Tell us about how you became the woman you are today. Where did you grow up? What moments in life have influenced your character most?
I was born in Berlin and am still living here. At the moment I’m studying communication design and doing illustration work as a freelancer.
Tell us about the exact moment or period in time when you realized you were born to create.
Honestly, I can’t tell an exact moment or period of time because as I grew up creativity always was a big part in my life. My mother encouraged me so much to experiment and try out different things. We drew and created a lot of fun things together and I’m sure that is an important part of why I developed such a passion and inspiration for my art. I remember to always hear adults say something like „Oh, you are gonna do something creative when you are grown up!“ And yeah, it kind of worked out like that. Even though the mediums I use often changed and still do, I always keep doing something creative to express myself or my emotions.
Tell us a little bit about what drew you to your medium. Did you choose to work with said medium or did it choose you?
I am drawing in Photoshop with a graphics tablet. As much as I love and admire artists that are drawing the analog way I mostly prefer the digital way. I love that you can be so quick with it and can change things afterward and just have a lot more options. I would love to maybe someday get more analog but currently, this is my way to create.
As I mentioned before it did change in the past. I started with drawing and doodling the things that were on my mind but eventually, I came to photography. I guess at the age of 14/15 maybe it really became my thing and I mostly did portrait work with friends and also a lot of self-portraits. Self-portraits were a special way for me to express myself. I continued with photography as my main focus until I started studying communication design at the age of 19. Due to so many new things in the field of design and creativity I learned at university I kind of lost my personal connection to photography. But somehow that connected me to drawing again. In the beginning, I also focused on my photography as references for my illustrations because I just had such a huge amount of visual images there that I wanted to somehow rework or transfer into my new style. Photography and especially self-portraits still speak to me a lot but at the moment illustration is the closer medium for me. It somehow just comes to me easier. But who knows how this will develop in the future? :)
A lot of women believe they need formal training in order to succeed as a female Artist. What’s your take? Did you have a formal education or are you self taught?
I see myself only partly as an artist. It is definitely a side of me but I also see myself as a designer. I like doing graphical work unrelated to illustration or photography. So I would say that I really enjoy the formal education in the area of design but I love to have my art as a part of me that is not something I learn from others or where I have to stick to certain rules. There is no right or wrong way to do something. It feels like my art solely belongs to me and I am the expert in it. It is something I can experience for myself. I really like that. So I kind of benefit from both sides a little.
What do you want the younger female artists coming up behind you to know about you, your journey, and the art industry in general?
I never had a specific vision in mind of where I wanted to go with my art. Also, I did not orientate myself on other artists so much or on what other people thought. The important part for me always was to live out my current passion or inspiration. From this, it kind of developed itself to where I am now. In retrospect, I guess it was the right way for me because I think it is very significant to don’t concentrate too much on how it should be done or how others are doing it. Keep doing it for yourself. Because there are so many different people out there and therefore many different preferences. You can’t fulfill all of them to fulfill the most important one by creating what makes you happy and what you love most!
How do you define your creative gig? Full-time career or side hustle? Explain why you’ve chosen one over the other.
As I am still studying I see my career mostly in the future. So it seems still like a sort of hobby to me even though I already do a lot of custom works and commissions or collaboration with businesses. I also don’t have another part-time job so illustrating is my only profession at the moment. And it is something I really, really love to do! But I actually don’t want to put a label on it because I appreciate where I am right now but I can’t tell for the future. It can be still similar or it could be totally different. So I guess I’m living and enjoying the moment right now but still am open to how this will develop or change.
What is the message you're sending into the universe with your work? Why do you feel so strongly about said message?
A very important thing for me are emotions and how everyone is experiencing them differently. I like to create something which for me tells a story, a situation or only transfers a certain atmosphere. That’s a big part of creating my art. And with the possibility to share my art with so many people out there through the Internet I can also experience how they perceive the same drawing. Do they understand what I wanted to express for myself? Or do they see something of themselves in there? It can become something new just by other people looking at it and mixing the illustration with their own thoughts, emotions, fears or experiences. This sort of visual communication is what (my) art is all about for me!
How do you stay motivated? What does your daily routine look like?
So far I worked together with so many amazing people for business collaborations as well as simple portrait commissions. The kindness and love those people are showing me while we are working together are motivation enough for me wanting to get to know even more people through my art and keep sharing this part of myself with the outside world. Thank you!
As I’m working from home I really have to work hard on the part of taking breaks or not letting my work life intrude too much into my private life. So I try to have breakfast and do a little yoga before starting to work (it does not work out every time though…) and have set times for having lunch and when to call it a day. But of course, it sometimes gets mixed up because I also try to answer my customers quickly and be available. That’s a thing I hope will get better with time as I get more and more into my work routine!
What do you know for sure?
That I never felt better with anything than with being vegan for the last 3 years!
Give us three of your favorite/ most inspiring things right now. Could be a book, a food, a destination, a song, a person, etc.
Maybe it sounds a bit lame but actually Instagram and all the artists I follow there are a huge inspiration for me! I love the exchange with so many people that share the same interests that is possible there. With both artists and also people who are following my art and sharing their stories with me!
Name 3 Artists you would like to see featured on Hola Gwapa next and what you love about them.
@kitagar - Also does very minimalistic art but totally different from my art. She uses soft colors and sometimes rather abstract line drawing of the female body or faces. She inspires me to get looser in my drawings as I’m sticking accuracy a lot!
@vonannelie - Does beautiful drawings of everyday objects and or thins found in nature. I adore her way to draw very simple but yet with a lot of fine details. She does not try to depict everything as accurate as a photograph but instead, some slightly off perspectives bring so much more charm and personality into her illustrations!
@sacree_frangine - Inspired me to try out new things! I started experimenting with colorful shapes in my drawings a lot as I love the simple yet very strong portraits consisting only of shapes without lines which is very contrasting to my usual work! Thank you!
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ivonne kellner —
I am soooo proud of my lovely daughter :-*