Today we have something special for our readers - exclusive interview with awesome illustrator from Berlin Maike Plenzke. Maike creates sunny and delighted illustrations. Artist has perfect feel of colors. We love it!
L: What were the most difficult moments on your way becoming an illustrator?
MP: Graduating in Febrary 2013, and not going to university every second day anymore. That was a bit weird at first.
Also deciding how much money my work is worth and how to deal with contracts and taxforms.
Being professional enough to get a lawyer. Needing help in those situations is not a bad thing and you have every right to consult one. Lawyers seem to be a bit intimidating at first but it’s good to let them take a look at contracts, so you understand them better and can try negotiating a better one for both parties.
L: Can you name book’s title you have read recently? Maybe there is a book that you would like to make a cover illustration for?
MP: It’s a bit embarrassing, but it seems I’m not able to find the time to read a book these days. When I was young I used to borrow stacks of books from the kids library, but today I only manage reading them on vacations. The last book I’ve read was one of the Ice and fire series when I was on a vacation and that was last year. But I’m listening to audiobooks during work, that my boyfriend is listening to, but don’t ask me what they’re called.
Oh I forgot: I’ve also read a kids book earlier this year, but I’m not allowed to tell you the title as it was for a cover job I was hired for.
L: Does the knowledge of anatomy help drawing people? Or it is no “must have” knowledge for illustrator?
MP: I myself think it’s a good thing to know. But a lot of artist think otherwise, so there is no rule for what you have to know or not.
I think it helps to make your characters more believable and when you know how to draw people properly, you can exaggerate them to create interesting characters. I still need to learn a lot about that before I’m able to draw them confidently, but one gets better with practise and time.
L: Can you name 3 the most important thing that you learned at the HAW Design?
MP: I’ve actually learned more from illustrators outside of school and not so much from the people at school. To see fellow illustrators and comic artists (that I met on sketch meetings) draw everyday, motivated and inspired me to draw more from life and not be afraid to draw in public. They also taught me to value my work and price it correctly.
Also learning to not get demoralized, if someone doesn’t like your illustrations. That’s normal and not a bad thing, you have to use that as motivation to get better.
L: And our special question. Imagine that you are sweets, what kind it would be and why?:)
MP: Gummybears! I just love them and Germany is luckily a good place to find a lot and much diversity of them. You can get bags of 1 kg with many flavours in special stores, even weird ones like red pepper and ginger . But recently I tried to not eat so much of them. They’re most probably not very healthy. ;)
Thank you Maike!