- Clemens Poloczek
We’re always interested in seeing how artists work and their creative processes. That’s why we set up the ‘One Minute Sketch‘, a behind-the-scenes video series where we take a look over an artist’s shoulder and get a glimpse into the creation of an artwork. For this installment, we asked Berlin-based 3D illustrator Sarah Illenberger to interpret the topic of ‘Easter’. See what Illenberger came up with below.
How do you typically approach a new creative brief?
“Usually I scribble, and sometimes I actually use objects to play around with.”Sarah Illenberger: “I usually approach a project starting with research – getting into the subject through reading, searching online, checking out images on Google and just getting familiar with the theme. Then I start to sketch – usually I scribble, and sometimes I actually use objects to play around with. Then I take a lot of photos and hopefully at some point I think ‘OK, I cracked it’ and that’s when I have a solution. And then I go on to produce it.“
You always manage to give daily objects a new meaning. How do you constantly come up with new and original ideas?
“I just feel like I have to put it out somewhere and that’s when it becomes an illustration or a photograph.”Sarah Illenberger: “If I only knew how it works! [laughs] Coming up with ideas is really the tricky part, because it’s not so predictable. There are days when I’ll be bubbling with ideas and then there are weeks where nothing happens and the more pressure I’m under, the worse it gets. Generally, I try to see my everyday life with curious and kind of child-like eyes. I take in a lot of impressions and they then get processed in a creative way. I just feel like I have to put it out somewhere and that’s when it becomes an illustration or a photograph.”
"Generally, I try to see my everyday life with curious and kind of child-like eyes."
If one takes a look at your work, one immediately recognizes your signature. How did you develop your own style as an illustrator?
“When you listen to your gut feeling and your intuition, then you’re usually bound to stay true to your style and kind of signature.”Sarah Illenberger: “Well, I think I developed my own style as an illustrator just by being very true to myself, trying not to leave my own path, to concentrate and listen to my gut feeling. I think gut feeling and intuition are the most important parts of working and being creative. When you listen to your gut feeling and your intuition, then you’re usually bound to stay true to your style and kind of signature.“
Did you have any mentors along the way?
Sarah Illenberger: “I had tons of people who inspired me along the way. I was really lucky that I got to study in London, because London was, in my view, the first city that opened up the disciplines. For example, you could see a set designer like Shona Heath working together with photographer Tim Walker and who was more than just an executer of ideas. Job titles in themselves have lost relevance. The boundaries have kind of loosened up and artists started working across disciplines, so that’s been a great influence.
There are a lot of artists that inspire me. I think it’s a really exciting time to be creative, because all the kind of boundaries are dissolving and there’s a real openness and tolerance towards artists who work across different disciplines.“
"I think it’s a really exciting time to be creative, because all the kind of boundaries are dissolving."