n recent months my newsletter has been graced with the illustrations of international artists. But in April we are moving closer to home…actually we're right at home as Swiss and Zurich based artist Iris Weidmann is providing the pictures. This of course made it way easier for me to catch up with her and ask about her career, her style and her favourite things.
Would you like to introduce yourself and your career? I'm Iris, I work as an illustrator and comic artist in Zurich and I'm looking forward to illustrating your April newsletter!
In 2019, I graduated in Illustration Nonfiction (scientific illustration) in Lucerne. Since graduating, I've been working independently and until recently I was working part-time in the catering industry, which was a good change from the rather introverted work at the drawing desk. Thanks to the comic magazine «Die Notbremse» (The Emergency Brake), I was also able to get more involved with drawing comics after graduating. For those who don't know the magazine yet, «Die Notbremse» is a young comic magazine that deals with socially critical issues in thematic issues.
And tell me something about the pictures that we will see in this month's newsletter?They show a smorgasbord of different works. Excerpts from comics created at the 24h Comic, excerpts from comics for "Die Notbremse" but there are also images from my digital as well as analogue sketchbook.
Do you have a favourite picture from it and if so, why? Maybe the last picture with the woman on the beach. I like to imagine what goes through her mind when she looks at the sea. It was created from a sketch during the holidays, and later I made a Riso poster out of it.
What did you want to be when you were a child? Marine biologist, until someone pointed out to me that you had to be good at maths for that... and Zurich is miles from the sea.
How would you describe your style? That's so difficult to say...I like to switch between analogue and digital and depending on the project, a different stylisation of the figures fits. Let's call it «changeable».
Do you have a favourite colour? Green, preferably in combination with pink.
Which themes are particularly close to your heart? At the moment I have the opportunity to work on my comic project. In it, I'm dealing with Switzerland's colonial heritage with a focus on Zurich. I think it's important to take a critical look at one's privileges.
Where did you grow up and did that have an influence on the course of your life? Or also on your drawings? I grew up in Zurich on a street with lots of children. We had a gang, a gang neighbourhood, unfortunately not very exciting cases to solve, but it made for a very idyllic childhood. I am lucky that I am still in contact with many great people from that time. In addition, my family always supported me in my decision to focus my schooling on drawing and went with me, (during the time of my life when travelling by train alone was not possible) to the «Fumetto» comic festival.
What brings you joy at the moment? At the beginning of the year I quit my part-time job and now have 100% time to work in my studio. I also got a comic scholarship, which gives me the opportunity to concentrate on my project. That is great luck and I am very grateful for this opportunity.
What is the most challenging thing in your life right now? Following on from the previous answer: being self-employed is great, but it also challenges me a lot. There is still a lot to learn.
What do you like to draw the most? I like to sketch outside and observe what is happening around me. When I'm drawing, I discover the most wonderful inconspicuous things. I hope that as the spring weather progresses I will be able to take more time for this.
What can comics, cartoons and illustrations do that other media can't? What I like about comics is the parallelism between image, dialogue and narrative voice, as well as the multiple possibilities to shape the reading direction of a story. When I look at illustrations, I have the feeling that I can watch the illustrators think.
List a few of your favourite things (or moments or experiences) in a nutshell. Melted butter, goat cheese, pistachio ice cream, the Üetliberg which smells of wild garlic right now, laughing fits with my niece and if you match at Jass (the card game Jassen), that's not bad either.
What do many people not know about you? When we weren't outdoors as children, I gave a lot of my attention to the «Barbies».
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