as a designer and textiles artist.

her two passions are textiles and illustration, she has endeavored to combine the two in my work. her handmade canvases are unique and are created using a selection of new and reclaimed fabrics. her work is composed of subtle lines and color combinations produced through layering, piecing and sewing fabrics together.
(c) laura amiss

Freitag, 20. Mai 2011

animals, people, houses, cars, trees and everything repetitively

... that´s what judy kaufmann likes to draw. the barcelona based illustrator and artist was born in santiago, chile in 1980. after finishing her studies in Advertising, she decides to settle down in the capital of the illustration: barcelona*.

due to herself judy is a believer that the barriers that separate the arts and the graphics should beblurred, narrowing the distance between them. each piece of work in which she is involved respects this final mission.
(c) judy kaufmann
(c) judy kaufmann
 more of judy´s work you could find at her blog or shop.

Donnerstag, 12. Mai 2011

child art ::: annika

i am proud to present a litte artist once again: annika from hamburg (germany). she is now 8 years old.
2 dinosaurs, an airplane, annika herself and the giraffe
the pictures originate from different periods. when annika was 4 years old she painted the two dinosaurs, the airplane and the giraffe below. the farm above is one of her current works. she has painted it together with her 8 years old friend lotte.
annika´s and lotta´s little farm (2011)
thank you very much, regine, for letting me show annika´s paintings.

Dienstag, 10. Mai 2011

the skwish face

andrew skwish is an american illustrator and photographer. he works as a freelance illustrator and designer for important publications such as the new york times, the wall street journal, harvard business review or rolling stone.

due to wikipedia the characteristic style of his work has been influenced by joan miró and digital artists as sophie dutertre or jotto seibod. i especially love his faces.
If you would like to see more of andrew skwish´work click here.

Donnerstag, 5. Mai 2011

small talk ::: jens bonnke

today i have a small talk with jens bonnke, a berlin-based illustrator. i have come across him via the awesome picture book "flugsaurier = gaulfriseur. tierische anagramme" (flugsaurier = gaulfriseur. animal anagrams) that he has illustrated.

(c) jens bonnke
i was born in paris and grew up in brussels and bonn. my studies then took me to trier and i later moved to berlin, where i still live and work today. i studied visual communication at the berlin university of arts. during my studies i already began to specialise in illustration, taking classes with jürgen spohn and later with jan lenica. with the latter also completed my thesis – a series of illustrations for anthony burgess' “a clockwork orange”.

illustration for the nyt (c) jens bonnke
after my studies i spent a while working as a graphic designer, which didn't make me very happy. since the mid-90s i have been exclusively focusing on illustration and have been doing it ever since. my work is mostly of an editorial nature, i.e. my clients are magazines and newspapers. but some work also comes from publishing houses, advertising agencies or designers.

these clients are varied, including the german news magazine stern, the new york times, the magazine of the german süddeutschen zeitung newspaper, harvard business manager, rolling stone magazine, le monde diplomatique, geo saison, impulse, business week, runners world and the women’s magazine brigitte.

my first children’s’ book was published three years ago: schräger vogel, krummer hund (editor’s note: these are german idioms for what would be termed a “shady character” in english. literally translated they mean “weird bird” and “crooked dog”). it is about german idioms and turns of phrase which feature animals. included in the expressions are german sayings like “to give one’s monkey sugar” – or, rather, to ride one’s hobby horse in english. it’s all designed as something like a picture puzzle: the illustrations show a scene which depicts a turn of phrase or idiom which can be guessed by the reader.

title from flugsaurier = gaulfriseur.
tierische anagramme
(c) jens bonnke
my second book was published a few weeks ago. it is a cooperation with stefanie urbach who had the idea for the book and who wrote most of the texts. this book is also about language and animals, but this time about anagrams of animals' names.

where do you find your inspiration?

i get my inspiration from all aspects of pop culture – be it television (such as sponge bob square pants, curb your enthusiasm or the simpsons), films and music videos (anything by michel gondry!), adverts (especially those from the 1960s and 1970s), comic books ( such as those of hergé, kamagurka, daniel clowes and mark beyer's amy and jordan) as well as from all aspects of the fine arts – everything ranging from japanese woodcuts to american folk art by henry darger to max ernst, jean-michel basquiat, sigmar polke and lots of others.

illustrations from the picture book flugsaurier = gaulfriseur. tierische anagramme (c) jens bonnke



how do you approach illustrating a children’s book?

a great inspiration for this are the children's books by lane smith and j.otto seibold – both americans. their books combine a very particular mixture of weird humour, a refreshing sense of irreverence towards conventions and a warm-hearted atmosphere that really celebrates life. this mixture is also a recipe which i like to use when approaching a children’s book – it contains all the things that i welcome.

in addition, i also consider the moment or element of surprise to be very important – depicting or illustrating something as it has never been seen or shown before. “surprise your audience!” is a decisive principle that is valid for artists of all disciplines.

(c) jens bonnke
what do you especially love about your work?

i really appreciate working with a large degree of artistic freedom, but, at the same time, operating within certain predetermined parameters. these include the topic, the format and the deadline. i really like this mixture, and i relish being free and independent in the planning and composition of my work. i love not having to get permission to take holidays from anyone!

what does your workspace look like?

i work in a shared studio together with three other illustrators.


and finally what makes a good – a successful – illustration from your point of view?

left illustration "axtmörder" (engl. axe murderer) is selected
for the american illustration annual 
a successful, well-rounded illustration is – for me – one which, first of all, surprises the viewer once they have turned the page and the illustration has been revealed.

secondly, it is one which conveys an impression of the issue it is trying to convey – without visualising that in all detail.

and thirdly it is an illustration that does not simply show what is said in the accompanying text but which adds a new aspect or interpretation to the issue so that – on the whole – the combination of illustration and text is more than the sum of its parts.

thank you very much, jens, for taking the time to answer my questions. and thanks to heide waechter and fiona d. wollensack for translating them.

more of jens´ illustrations you find here. if you would like to have a look at his book please click here.

Sonntag, 1. Mai 2011

small talk ::: julia friese

(c) julia friese
today i invite you to a small talk with the great german illustrator julia friese. have a good time!

hello, i am julia friese. i grew up in potsdam and after spending a few years in ireland, france and spain i have now come back to live and work in Berlin. i studied graphic design and illustration in dublin, bilbao and leipzig.

how did you get into design/illustration?

after finishing highschool i went to paris for working as an au pair for a year. i spent a lot of time in the libraries there and was amazed by the beautiful collections of childrens books they had. during my first year in college i started writing and illustrating childrens books myself and was lucky to find a publisher for these first projects on a trip to the bologna childrens bookfair.

i have also worked in different ceramic studios, i also worked in different ceramic studios, painted, sowed, printed, sculpted wood - everything that could get my hands dirty. at the same time i was studying graphic design and started working as a freelance designer. before finishing college i worked in a design studio in barcelona for a few months and fell in love with the spanish approach to design where big banks get fine arists to design their logos, where advertising and design is often playful and more sensual than here.
poster and free works by julia friese
where do you find inspiration?

in conversations, books, on journeys – away from home when my senses seem more open and sharp.

wooden houses, 2010
during the last years christian duda, the author i work with a lot, and me have been giving a lot of workshops to children in different countries around the world - being in such close contact with children, watching them draw and make up their own stories has been a huge inspiration.

how do you go to an design approach?

i love the process of research... entering into new topics and subjects. i then have to sketch down a huge number of usually stupid ideas before i start to come up with fruitful concepts - it´s a little like peeling the layers of an onion.

i really like working in a team, both in design and in illustration - the option of dialogue and exchange often makes it much easier to make decisions, to progress.

bisbee, arizone, monoprint, leipzig 2003


what do you love or don´t you like about your work?

i always have the commercial work / personal work balance conundrum ...  at the same time i love the variety of areas i am working in – switching from design projects to childrens books to working directly with children and adults in workshops. and i very grateful that my work has been taking me on a lot of journeys to different countries - which is such a different way of travelling to just going on holidays.

design of irfu stadium for 6 nation games 2008
do you have any plans for 2011?

recently i have started work on a new book. christian duda and me are invited to some new places to work with children towards the end of the year.

also i would like to get to draw more for adults and make time for painting and printing ideas that i am carrying around with me. i have always wanted to get into editorial work with magazine but haven´t found the time to make connections in this area yet.


corporate identity die
wolkenkuckkucksheimer (film and script)
what does your studio look like?

i try to keep my work space uncluttered and as white and bright as possible - it´s not easy but gives my thoughts more space ...

brushes, paper collections, a printing press, a scanner, a printer, a big metal filing cabinet and a computer – all live side by side. 

what makes felicious design from your point of view?

i really like when one gets a sense of the work of human hand from an image or a logo or a layout – a certain sensuality, even imperfection. and ideas that are carried by strong concepts.

our everyday life is flooded with a lot of bad design, so many visual impressions that are thrown at us – i often feel quite tired of the amount to information, signs, posters, photos etc that surround us. it would be lovely to have more empty spaces in the urban environment...

thank you so much, julia, for that exciting small talk. if you would like to see more of julias work please have a look at her website.