Why did you become an illustrator?
Initially my focus was on UI and graphic design (web,mobile). Illustration was always a passion that I mainly followed in my spare time and late evenings. I got better and better with the time and started to put my works online on portals like dribble and Behance. That in turn lead to me getting increasingly more contract requests as an illustrator.
What inspires you? Where do you get your ideas from?
When I’m out and about and see something interesting I always try to capture it directly (take a photo, write it down, draft it,etc.). Apart from that I follow a lot of people and blogs on Instagram, Tumblr (which I currently like the most for inspiration), Pinterest, Redbubble, society6, Behance, and dribble. I set up a “system” for myself that ensures that everything I collect is eventually accessible on Dropbox. 1-2 times a week I go through those things and sort and tag. By now I have 3,000 pictures in there. Maybe I should clear it out a bit.
What do you like the most about illustrating?
I like the separate stages in their own way. I like the initial challenge of finding interesting concepts and an appealing visual form. The following transformation is relaxing and meditative. I obviously also like that at the end there is a visible result.
What is your creative process?
I always try to capture interesting thoughts or things immediately, so that I can get back to it later when I have more time. For me it’s mostly the case that when I have time I don’t necessarily have good ideas as well. When I get to transforming a concept, I draft until the structure of the motif is clear to me. As a stylistic inspiration I like to select a few references from my “library,” if I still don’t have a clear idea how the whole thing should be transformed.
I like the works “Grumpy Bear” and “Space Dog” a lot. Can you tell us more about those pieces?
When I illustrated “Grumpy Bear” I wanted to start an illustration series. At this point I was annoyed by my own volatility in terms of styles and themes. I always admired illustrators (I do to this day), who have a recognizable style and remain consistent. When a friend mentioned one evening to draw him a bear I got the idea of “Grumpy Bear.” From the idea to give animals suitable or sometimes unsuitable characteristics evolved the series “Fancy Animals.”
How long does it take you to finish a work?
If the concept exists, 1-3 evenings, so 3-18 hours. Sometimes I also work on different illustrations in parallel. When working on one illustration starts to annoy me or I don’t make any progress I jump into another illustration to keep up the productivity.
What was the most important moment in your life as an artist?
It was very motivating for me to realize that people like my personal works so much that they are even willing to spend money on them. Most of the time I saw illustrations as part of contract work, Redbubble was therefore quite enlightening for me!