1. Where are you from and how long have you been illustrating?
I was born in Würzburg, a small town in Bavaria, central Germany
where I still live and work as a freelance illustrator since 2006.
2. What is the art/illustration scene like in Germany? I’m really interested to hear what’s going on overseas.
Like in the USA, Illustration suffered from the economic crises started in 2009, but now it feels like it’s getting better. Generally Illustration gets more appreciation in Germany than years ago, but I would love to see more illustration in advertising. Ad Agencies are very interested in illustration and create ideas on illustrated campaigns, but it´s often the client who does not venture it. Yet!
3. Throughout a lot of your work, nature and ornamentation (dots, map markers, rhombus, ect) play a role in how you develop concepts. Are you pulling from a personal frame of reference using nature and ornamentation for your conceptual solutions or is there another reason.
Well, my kind of developing concepts reminds me to a situation when I was a small child in kindergarten. We had a big box full of LEGO, 98% bricks and 2% special pieces like, colored glass bricks, flowers, wheels, .... Every kid tried to get some of the special pieces to improve and to decorate what he had built with the bricks. So now, I also have a box with special pieces that delight my heart like the LEGO pieces in kindergarten. And I try to use them ( dots, rhombus, needles, wires,...) to create my illustrations and make an illustration that fits for the concept and additionally makes me feel more in love with it. It’s a very good feeling when it works!
4. One of the reason’s that I really love your work, is that your concepts are very poetic. When your given an assignment/working on a personal piece, what do you do you’re your starting to crave out a conceptual solution? writing lists, lots of drawings, lots of coffee?
Haha, thank you. Well, few coffee, few drawings, but writing down every stupid idea coming into my mind. Best time for stupid ideas is short before sleeping so I have my list on my bedside table. Writing down helps me to draining my head. And when I think it´s enough for 3-4 good concepts I start to do the rough sketches. And they are very rough so thanks to all ADs who trusted me! So that´s how I work for illustration jobs. For personal pieces the process of cogitation is much longer as I love to do small thematical series of works.
5. Do you feel that there’s a lot of separation between your gallery paintings v.s. your illustrated paintings/mixed media?
Well, actually not. I know that my personal pieces are a bit morbid and dark and wouldn’t find a place in illustration. Furthermore I work digital/mixed media for illustration jobs by contrast to my gallery work. But they have also a lot in common, like composition, colors, ideas, elements and my box of special pieces.... I try to balance everything.
6. Do you think you were prepared leaving art school to start a career in making art for a living?
Not at all. Just this advice: it will be hard!
7. If you weren’t living in Germany, would you live anywhere else?
Maybe in czech republic, as my wife originally comes from CZ. Landscapes are beautiful, and the mentality of people is awesome and the atmosphere often inspires me.
8. What are you up to when your not painting/drawing? Is it important to you to have down time?
Of course I take my rests. I love to spend time with the family, do sports, go hiking, cook, all the good things.
9. I know when I attended ICON6 in Los Angeles, there was a big divide between illustrators or were hesitant about illustrations being on digital tablets (iPad, Nook, ect) both still + animated/interactive, and those who were accepting it with open arms. With more and more things being appropriated for the web and digital devices, I was wondering what your thoughts were on these changes?
We should be open for all new developments that offer opportunities for illustration. As you know I love the mix of analog and digital regarding to esthetics, but my development in the last 2 years was contrary, because I spend a lot of time doing paintings and drawings for exhibitions. I really love new media, digital working but will never leave my paints and pencils.
10. Any advice for young illustrators just breaking into the industry?
Just one advice: it will be hard! ;-))
11. Any advice for older illustrators?
hm... Share your knowledge as much as you can.
12. Final Word?
I am looking forward to spring!
To find more of Marco Wagners work, go to www.marcowagner.net/
All of Marco's work is under ©opyright.