For the last time this year: New month, new comic happiness. The wonderful Carla Haslbauer brings us the final issue with her lovely and enchanting illustrations. I talked to her about her love of shopping-crazy fish, her dream job as a Christ Child and the difficulties of her demanding work.
Could you briefly introduce yourself and your career?
I'm Carla, I graduated from HSLU Design&Kunst with Illustration Fiction in 2018 and have been working as a freelance illustrator in Basel ever since. At the moment I'm in the picture book business, but I also do small comics from time to time. And I'm interested in three-dimensional art and like to make little funny figurines.
Tell me something about the pictures that are coming in this month's newsletter?
The pictures that are in the December newsletter show a bit of how I perceive the world around me. Some are from my travel diaries, some are sketches from the road, some show how I process funny experiences into a comic and sometimes they are drawings where I just play around a bit with characters and ideas.
Do you have a favourite image from them and if so, why?
The fish going shopping. The idea that there is a supermarket called «ALGI» underwater is still funny to me!
I had many different career ideas as a child. One idea, for example, was Christkind: I imagined it as an interesting postman's job where I just had to put nice presents under the Christmas tree. Later I got interested in music, but quickly realised that I was much too lazy for that career. I have always loved drawing and painting, but I never thought I would become an illustrator.
How would you describe your style?
That's such a difficult question! Maybe you could describe it as playful, dreamy observations.
It actually changes every few years. At the moment my favourite colour is royal blue, which is a very intense, somewhat aggressive colour, but a bit difficult to reproduce as normal printers can't reproduce the colour. But I am always tempted to use it.
Which themes are particularly close to your heart?
I like to work with childhood memories or my own experiences into my work. It is especially important to me to address the readers and viewers in an emotional way. I am not a person of big words and therefore try to reach people on a visual level.
Where did you grow up and did that have an influence on the course of your life or your drawings?
I grew up in the small town of Bad Nauheim near Frankfurt am Main, a very fairytale like town. The place probably influenced my style. But my family in particular has influenced me and my work. My first picture book Die Tode meiner Mutter (NordSüd Verlag 2021), for example, is inspired by my childhood and shows what it's like to grow up as the daughter of an opera singer.
Earning money with illustration is a bit difficult for me at the moment. I'm always trying to put my life in order. But in some phases it's very difficult for me. What I still have to get used to is digital drawing, I'm still learning a lot at the moment.
Illustration can tell a whole story in a single picture with little or no text. I find it incredible that it can not only convey information but also trigger specific emotions, depending on the colour combination, composition and use of the medium.
List for me, in key words, a few of your favourite things (or moments or experiences).
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Life can be sometimes challenging.
It is the least to say for Blanquito.
7 years ago, Blanquito was born in the beautiful Andean mountains of Peru. His fate was unfortunately not so bright at first..
His first family was abusive and mistreating him. But Blanquito is a loyal dog with unconditional love: He stayed with his family for many years. Before one day finding the courage to take a leap of faith and leaving to live life as a free dog.
This is when he met his second family. Blanquito was so excited and exhilarated: He was about to finally find a loving family! Little did he knew. After a first phase of excitement and love, the new family was soon not anymore interested in him and let him alone outside the whole time.