"Twelve billion miles away, you have deferred death, but your ageing pacemakers are weakening and your bodily functions are shutting down, one by one."
From the space-oriented poem 'Voyager' by Mantz Yorke, illustrated by Marie Emmermann and to be found in our most recent edition of Popshot — the 'Outsider' issue. Pick up your copy at www.popshotpopshot.com/magazine
Die ganz große Bühne
KOMMEN DIE OLYMPISCHEN SPIELE 2024 AN DIE ELBE?
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Back then in Paris 2006... The Big Bang!
Actually I am still rooting for this strong graphical artwork I developed for my client Meiré und Meiré for MINI, Mondial de´l Automobile Paris. One consistent visual line from architecture to GUI for the (then) very new MINI presentation. What a fantastic show! And my dive into the field of illustration.
Interview from 2012.
Fashion Kunt talks to Marie Luise Emmermann, founder and creative whizz-kid behind Berlin based illustration and graphics agency, Skizzomat. We met the lush, Ms Emmermann last Friday at the opening of her first ‘experimental’ art exhibition at Neonchocolate, Berlin.
F.K: So tell us about Skizzomat, where did it begin?
I studied graphic design but always had a strong tendency towards pictorial expression, besides my work as an art director, I founded www.jedentag1bild.de (“1 picture a day”) with two friends in 2005 – a small blog just to open up my mind to non commercial illustrations. And actually pictures from that period made my first portfolio as Skizzomat, which I started officially back in 2006. I picked the name Skizzomat as it´s a mix of the german word for Skizze=sketch and Automat=machine, so to say it’s an automatically image-producing factory.
Three years ago I started to travel more and allow myself some time off Berlin for personal projects, as a result of these art residencies in France and Italy , I developed Glueless Collages(2010) and Papersculpts (2012), the selection currently exhibites at Neonchocolate Gallery. So Skizzomat Studio contains my editorial illustration work as well as my experimental artworks.
So the collaborative blog that you initially started with friends was the beginning of the journey towards having your own illustration business. What was your biggest challenge in setting up Skizzomat and why Berlin?
Yes, exactly! Actually everything grew quite naturally: after german Neon Magazine published a series of 3 of my illustrations (so exciting!) and I worked for a few online magazines where I kept getting requests from different editors. I put up my website to make myself found and that´s it more or less. Thanks to the internet my artwork is listed and linked by several design and illustration sites and blogs – and this is still working for me until today. Meanwhile I work for international clients, mainly european magazines. I accidentally came to Berlin for a job and stayed…. but you never know, I fell for Antwerp last summer – hopefully I´ll move there for some months next year, that city has an amazing energy!
One of the best things about being a freelance illustrator is to be able to go and live literally just anywhere. Berlin is my base, I enjoy living here very ,very much and returning is always great, but there are so many other places in the world I need to experience.
Antwerp is also high up on the Fashion Kunt Euro-Trash tour list. So, tell me about your current exhibition at Neon Chocolate, in your the exhibition your work is divided visually by the two different techniques you have used. Can you explain the process behind each type of image? Did the 3D imagery develop from the collage work or vice-versa?
Well, the Glueless Collages came first. This work series is about dissecting superficial beauty, about disintegration and alienation from familiar shapes and recreation through whats left out. I prepared all these body parts, just simple paper
cut-outs, but as I choose the sections, the bits began their transformation, especially as every piece brings its own shadowing into the collage. I was fascinated by these fragile constructions, just put together for one moment and wiped away right after the photo-shot. So the photoprint is the only proof they existed at all. As the Glueless Collage already imply a certain 3D-aspect, by folding/ stapling/ sticking people, faces, body parts even architectural pieces the cut-outs became real objects – I called them Papersculpts.
Its not just about strange deformation, I´m researching on violation of the human body, for example I wanted the people to “wear their own skin” like a helmet or armour or a shell would be worn. Again I took photographs of the objects
to play with dimensions, to add a certain surreal irritation. Even the folded house shows a vulnerability of the world that surrounds us. I have to admit I was not sure about showing a my real folded objects at Neonchocolate, as they are soooo tiny – but I LOVED them in their smart little display cases, I will definitely do more of these guys! Either way I would call my artwork “collage” as I play with found footage to discover my very personal point of view in it.
Glueless Collages or Paperscults, do you prefer one series of work over the other, and would you like to dedicate more time in the future to developing your experimental projects and less time on client projects?
Of course there favorite pieces but I don´t prefer one series in general, to me it´s all work in progress and I am curious what´s gonna be the next steps. Actually I am quite happy with the balance in my creative work: I like the challenge of client work as much as I take my time off to do something completely different. I worry, I would become too eremitic if I would only dig into my inner self for art.
If I one day feel rather being a full time artist, I will try and switch to that life form. One of my all-time favorites is “UM DIE ECKE” because its has these haunting eyes, and I love “Le Frisur” very much, it´s brand-new and also of some strange power.