German digital artist ICONEO creates art that speaks for itself, and to all of us. Making illustrations that show the problems of today’s world, he persuades us to reflect on things that happen around us. He told us what he likes most about being a full-time artist, and revealed his inspirations. Read the interview below, and learn more about ICONEO.
How did you become a full-time, freelance artist?
After my degree in communication design, I founded an advertising agency with a colleague. But after 8 years of advertising, I wanted to focus my work on illustration and art. So I left the agency to restart my career as an illustrator and designer.
The biggest power of your art is the truth, and you find inspiration in today’s problems and events. When and how did you begin your documentary?
It began a few years ago, but it was a slow process. I love to work with series. So when the first images of a series are ready, it is easy to get inspired for the next ones. It’s like a daily challenge to think about new ideas or concepts.
Do you consider art your escape from today’s reality?
I think my art is often the opposite of escape: It is a confrontation with reality. My art provokes to deal with it, to think about it, and to reflect. But on the other hand, the act of making art is like escaping from reality. Because it feels like meditation. Sometimes I cannot stop drawing, I forget everything around me, I even forget to drink and to eat.
Which of your works is the most important to you and why?
For me, my most important works are the ones with a focus on today’s problems like global warming, plastic pollution, and empathy.
And what makes you happy when you’re not creating?
I love to spend time with my family, or a walk in the forest, I also love cozy breakfasts.
In your opinion, how important is social media for artists now?
Social media is a great platform to present your art. But it is also a danger for some artists, also for me. Sometimes I compare myself to other artists and I feel small or not good enough.
Is there any artist that you look up to?
There are a lot of artists! Of course big artists like Banksy, but I admire also little unknown artists.
What is the one thing that you love the most, and one thing that you absolutely hate about being a full-time artist?
I love the freedom to work when or where I want. And to deal with topics I have chosen. Sometimes I hate being a full-time artist when I’m ill but I have to finish work.
What is your number one dream?
My number one dream is to illustrate and write a book for children.