1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
Hey, I’m Jelena and I was born in a very tiny village in the black forest in Germany. And I mean tiny, like two farms and a church tiny. Later my family moved around a bit but then settled in a small city in the south of Germany called Böblingen. After I finished school I moved to Hamburg, a beautiful port city, to study.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
That’s a tough question. I guess my aesthetic is happy, pleasant colours and a cartoony style.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
Definitely digital. I work a lot more relaxed because I’m not afraid of mistakes. How I illustrate changes all the time. I used to work with very few layers but now I like how easy I can change small things if everything has an own layer.
4. What is your artistic process like?
First I like to make a small sketch with a pencil in my sketchbook. Then I start picking colors. I try to find colors I’m excited about and will fit the illustration. I take my time to do this because I realised I work better with a limited palette. Plus if I’m happy with the colors, everything just flows. It’s just happy drawing after I found the perfect palette haha
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
As a kid what inspired me the most where definitely cartoons, animes and The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. I remember sitting in front of the TV sketching all the Characters from Zelda in a sketchbook. Nowadays what inspires me a lot are children books, like “Arthur and the Golden Rope” from Joe Todd-Stanton or “Mr Tiger Goes Wild” and “Secret Garden” from Peter Brown and sooo many more (Francesca Sanna and Cruschiform). Lately, I’m also inspired by plants and beautiful interior design. And there are so many more inspiring things, like music and lots of cute animals. I guess everything that makes me happy.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
Hm, another tough question. Art is really interwoven in my life. Almost all of my friends and my husband are illustrators, so I talk about art and illustration basically every day. Art definitely changed the way I look at things. It made me a lot more open-minded. People are as different as art styles.
7. Where did you study?
I still study in Hamburg. I’m currently working on my master. I also studied one semester in Shanghai.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully, I can make a living with illustration. Maybe got around to do my drivers licence so we can move outside the city, where there’s a little bit more nature.
9. What about in ten?
Kinda the same than five years. I want to work as an Illustrator and hope we have found a nice place to live with our bunnies (and maybe some chickens).
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
I want to make people happy. It’s a tough world we live in. If you can forget that even for a few seconds while looking at my work I’m happy.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
Chocolate, Black Tea, and Fruits. And also our traditional German Christmas meals. Like Semmelknödel, Rotkohl, Gemüse and Bratensoße (but without the meat haha).
12. Favourite book?
I’m not a big reader, but I love to read Star Wars novels. I really liked the Darth Bane trilogy. I think Bane is hilarious.
13. Favourite genre of music?
Rock. I love Foo Fighters. But I also listen to 80s Stuff, Game Music and Daft Punk.
14. What are your hobbies?
Our Bunnies! I love them to bits! I can talk about them all day and show pictures like a crazy bunny-mom haha
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
After I finished school, I had to decide if I want to study illustration or biotechnology. So I guess I would be a scientist. Or an interior designer.