Provocative and playful food illustrations from Pauline Kebuck
Pauline Kebuck creates refined yet playful imagery, bursting with stylised compositions and subtle textures. Here Pauline speaks to us about life in Berlin and her obsession with food.
I’ve always been drawing and making things…I was basically born with a crayon in hand. After graduating high school I studied Art History and English, but neither quite satisfied or inspired me. Consequently I worked an office job for three years in order to save money and figure out what I wanted to do. Then, one day, I recall talking to a friend of mine who was studying iIllustration in Hamburg. The more he told me about the program, and the more I researched what it means to be an illustrator, the more I understood that illustration was something I wanted to do. So I applied to the same school as him (Hamburg University of Applied Sciences), and was accepted, graduating several years later with a BA in illustration.
I now live in Berlin, a city with a huge creative scene! It’s hugely inspiring, with a strong sense of community. It has a real international feel, something definitely reflected in its creative scene. It’s wonderful being in a place where I feel like I can meet so many people from all over the world. I’ve recently also joined the Berlin Kreativ Kollektiv; a non-for-profit support network for Berlin-based creatives. I’ve already met so many amazing people through it.
Over the last few years I’d say my style has become more and more refined, visually cleaner. It has also become more colourful, which I find funny because I used to hate using colour at all. I always start a new project by sketching new ideas in pen and paper, as a sort of visual thinking process. Once I’m happy with an idea I make a cleaner sketch, which I then turn into a digital illustration using Illustrator, Photoshop, and a Wacom tablet. I often use ink and different brushes to make marks and details, which I then scan in and add to the illustration in order to add a more organic feel.
As you can tell from the photo, I like a tidy and clean workspace where I feel able to focus on my work. That said, I’m always collecting fun and weird things, like a beautiful dog-shaped ceramic stapler from Anthropologie, that I’ve named Wilbur. I never use it for stapling, I just like to look at it… it makes me smile.
Currently I’m illustrating a logo for a video production company. After that I’ve another logo illustration in the pipeline. I’ve also just finished making a Christmas card, which is now available on my Etsy store. As a a personal side project I’m planning to do an illustrated Christmas advent calendar on my instagram account…so keep your eyes peeled!
I’m obsessed with all things related to food! Not only do I love to cook and bake – which I find very therapeutic – but I love to study cookbooks, try out new recipes, and browse specialty food shops for new and interesting ingredients, to watch food documentaries like Jiro ‘Dreams of Sushi’ or ‘Chef’s Table’.
Because of my obsession with food I’ve started a personal project on instagram called ‘100 Days of Food’, where I make a new food illustration for 100 (non-consecutive) days. I absolutely adore the book Taste – The Infographic Book about Food by Laura Rowe and illustrator Vicki Turner. It’s a stunning combination of beautiful illustration, elegant design and compelling information about food – the perfect book for a food and design nerd like me!
I’d love to one day illustrate a box of high-quality chocolates, the ones you find in department stores and stare at in awe (at least I do!) I’d also love to illustrate a cookbook, or create a textile pattern for a fashion brand, or packaging for a beauty brand. My wish list of things I want to illustrate is endless… Sometimes I feel like I have so many ideas, I don’t know where to start! One of them includes illustration in combination with embroidery. I’d also like to experiment with illustrated ceramics.
As well as food, I enjoy visiting art exhibitions and gallery openings. Luckily there are loads of both in Berlin. I also love to travel and discover new places, encounter different cultures. Two of my favourite places so far have been Hawaii and Norway.