I studied Illustration at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts with an exchange semester at the HAW Hamburg. I got my first jobs for illustrations while studying, mainly from friends and acquaintances. Sometimes it was quite stressful to work on assignments outside of my course, but at the same time I was able to gain valuable experience for my studies and the time after.
I find it difficult to name the single worst job, but of course some commissions were not great. I think it's part of the learning process and as long as you don't fall into the same traps anymore, it can be considered a minor success. But I must admit that it took me a while to avoid these traps. My experience has shown me that when working with private clients I have to be very clear in communication, explanations and job descriptions. Time management can also be an issue, for private clients often work during their free time and sometimes they forget that it is working time for me. Even though I like my job! With professional employers, I have less of those problems; they know what they want, understand the process and I notice it's working time for them too.
In summer I try to get up at 7 o'clock; in winter I usually don't get up that early. I am not really a morning person but I like the morning atmosphere and I know that’s when I work best. In addition I like to have a clear daily schedule. After my first coffee at home I go to the studio to have another coffee there. Next to this second coffee I read my emails and plan my day. Whenever possible I start with the work that needs the most concentration. For example drafts or paperwork like this interview, but also finishing illustrations before I send them off. I find the last decisions and strokes most difficult part in the process. Realizations and hard work I usually do in the afternoon. If time allows, I take an hour in the evening to push personal projects, make acquisitions or collect ideas. Recently my working days have gotten gradually longer, but I will try to compensate for this during quieter times.
This may sound a little trite. There are things – like administration or accounting – that I don't like doing so much. But I always tell myself that I can learn something from everything I do. When I look at it from that point of view, it’s much easier for me to have a go at it. And sometimes I even develop an interest in it.
"Do your sketches and drafts on loose paper, not in sketchbooks." – It works for me: I feel much freer and can find unused ideas faster.
To the end of last year I quit my part-time job. Now I want to make sure it stays that way and I’m looking forward to focus completely on Illustration.