How did you get interested in illustration and where did your passion come from to choose such a creative career?
I guess it all started as a child. I've always enjoyed drawing and painting. My mother often tells me that at boring family celebrations or even at home, alone, I could spend hours with just pen and paper. And that has never changed. I kept on drawing when I was a teenager and of course art was my favorite subject in school. That's why it was evident pretty early on that I wanted to do something creative after school. During my studies I tried out various other areas, such as photography or book design, but in the end I only felt passionate about drawing and illustration.
Where do you start in getting your inspiration for all your work projects?
There’s no fixed starting point, it’s a constant process and I often have spontaneous ideas or I find inspiration in everyday moments. The most exciting illustration ideas result from observations of people and situations in everyday life. However, I do believe that there should be a specific message in every illustration. I don't like to just draw beautiful things. So when I start creating, I first think about what I want to say with that work. Then I go through different ideas in my head and at the same time scribble on paper.
What has been your biggest achievement of your career to date?
At the very beginning, when I could imagine being an illustrator, my goal was to illustrate for magazines and newspapers. It was incredibly satisfying when this goal became more and more fulfilled and after some initial smaller clients, I was finally able to work for big dream customers like the New Yorker or the New York Times. Over time it has changed and with more commissions came bigger dreams. A few of these dream projects came true, for example, I was allowed to work with bigger brands like Snapchat or Nike, designed a huge display window for a shopping center in China or even created a Google Doodle. All of these are such big milestones for me and that these dreams have come true and that I can work professionally as an illustrator and make a living from it is the greatest achievement of all.
Tell us about your inspiration for the design of the REN Clean Skincare Christmas boxes?
My main idea for the REN Clean Skincare Christmas Boxes was to unite people and nature and to show moments of this union. In my opinion, we have to take a big step back towards nature and appreciate it much more in order to ensure the existence of our planet. I wanted to show this step and the connection between humanity and nature. There are designs in which my characters completely merge with their surroundings, they enjoy the peace, the freedom and the beauty of nature. Other designs focus on the joy and the celebration of our planet. The feeling which we experience when we become completely one with nature also served as inspiration. It’s the feeling we have when we look at the vastness of a huge mountain landscape. Or the peace and quiet when we stroll through the surf of the sea. This feeling, the affection to nature and what we can experience through it, are the focus of every design. Especially in times when the existence of our planet as we know it is in question like never before, I wanted to use the illustrations to remind us how lucky we are and that we have to fight for it to keep it.
Which is your favourite design and why?
That’s a hard decision! I like every design and I put a lot of heart and soul into everything. But I think the Moroccan Rose Duo Gift Set is my favourite. I like the puzzle-like arrangement of the figures and elements, that you have many small situations and that you can discover something new with every new look. I especially love the colour combination and the slight contrast of the fresh pink tones and the peach colour. I'll have to try that combination again at some point. Otherwise, the Scent to Sleep Gift Set is my all-time favourite. I think the mood comes across particularly well due to the dreamy landscape and the nighttime situation. Above all, it was totally fun to arrange and draw the waves, clouds and stars like a pattern. You almost start dreaming yourself when you are drawing, creating these soft shapes was completely relaxing.
What role does living sustainably play in your life?
Sustainable living is very important to me and has become more and more relevant during the last year. It is essential to me to make a contribution to climate protection as much as I can. Personally, I have restricted my meat consumption more and more over the past few years and I now eat almost vegetarian. If I ever buy a meat product, I pay close attention to where it comes from and that it comes from a sustainable and fair production. It's also super important to me to limit my plastic consumption. I try to avoid plastic bags entirely and always use cloth bags when I go shopping. In general I attach great importance to sustainable consumption and the reuse of everyday objects. Basically, it’s a liberating feeling for me not to own too many things and not to buy things unnecessarily.
What are your aspirations for 2021?
I would like to keep working on free projects, on the one hand to maintain a healthy balance to work, on the other hand to develop myself creatively. I would also like to support non-profit organizations and do something good with my work. I want to develop further: How can I combine a kind of political and social activism with my work? I would like to do something meaningful and not just create beautiful pictures. A symbiosis of both would be the goal. I'm also looking forward to more exciting projects and I can’t wait to be surprised by what might come next. Maybe I’ll be able to create a really large mural with my illustrations in the coming year – that would really be a dream.