Nº 1 – 6

Nº 1

Nori

Ly Thanh Le

Nº 2

Memphis Fry-Up

Sebastian Haslauer

Nº 3

Early Bird

Wiebke Rauers

Nº 4

Dazed

Dennis Schuster

Nº 5

EggSercise

Frank Höhne

Nº 6

Sirene

Cristóbal Schmal

BeepEgg

Nori

Ly Thanh Le

Ly Thanh Le is a New York based illustrator and designer and pleads for manual work and a decelerating slowdown process in the design process. She loves to do things with her hands. Not only at work. Also in the kitchen. This is majorly due to her roots, which are Vietnamese, and can also be found in her contribution to the BeepEgg Character Collection, “Nori”. Nori is a special kind of seaweed used in Asian cusisine. Its silky arms harmonize perfectly with the shape of the egg. So the result is a small, functional object as charming as if it was handmade.

STAGES/TUNES
soft / Swan Lake
medium-soft / In the Hall of the Mountain King
hard / A Little Night Music

 

 

Interview

Ly Thanh Le

BR Ly, how would you describe the BeepEgg “Nori” in one short sentence?
LT A small, functional object as charming as if it was handmade.
BR Your Character BeepEgg is a netting of fine lines. What’s the concept behind it and what’s up with the name?
LT Eggs have an imperfect shape which is harmonious, though. When I saw seaweed in an aquarium, I thought how nice it would be if those soft and silky arms of the sea weed embraced the egg.
BR You come from a Vietnamese background. How do your roots influence your work?
LT Endless patience, the almost manic urge to do eve-rything by hand and in the end it always comes back to great food at some point…hahaha.
BR After your studies, you moved to New York. Did life in New York change you?
LT Yes, it definitely does something to me. I’m faster, more efficient and determined. I get more input and energy than in any other city I’ve lived in before New York. It’s a jungle out here, but I’m proud to be able to live and work here every day, next to these masses of talented and interesting people from all over the world.
BR You studied graphic design. How do graphic design and illustration overlap and influence each other in your work?
LT I’m moving back and forth between those two disciplines. And I take whatever I consider best to execute a project. For me, those borders are blurred lines, there is no right or wrong. I frame my playful illustrations graphically many times, though, by using clear typo or geometrical shapes.
BR Many of your illustrations are based on ink or pen drawings. What’s so fascinating about this style of drawing to you?
LT It feels…“real”. In a digital world, where everything can be deleted or copied a thousand times within nanoseconds, this to me is the only way to create something unique. With one breath. One move. It also means to slow down or decelerate in the designing process.
BR One of your passions is cooking. How come and how would you define your style of cooking?
LT If you come from a predominantly female and cooking-enthusiastic home, it is difficult not to grab the cook’s knife at some point. My family never stopped me from trying new dishes, even when I was still an infant. I can pursue my intense curiosity through my cooking. There is no ingredient or style of preparation I would not experiment with.
BR Your bachelor thesis Vietnam — a culinary identity is all about the Vietnamese cuisine. Can you tell us more about that?
LT First and foremost, it is about stories. Stories about my home, my love for it and how this love is manifested through dishes of Vietnamese cuisine. I have an emotional and sensual connection to Vietnamese cuisine and my book tries to visualise these feelings and attempts to bring that cultural treasure across to the reader. The 100 chosen recipes are a good entry into Vietnamese cuisine, once you got hungry by reading the stories.
BR You named your BeepEgg “Nori”, referring to a culinary ingredient, a special kind of seaweed. Do you frequently connect your illustrations to your cooking?
LT Not really, but it seems these things happen intuitively. I printed pineapple and tuna patterns on leather for an American shoe brand. Without knowing why. I guess cooking is the most humorous of all creative disciplines.
BR Thanks Ly!






BEEPEGG

Memphis Fry-Up

Sebastian Haslauer

BeepEgg “Memphis Fry-Up” is colourful. And a little crazy. You look at a fried egg while observing it monitoring the real eggs. That might confuse a little, but illustrator Sebastian Haslauer didn’t mind. He wanted to free the egg from its shell and place it on top of it. Being an egg liberator, he created this BeepEgg edition. He could be named the perfect cast for the BeepEgg Character Collection, as he definitely has a weakness for using eggs as a graphical compound. From minced meat filled Fabergé eggs to egg sombreros. There were two reasons for Haslauer to call this adaption “Memphis”, as it is citing the famous Memphis design group, plus, there are its audio features. Since Elvis fan Haslauer went for three tunes by the King to announce the perfect egg. Bon appétit.

STAGES/TUNES
soft / Viva Las Vegas
medium-soft / Hound Dog
hard / Jailhouse Rock

INTERVIEW
SEBASTIAN HASLAUER

BR Sebastian, how would you describe the BeepEgg “Memphis Fry-Up” in one short sentence?
SH It’s a composition of its parts, a full English breakfast (short: Fry-Up) and the visual language of the Memphis group.
BR Food and graphical shapes meet each other on your Character BeepEgg. What’s the concept behind it?
SH I absolutely wanted to get the egg out of its shell and place it on the BeepEgg. You’ll find fried eggs in my independent work all the time. I like its shape and colours very, very much, but also the egg being a symbol for life and death (beaten and fried) for centuries. Mankind has empowered over it, as it has in regards of nature or the production of food. When I started playing around with the shapes of beans, sausages, peas, etc., I realised that the egg could easily be placed amicably next to a Matteo Thun coffeepot. Or play the role as its little unbrushed sister. I liked this reference. Especially as I’m a big Elvis fan, and therefore chose matching BeepEgg tunes.
BR Do you have a special relation to the Memphis group?
SH No, not at all. Apart from liking what they did. If I was able to afford it, I probably had some of their monsters in my place. I’m also a big fan of their carpets, wallpapers and patterns. I enjoy the light-heartedness of the design process which is visible for each recipient. I always prefer the weird, excessive over elaborated minimalism.
BR The display of food is something we find in many of your works, not only the BeepEgg. What’s up with that?
SH I’ve got a huge weakness for product staging and its connection or collision with reality. In my works, it’s not only a symbol of how we are a captive audience to industrial, capitalistic processes, but how we also orientate towards those. Meaning the question of what was first, the apple picture in the marketing department of the seed merchant, on the leaflet of the grocery store, or the apple itself. The staging of wars, catastrophes and, above all, the eccentric staging of oneself are also part of it and of my illustrational content. A popular debate, which I try to conduct in an intuitive way, to a point where the decision process takes place. Which pictures touch me? What inspires me? What disgusts me? Due to which information does my political view get shaped? How do I perceive myself and how does my virtual me come into play there? Do I really not define myself through my consumption?
BR The combination of elements reminds us of Pop Art is this association intended?
SH No, but I don’t mind. I also have my grandfather’s nose and my grandmother’s ears.
BR Next to your job as an illustrator, you also shot some short films. For Arte creative you created the performance serial ways to feel better. What was the intention behind it?
SH Well, at this point I had also gained some work experience, was about to turn 30 and started to lose hair. I worked too much, lacked reflection of my own situation and thought: I’ll do this online now and get paid for it. So I asked myself some relevant questions. What’s good for me? What am I lacking? Which rules do I want to and have to obey? All told in short little films.
BR Did you feel better afterwards? Which self-experiment served its purpose the most?
SH Yes, at least a little. Some stuff didn’t work, but it was great to have the opportunity to try it. Throwing a loaded beer crate against a wall was cathartic to an extremely high degree.
BR Another project is the music show TRICKS. Is music an inspiring medium for you, regarding ideas for your illustrations?
SH No. Both fields have nothing to do with each other, though my kind of humour will be visible in both cases. For me, TRICKS as well as ways to feel better, were experiments and I could not profit by any experience from my illustrational work and vice versa. It was simply nice to do something completely different. If one works alone and independently all the time, something which I call the microscope effect happens. You can work on your projects in a focused and concentrated way, but there is no input from the outer world. After TRICKS and the following work hangover, I was more than pleased to return to my drawing desk. Totally refreshed.
BR Thanks Hasi!

 






BEEPEGG

Early Bird

Wiebke Rauers

The BeepEgg “Early Bird” is not only responsible for providing perfect boiled eggs for your breakfast, it also displays several ingredient options for the first and most important meal of the day, as Wiebke Rauers’ Character Collection contribution is all about breakfast. The lively drawn ingredients were brought to life by the German illustrator and shall bring the users to high spirits during their breakfast session. The likeable little illustrations of Rauers are certainly not limited to appearances on eggs, but serve their function in other surroundings as well. After graduating, Wiebke Rauers moved to Berlin, where she works for her own company, creating children’s apps such as Muffin Munch or Zombie Tennis, being all about her funny illustrations, as well as serving the animation studio Hahn Film for their movies. Boiling eggs will be great fun for young and old using BeepEgg “Early Bird”.

STAGES/TUNES
soft / Morning Mood
medium-soft / Oh Happy Day
hard / I Wish I Was A Hen

Interview

Wiebke Rauers

BR Wiebke, how would you describe your BeepEgg “Early Bird” in one short sentence?
WR Each and every line rocks — hopefully…
BR A bunch of breakfast ingredients are jamming on your Character BeepEgg. What’s the concept behind your BeepEgg?
WR It contains everything a solid breakfast should contain: coffee, toast, milk, cheese, sausages…and even more. Each ingredient can bring its own sound to contribute to a perfect and colourful breakfast.
BR You brought a toast to life for your Character BeepEgg. Are there parallels to your common breakfast and how does your perfect egg look like?
WR Well, if my toast laughed at me during breakfast, I wouldn’t be able to eat it! My perfect egg is medium-soft. Meaning egg yolk is runny, but the egg white is solid. That takes about five minutes, but as time is not very reliable in this process, I simply wait until my Character BeepEgg plays “Oh Happy Day”. Then I’ll rinse it off and place it into my favourite egg cup, which wears pink bedroom slippers, by the way…
BR Your style of drawing is full of mellow colours and soft fading. Does your style of drawing also reflect your personality?
WR No, I don’t think so. This is all a matter of time and the mood I’m in while drawing…which can change rapidly.
BR Your work contains fluffy animals and beings with large eyes. What’s up with that, how did your style develop?
WR I can’t say for sure. It was just there. But I’d love to progress and develop my style further. I’m trying out lots of different things at this moment.
BR Do you also have a rougher and darker side in your drawing?
WR Oh yes (laughing). You can find that in my sketchbooks. There, I’m inspired by the music I’m listening to…
BR You founded Tiny Touch Tales with your friend Arnold Floeck. It serves as a platform to release games for iPhone and iPad. What exactly is your task in the team?
WR I take care of everything you can see, meaning all the graphics and illustrations.
BR Did your work in the area of digital games change your general way of work?
WR Sure. I have to ensure the “readability” of the illustrations for that. Characters must be readable in each size. Also very small ones.
BR Tiny Touch Tales is responsible for the children’s app Katrins bunte Mondgeschichte, among other publications. What’s special about creating illustrations suitable for children?
WR Simply listen to your heart. Put lots of love in expression and colour ways. The message must come across without text and the characters must bang!
BR Thanks Wiebke!






BEEPEGG

Dazed

Dennis Schuster

“Dazed” is a relaxed BeepEgg. It contains hippie genes as well as a solid German engineer DNS. That fits wonderful. The technic does all the work, while people can relax during breakfast. This concept was given birth to by the German illustrator DXTR. He’s stationed in Berlin, but strolls around a lot. He loves to travel around and enjoys meeting new people and getting to know new cultures. No matter if it is for corporations like Nike, human rights organisations like Amnesty International, or just some neighbourhood in Albania. He doesn’t mind. And his impression is that people in less developed areas are more content although they have less. So his message is that we should take things a little more easy. His medium is spray paint. But his art evolved from being classic graffiti. In the end, he gets paid and not fined. At least today.

STAGES/TUNES
soft / San Francisco
medium-soft / California Dreaming
hard / House of the Rising Sun

Interview

Dennis Schuster

BR Dennis, how would you describe your BeepEgg „Dazed“ in one short sentence?
DS Don’t worry, be happy.
BR With your Character BeepEgg, we dive into a fantasy world. What is the concept behind your BeepEgg?
DS I thought of creating kind of a “take it easy moment” with my BeepEgg “Dazed”, as many people are already stressed out in the morning. A bad way to start your day. So I drew something to create a friendly, colourful atmosphere, which linked my idea to the harmony of the hippie generation. And here we go…
BR You come from a graffiti background, how did this passion evolve and how does it influence your work?
DS In my “early years”, I was very fascinated by classical graffiti, but also already played around with canvases and characters. My fascination for graffiti is the same to this day, but I have to say that currently, I only remain to use spray paint as my medium. You cannot call my current work graffiti art. I still love to place my work in public; I would rather call it urban illustrating, or pop surrealism, though.
BR Some of your art is surreal and introduces us to crazy characters and actions. While you’re illustrating, do you have certain stories in mind which you want to tell?
DS I always start off with some basic idea or topic, with a story I’d like to tell. The worst thing is to stare at an empty sheet of paper with no clue where to go. With a basic idea one can avoid this situation of “dispair”.
BR Your pictures can be described as “swarm illustrations”. How did this style of drawing develop and what’s so fascinating about it to you?
DS I like to lose myself in pictures, meaning I’m a big fan of very detailed things. It’s a pleasure to me to stare at a picture for hours and to discover new things all the time. Many ideas pop up during the drawing process and I love to add new elements and new little “sub plots” to my basic idea all the time.
BR You’re part of the group The Weird. What does it mean to be part of an artist collective?
DS First and foremost, it is exciting and lots of fun. The Weird is a group of like-minded people, having lots of fun with each other and learning a lot from each other. As an illustrator with a graffiti background and a weakness for painting murals, it was always an issue to find the right people to work with. It’s great to have a bunch of like-minded people to do so.
BR You travelled a lot and gained experiences all over the place, for instance in Detroit, Russia, Albania and Bulgaria. How do these travels influence your style of work and life?
DS The travels are probably the most exciting part of my work. Without these painting jobs, I probably would not have visited this diversity of sites, especially as most of the countries are not exactly classical holiday destinations. It’s just great to explore new cultures and meet all these fascinating people. It’s a great benefit that we have close contact with the locals, which presents a completely different insight into the life in those countries. I’m always overwhelmed by the easiness and attitude towards life of people in many countries. Often, people over there do not have a lot, but at the same time seem more content and happy with their lives compared to our society in Germany.
BR One of your customers is Amnesty International. Tell us something about the collaboration with a human rights organisation and how this collaboration came into life.
DS The job for Amnesty International was very exciting. The task was to create a key visual for an Amnesty event at New York’s Times Square. This event was about informing the citizens and advocating new regulations on arms trade. We produce twice as many bullets as there are humans on this planet each year. Regulations on banana trade are stricter than on arms. Basically, they wanted to get the peolpe to sign a petition which was supposed to be presented at a UN meeting on arm trade regulations the coming week in New York. The project was a huge success. Far more people signed than expected and after the meeting, there was actually a new treaty on arms trade.
BR Thanks Dennis!






BeepEgg

EGGSERCISE

Frank Höhne

“EggSercise” is a workout BeepEgg. Since eggs are nutrition for physical people and fitness freaks, says Frank Höhne, the creator of the BeepEgg “EggSercise”. He must know. The good thing is that BeepEgg does not have to practise. It is already perfectly good at boiling eggs. So people can work out or practise whatever they want while the eggs are getting boiled. Frank won’t go bench-pressing. He prefers to build. He loves to build when he’s not illustrating. Because that’s what he does for his living. For famous magazines such as the Rolling Stone, companies or music bands. His style could be called the visibility of trial and failure. He loves the visibility of the process and failure instead of eraser crumbs being the only visible relicts of failure in the working process. His creative input is his everyday life, from his family and his surroundings in the woods where he lives, to the after-work pint in the mosquito cloud. Cheers.

STAGES/TUNES
soft / Killing Me Softly
medium-soft / That’s the Way (I Like It)
hard / Final Countdown

 

Interview

Frank Höhne

BR Frank, how would you describe your BeepEgg “EggSercise” in one sentence?
FH An egg which knows what you want.
BR Your Character BeepEgg is all about workout. What’s the concept behind your BeepEgg and what’s up with the name?
FH To me, eggs were always nutrition for physical people, fitness freaks and boxers.
BR Warming up, endurance, stretching…are there parallels between working out and your work?
FH Definitely “yes”. For each job, I do some warm-up. Then I mix the warm-up with some endurance/routine/chore-like drawings. These results will then be stretched via Photoshop to a collage.
BR What was first, the chicken or the egg? What’s your theory?
FH The egg. It was empty and invaded by space parasites — and look, it became a chicken. That’s definitely the way it was.
BR Most of your drawings are accompanied by text. How important is the picture/text relation to you?
FH That’s rather due to the fact that I can’t draw on point. I still have to add some text to prevent misleading on the viewer’s side. With some text input I can guide the observer in my direction and avoid misconception. A good drawer is able to work without Typo. Probably…
BR You released your first book with the publishing house “Gestalten Verlag”. Can you say something about the book and the concept behind it?
FH It was always my dream during my studies to at some point release a book with this publishing house. Therefore, I was quite enthusiastic when they came around. When I realised their schedule, I was not so enthusiastic anymore. It was supposed to be ready for print within two months. Their view was that my portfolio was large enough to make a book of it. My view was to spend 12 months on doing things exclusively for this book. In the end it was a compromise. I did not want a physical print version of my homepage; I wanted the book to have some additional value. So I thought of a way to create this “additional book value”, although I was showing older works. My idea was to “decode” my history as an illustrator and to add a text level which accompanies the reader as sort of a common thread. That’s how I escaped my horrors of creating a portfolio book and everything makes sense suddenly, doesn’t it?
BR Your book is called The Book of Bock (note well, meaning “book of being up for something”). What are you up for?
FH Building. I currently build a lot with wood. I also describe that in my book. One always needs to balance out work. I never draw all day. I draw a little, then I start building. Tables, benches, bathrooms, etc. And afterwards I’m motivated to draw some more. I can only draw something when I’m up for it. Otherwise it won’t be any good. And if I want to do some handicrafts, I do so. No need to be ashamed.
BR Who or what shaped your style most?
FH Trial and the bizarre. I was always attracted when something showed trial rather than perfection. Perfection is not human and I’m not ashamed of being human. It’s much more entertaining and honest to see failure than its concealment. When I draw something, I can stand up for it and say “well, this is how it looks when I give it a try, either you like it or you don’t, but I can’t do it any different.” This way, I don’t have to chase an ideal which I can’t and don’t want to reach anyways. So it turned out that I simply try everything, not really being good at anything, but that’s who I am and that’s what I can probably call my style, then.
BR You’ve got family, two kids and a house in the woods. Sounds like the beginning of a wonderful fairy tale. Are your family and your surroundings the stuff your ideas are made on?
FH My opinion is that everything one comes across turns into ideas. Therefore, my family is certainly input for my doings. The garden, the woods, the spiders and bugs, the mileage, theafter-work pint in the mosquito cloud. All of this gets recycled in my illustrations somehow. Sucking up experiences and looking for a way to integrate them into my work. That’s how I do it.
BR Thanks Frank!






BeepEgg

Sirene

Cristóbal Schmal

“Sirene” was penned by Cristóbal Schmal. Well, not exactly penned, he uses multiple techniques. Techniques like woodcut or linoleum. Cristóbal Schmal is a Chilean graphic designer, but by now lets his steam off in Berlin. He works for several renowned magazines, which is stressful. But stress triggers him off for his works at times. He also likes independent and freelance works. Talking of free…he’s from the desert. But has a weakness for the ocean. Attracted by its hugeness and mystique. His BeepEgg is an underwater item as well. Literally. His “Sirene” is supposed to bring some fiction into our hectic kitchen life. But the result is based on facts. Promise.

STAGES/TUNES
soft / The Wild Rover
medium-soft / Rolling Home
hard / Drunken Sailor

Interview

Cristóbal Schmal

BR Cristóbal, how would you describe your “Sirene” BeepEgg in one sentence?
CS She’s a mermaid that swims and sings in boiling water.
BR With your Character BeepEgg, we dive into the underwater world. What’s up with that and what is the idea behind the name?
CS I wanted to bring some evocation in a daily situation. A tiny fiction situation in your kitchen.
BR Cristóbal, tell us something about your background.
CS I’m from Chile, from a city called Arica in the Atacama Desert, in the north, just on the Peruvian border. I studied 2000 km south from there in Valparaiso, a very nice city.
BR You were born and raised in Chile. How do your Chilean roots affect your work?
CS I don’t really know. Maybe I was influenced by the desert, but strongest influence is the Pacific Ocean as a mysterious world full of life that makes you feel a mix of attraction and fear.
BR You studied graphic design. How and why did you focus on illustrating?
CS I worked several years as graphic designer, but I was always at the same time drawing and painting. In 2007, I started to integrate some drawings in design tasks in a very natural process. Then, in 2008, when I moved to Berlin, I took the leap to work 100 % as freelance illustrator.
BR Your style of drawing is shaped by intense colours and structured surfaces. Do you use a certain technique to create these effects?
CS In my Graphic Design studies, I learned woodcut, linoleum, drypoint, etc. It was very interesting to think another way than the normal draw line process. I discovered drawing with light/shadows and surfaces.
For my illustration work, I use textures and effects that I scan before. For example, printed surfaces, or stains, etc. I try to work with real elements and use the computer just to compose.
BR You work for lots of magazines and newspapers. Among those are the New York Times and Le Monde. What does a process for such projects look like?
CS Sometimes it’s very frustrating and difficult, because you don’t have much time to think on the idea, but on the other hand it’s a very good exercise to think fast. For me, it’s a nice approach to primitive thinking. Think briefly, and then draw!
BR Some of your illustrations can be understood as kind of pictograms, they describe processes. Do you emphasize on this, is this going to be your focus for the future?
CS Recently, I was working on some projects that needed this kind of representation. I’m talking about complex subjects that should explain rather than play or be interpreted. Personally, I try to approach more the latter or an abstract process. I would like to represent more open concepts, so that the viewers can construct a message themselves.
BR Which kind of projects are you aiming at, then? What are your wishes for your future as an illustrator?
CS I would like to illustrate a book in cooperation with some good graphic designer. Also, I would like to do some wine or beer label, a sleeve cover for a good band, etc.
BR Thanks Cristóbal!