A Chat with LULU*
How did fashion illustration start for you?
I worked for many years as an illustrator in all different fields of illustration. It was mostly technically related; collage artwork for the car industry, and some small fashion assignments, but more vector computer-based art than hand-drawn. As part of my design studies, I applied for Universität der Künste Berlin/The Berlin University of the Arts, and took fashion classes. I discovered I really enjoyed fashion illustration and have been working in the field for the past 3 years.
Have your childhood memories influenced illustration?
I’m sure it influenced me a lot. I grew up in-between flowers and patterns, as part of my parent’s business. I love nature, and as a child I spent all my time playing outside, building things out of wood and other materials. There was also the local theater where I was often taken by a friend of the family. She was taking care of me and opened my imagination to different cultures and habits.
How have magazines influenced your work? In what ways?
I always collected old magazines and I still do. I love the reflection of time in these magazines when you flip through. “Wallpaper“ magazine was important when I started working as an illustrator, before then it seemed like illustration was not as common in print media, not like it used to be in the 50s and 60s.
How did collaborations with Vogue Italia, Glamour Vogue Nippon etc come about?
I started small. There were jobs published, and other clients and brands saw it and liked it. It was a great honor to be approached for these collaborations, it still is.
Which fashion designer describes a lot of your style?
CÉLINE (Phoebe Philo), Marc Jacobs, and Stella McCartney, but also some small labels.
What designer would you like to collaborate with?
Stella McCartney. because she is an incredible designer and her designs are somehow similar to my own vision in art.
I love the patterns and motives she uses on her designs. She does it on her own unique way which seems very strong to me. Maybe I just also love the way that there is always a story told through her creations.
It would be a dream to collaborate with her.
Who do you find the most powerful and historic painter/artist of all time?
For you, what is the difference between German, Japanese and Italian fashion publications?
All of them transport their different cultures and habits. I love Italian Vogue as it is so different from the other versions, they seem to give more artistic freedom than, for example, the US one, but maybe it is just my personal feeling.
What is the best part of your job?
Being a freelancer and having people ask me to do the stuff I love to do. That this is my job, which I never thought would be possible, and this is a gift.
What do you look most forward in someone when you collaborate with them?
The formation of the final piece.
How do you like seeing your illustrations most of the time, digitally or in print?
As I started to do little images with my first Mac when I was 10, and very early on the screen view was a kind of drawing paper for me, I love both. Having it printed on good paper is beautiful … but digital is convenient as more and more people switch to digital media, too.
What is the best piece of advice you have gotten throughout this years?
Take your time for free work beside assignments, it opens your mind & have fun. Just love what you do, that's the most important thing.
What kind of individual do you usual represent in your drawings ?
Most of the images are woman, with strong will and a melancholic side. Self-confident, I would say.
What kinds of materials do you usually use?
Most of the time I use ink, watercolors and pencils.
If you feel stuck in a drawing what is your usual remedy to get back on track?
I get out of the studio have a coffee in my neighborhood in Berlin, or I tidy up my desk to get a clear mind, and then go through our little library of collected books and magazines.
How would you describe the Berlin lifestyle? Could you describe Berlin for us from an artists’ perspective?
I think I have a love-hate relationship with Berlin. It still seems very inspiring to me, even if things have changed over the last 10 years. Ithas a bit of a feeling you would have during New York's art scene, just without an ocean.
I love how easily influenced I get here; such as people I meet accidentally and the places I stumble upon as I bike through the streets. Berlin has a fresh good vibe during the warm months, but when the winter comes its better that you work with color, as it can get so frustrating. Maybe this is why I get so much done through the cold months, it keeps summer on my mind when it everything is grey and everyone is grumpy. Never ever visit Berlin during the winter
If you are not drawing you can be found….
Reading, traveling and spending time with my family.
Any piece of advice for young aspiring illustrators who are trying to break into the fashion industry?
Maybe not to focus on one subject, be inventive with styles. Just do what you love.