In conversation with illustrators Carina Lindmeier & Danii Pollehn
We talk to illustrators Carina Lindmeier and Danii Pollehn about creativity, collaboration and their recent series of live workshops for Adobe.
Carina Lindmeier is an illustrator, based in Linz, Austria. Specialising in digital illustration, with a figurative, contemporary style,her handmade digital aesthetic features layers of real-life textures, vibrant pattern, colour and subtle imperfections. German illustrator Danii Pollehn, lives and works in Hamburg. She studied Fashion design a decade ago and work as a textile designer and illustrator specializing in botanical elements, warm colors and symmetrical layouts.
How did you get into illustration as a freelance career?
Carina: At first, illustration was a hobby. Something I haven’t done for a long time and started again to recreate a “work-life-balance”. Little by little, the project requests fluttered into my inbox and that’s how the first jobs came along. Today this has reached a point where all my passion goes into creating other worlds by drawing on my iPad or on paper for a living. I am very pleased about this and know how lucky I am to be able to work this way.
Danii: Shortly after my studies I started out as a stylist and felt quite passionate about the freelance way of living. While working as a stylist for fashion magazines and advertising I never stopped drawing and creating patterns on the side and eventually took the leap to go full-time freelancing as a pattern designer a couple of years ago. Posting on Instagram also opened me up to work on illustration jobs creating patterns for packaging or branding projects as well as painting delicious fruits and herbs like for a recent commission from a Brooklyn based Kombucha Tea Company!
What kind of projects (personal or commercial) do you enjoy working on most?
Carina: I’m passionate about female empowerment and my work frequently depicts women in their day to day lives, with uplifting messages around positivity, relationships, health and wellbeing. But I also enjoy drawing plants or animals. So I would mainly refer my work to the editorial section. That means I work for magazines, both online and print. Recently, I’ve received more and more requests for branding and packaging, i.e. illustrations that are used in the context of a new corporate identity or a special product. I really enjoy this and I would like to work even more in this direction.
Danii: I feel home when painting botanicals such as house plants, flowers or tropical foliage but also love creating food illustration. Lately working on fashion & lifestyle illustrations as inspired me aswell and it feels like the right path to extend my portfolio with everything that inspires and surrounds me instead of limiting myself too much to one niche/specialty/style.
I feel home when painting botanicals such as house plants, flowers or tropical foliage but also love creating food illustration. Lately working on fashion & lifestyle illustrations has inspired me too.
Can you tell us about your creative practice – what tools, software and apps do you typically use in your work?
Carina: I keep a long running list of ideas in my notebook (who doesn’t, haha). Before starting any drawing, I sketch analog and write about it first and do a lot of research. Then I do a few very loose sketches, mainly digital using Adobe Fresco. If it’s a paid project, usually it involves a first rough sketch after the initial brief as soon as possible. Mostly I start to work digitally right away to save time. We’d aim to get the complexity, composition and the general aesthetics finalised before moving on to colour roughs and the final artwork including textured and details.
Danii: Typically my morning starts with an oat milk latte and checking my emails to organize some kind of schedule for the day! My go-to tools are Adobe Fresco and Photoshop. Apart from that I try to post on Instagram regularly which keeps me producing artwork on a daily basis and practice a lot. That is about it to be honest. Graduating in fashion has given me the most intensive learning curve when it comes to time management and organisation. I use a traditional weekly paper planner where I organise all my appointments and errands to run.
How did the Adobe Fresco collaboration come about? Did you use this app previously?
Given that we both had our personal streams already and the community manager of Adobe Germany knew that we know each other she asked us if we would be interested in having a couple of streams together. We both knew and used the app already on a daily basis and very much enjoy working with it! This is why we said “yes” right away 🙂
How did you define the concept and idea for the live session? Was there a lot of prep to do in advance?
Before hosting the Live sessions we had several calls where we discussed and pitched our ideas and concepts for the streams. Together we developed a concept to keep it interesting for everyone watching the sessions and also a challenge for us – so it was entertaining for everyone involved.
There are also quite a few things to organize upfront every stream such as doing research on the themes, creating several sketches and thinking about technical aspects of the app.
Challenging at the beginning though was answering questions, leading the topic of conversations while sketching and coloring but we adjusted really quickly and conversations had during our sessions were also very inspiring!
Can you describe the experience of running the live session together? Was it nerve wracking or mostly fun?
It was actually a lot of fun and an amazing experience! Of course, we were quite nervous before our very first stream but 30 sec in, it felt natural already. It became our highlight of the week very quickly. Challenging at the beginning though was answering questions, leading the topic of conversations while sketching and coloring but we adjusted really quickly and conversations had during our sessions were also very inspiring! One thing we enjoyed a lot also was that we had the chance to watch each other create and learn from it as well as from the community!
What were the most challenging aspects of doing the Adobe Live session?
Definitely that time is limited! Creating something within just one hour felt very short sometimes especially when there was an interesting discussion started in the chat or you felt like changing the entire illustration 🙂
What’s special about Fresco? Why should illustrators try it for their work?
Lots! For example as a user of the Adobe Cloud you have everything available at your fingertips which is super comfortable. There are unlimited layers and of course you can choose between vector and pixel brushes. You can download a crazy amount of brushes from artists like Kyle T. Webster or new brushes which are inspired by Keith Haring. Adobe really keeps things exciting! Furthermore while scaling down and up your artwork remains crystal clear. All these features make it very easy to work on a professional level with the iPad.
How can people find out about the Adobe sessions and get involved / watch?
You can find all episodes on Behance. There is a special section for all the wonderful Adobe Live streams. In case you don´t have a Behance profile yet you can also find all the streams on Youtube!
And what else does 2020 have in store for you? Where do you hope to take your freelance career in the next 6-12 months? What are your plans?
Carina: This year was totally crazy, full of surprises and many changes. It has also pushed me to move into other directions and to develop myself further. I am very grateful for that! I would be very happy to do more Adobe streams, because it is really a lot of fun.
Branding collaborations, book covers and some editorial work can be looked forward to – but I won’t tell too much yet 🙂 I would like to cooperate more with lifestyle brands worldwide and create great things in the field of branded content, editorial and packaging.
Danii: I would love to work on more Adobe Live sessions together with Carina because we have been such a dream team! But also I´m working towards a few fields I want to discover further and of course I would absolutely love to work on more packaging illustrations as well as discover new collaborations with interesting brands and art directors all over the world.
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