LAST WEEK I MET: FRANZISKA SCHÜTZ
Coming from Rottweil, a tiny town with big dogs, Franziska‘s work definitely shows influence of her roots in the Black Forest. Now based in Amsterdam she is working as a freelance illustrator while simultaneously interning at Versal – the literary & arts journal, and GUP, the renowned photography magazine. She is a busy woman and any spare minute she has, she spends sketching and drawing, and going out for a ciggie or two on the stairs of her front door.That is where most of the ideas for her illustrations come from.
She moved to the Netherlands to study fashion design. After two years of torturous hours in the sewing room and endless all-nighters, and more coffee than anyone should ever consume, she made the brave decision to choose a different path. Now that‘s just a fancy way of saying she quit because she hated it. Her interests are too diverse and a fashion school would just not cut it. Loving art, the smell of books, old(or actually any) horror stories and everything odd, her eating habits are just as strange, consisting of cereals and cigarettes only.
Her illustrations put you in astonishing worlds and create misty spheres with fascinating, obscure creatures. Her latest collaboration was with Daphne Descends, an Italian jewelry label, and there are definitely more to come.
She answered a few questions for us explaining her style, way of working and ambitions.
HOW WOULD YOU YOURSELF DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
My work is just a mix of a lot of things I like. It is mostly figurative, with elements of nature, a feminine and sweet aspect to it, sometimes a bit creepy, strange, surreal. I do think my background in fashion design is visible in my work, I use a lot of textures and patterns, small details. As for the technique, I primarily work with ink and watercolour on paper. My illustrations are mainly made up of precise lines, but I do incorporate elements that come by chance, random ink drops, mistakes that become something else. So you could say my first step is creating a mess and then structuring it through lines.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR EVERYDAY INSPIRATION FROM?
That can be anything, my ideas come randomly. Inspiration can be a person, books, a song, childhood memories, basically everything. I usually just start drawing and then it develops. I get a clearer picture while I’m working on it, so I guess it evolves within the process.
WHAT ACTIVITIES DO YOU UNDERTAKE TO UNWIND AFTER LONG HOURS AND DAYS OF WORKING?
Usually it just helps to leave the house and go outside, but I also like to just stay in bed, watch conspiracy documentaries and I might be the only person in the world who finds splatter movies relaxing.
DO YOU EVER GET BLOCKED FOR IDEAS? IF SO, HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THAT?
It doesn’t happen a lot luckily, but mostly it helps to just move away from the table and do something completely different and start over later. If I don’t feel it, it doesn’t make sense to force it, then the magic is gone and it won’t work. It has to burst out of me to put it on paper.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ULTIMATE GOAL AS AN ILLUSTRATOR THAT WOULD MAKE YOU THINK NOW YOU‘VE MADE IT?
To keep evolving and being completely satisfied with what I am doing. To be able to pay my bills would also be nice, maybe publish a book at some point, do some exhibitions.
To see more of Franziska‘s work check out her portfolio!