Red Cap Artist Spotlight: Anke WeckmannOctober 31, 2013
We love Anke Weckmann! Hailing from London in the UK (originally from Germany), Anke is a valued member of our Red Cap family! With introspective drawings that portray both wit and whimsy, she manages to convey emotion as well as humor in her work. You may remember our post (Apprendre le Français avec Anke Weckmann) on her French lesson series from July, and since then, Anke has been churning out even more incredible work! We are so happy to introduce her to you in our artist spotlight.
PLUS we are starting a brand new, fun project with all of our artist interviews! We've asked Anke to curate her very own “What Anke Likes” board onto our Pinterest page. It's always so fun to catch a tiny glimpse into an artist's mind. Click here to view and follow!
Have you always known that you wanted to be an illustrator?
I've always known that I wanted to do something creative. When I was little I wanted to be an author who also draws the pictures in her books even though I didn't really write, but I always loved to draw. Back then I didn't know illustration could be a job or I'm pretty sure I would have wanted to do exactly that! When we had careers advice at school, the only creative jobs that came up were architect, graphic designer, fine artist and fashion designer. I enjoyed making stuff so after I graduated high school I started studying fashion design and sewing. It was a pretty rubbish course and I was miserable a lot of the time but it also made it clear to me that what I really wanted to do was draw! Another thing I had always wanted to do was to live in England, so I decided to move to London, began studying illustration and have been obsessed with it ever since.
Where do you gain most of your inspiration for your work?
Looking at everything, especially shapes and colours. Good food. Films and music. All the girl characters I've been obsessed with since I was little. Starting with Pippi Longstocking (in the amazing picture book illustrations by Ingrid Vang Nyman), later Anne of Green Gables, Harriet the Spy, Margot Tenenbaum, Lisbeth Salander and so many more.
We see that you just did a cover for Frankie and Frrresh! Do you have any other great projects coming up?
Commissions are usually a bit secret until they're printed, but I'm planning a new series of weekly illustrations for 2014 that I'm excited about.
Which do you enjoy more–commissioned editorial work or works from your own imagination for your brand?
Definitely both. I always enjoy doing my own work and I'm sure I could entertain myself with personal projects for the rest of my life. But it's also fun to work with other people, draw things I maybe wouldn't have thought of myself and of course seeing the work printed! I also like how the two areas inspire each other and are challenging in different ways.
We love your French lesson series. How long have you been studying French, and why did you start?
I'm glad you like them! Well, I had French classes in school but back then I was obsessed with English and had zero interest in French, which I totally regret now because I made very little effort to learn it. Two years ago I started to learn French again and I've been doing some online classes. Knowing a language opens up a whole world of films, books, art, music and people – translations or subtitles just aren't the same. And France is so close to the UK, I look forward to exploring it when I'm a little more fluent.
What is your favorite piece you have ever created?
I rarely look back on stuff when it's finished, so my favourite thing is always what I'm working on at the moment or what I'm planning to do next.
If you could have any other job besides what you are doing now, what would be?
I can't imagine doing anything else, if I don't draw I get unhappy very quickly. Having worked in retail for 6 years (during university and for a few years after) I really appreciate being able to illustrate full-time.
What do you like to do in your off-time?
I love exercising, it gets me away from the desk and keeps me pain-free and happy. And I like exploring London with James, I feel like even though I've lived here for 12 years I haven't that done nearly enough because I've been working so much. I also spend a lot of my off-time drawing in cafés, libraries and working on personal projects.
To view Anke's collection for Red Cap Cards, click here.
Photos courtesy of Anke Weckmann