We hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas break and I now present to you our first blog post of the year! An interview with one of our fabulous new illustrators, Anna Suessbauer.
She talks us through what motivates and inspires her, to some wonderful advice for aspiring illustrators! Take a little look into Anna's world...
Where do you live/work?
I live Cologne, a crowded, silly and open-hearted city. I work from home.
What do you love about working there?
Working from home is something I really enjoy. There are freedoms that come with it: for example the jogging pants I get to wear all day ;-) and my two dogs I can have with me. I'm a very organized person, so structuring my day on my own comes easy to me.
What are your dislikes?
I dislike the lack of movement while working at my desk. Walking the dogs helps.
What do you love most about being an illustrator?
I love the creative process. I love being inspired, letting ideas flow, playing with them and watching them evolve. It's different every time and sometimes the result is not what I expected it to be, that excites me.
Also I learn something new about the world and about myself with every drawing I make.
How do you work – what are your techniques?
I use my Wacom graphic tablet and Photoshop. I do sketch ideas in my sketchbook, but the main work happens on the computer with the drawing tablet.
What is your favourite thing to draw?
I have a thing for weird animals like pigeons with four legs, dancing horses, grumpy cats with crazy eyes and squared bunnies. If I get to to draw a chubby bird at the end of a workday, I’m totally happy.
Are there any tricky parts to being an illustrator?
If you're a freelance illustrator it can be stressful to never know what the next year, even the next month has to offer and if you're going to earn enough money to make a living. You need strong nerves without a regular pay check. That’s why I have to work part time in an office to cover my bills.
What or who are you inspired by?
I'm really inspired by the pictures my 4 year old daughter Emilia draws and by her whimsical and silly kind of humor.
I love picture books, especially the simple yet colorful and playful ones for kids at a young age. Illustrators like Eric Carle and Janosch accompanied me when I was a kid. On the other hand my father gave me Gerhard Seyfried, F.K. Waechter and comics by Robert Crumb to look at. That was quite the contrast which affects me to this day.
Today I love picture books by Nadja Budde, Stina Wirsèn and Britta Teckentrup. But I am also inspired by all kinds of editorial illustrations.
What do you like to do in your spare time when you’re not illustrating?
I love to spend time with my family and with my daughter. When I have time for myself I love hiking, running and long walks with my dogs. I'm thankful and happy for my friends and I love having long and profound and sometimes silly talks with them while drinking a glass of red wine.
How did you get into illustration?
I really don't know. I guess illustration got into me.
What are your three top tips for aspiring illustrators?
#1 Draw every day. It doesen’t matter if it ends up being good or representable. Just draw.
#2 Besides working on your drawing skills and on your business, also take care of yourself, of your mind and of your soul. Ask yourself what you need and what might possibly stand in your way. What are the mindsets in you that could be preventing you from being happy. Listen to your sorrows and to your fears and and be kind to yourself.
#3 Get in touch with other illustrators, visit local illustrator meetings or - like I did - find a group of illustrators to be your mastermind group. I founded the group „Unterseecafé" (Café under the Sea) and I cannot put in words what this group and the seven people in it mean to me. We give each other endless support and inspiration and over the months have became very close friends.
What’s your ultimate dream?
Besides of many many MANY :-) creative projects I’d like to realize during this years, I really dream of having my very own studio one day, where I can draw and meet with artists, clients and friends.