French illustrator Genevieve Gauckler’s quirky characters have graced magazines, ads, and gallery walls around the world. Later this summer, Gauckler will introduce her playful style to Herman Miller as one of ten new artists commissioned to create posters for Then x Ten, an upcoming exhibit juxtaposing old and new to celebrate the power of the poster.
Herman Miller’s Asia Pacific blog recent spoke with Gauckler:
What influenced your style?
I loved American graphic design from the 1950s to the 70s: Paul Rand, Saul Bass, George Lois. Their work is like good design—form and function are working together, it’s well balanced.
What led you to pursue a career as an illustrator?
I started my career in graphic design, working for publishing companies and record labels. More and more I was attracted to illustration, I was starting to draw characters and realized it was so much fun. Making an illustration is like building a miniature world, it reminds me of when I was a child playing with toys and imaging a landscape with people and animals.
Does the past influence your work?
I want to be influenced by the past! I’ve always studied the masters of the past. If you don’t know them, your work may be superficial. The more rooted, the better, the further you can go creatively.
Do you have any rituals or routines you follow before embarking on an illustration?
I like to look at my favorite books, blogs, and websites before I start working. If I’m creatively stuck, I’ll go outside, sit in a café, or go to a good bookshop, or even better, go to a museum.
What advice would you give to aspiring art makers?
To be passionate, curious, explore, and to be patient.
Can you share some early ideas of the poster you’re creating for Ten x Ten?
Firstly I chose the Setu chair, a quite recent design that I would describe as an ”organic technology.” I made some “serious” drafts because I was impressed. After a few days, I realized the danger of being serious is to become boring. So I’ve incorporated one of my characters to interact with the chair. I’ve been very focused on the drawing, spending a lot of time with the shapes and curves. I’m super proud of the final result.
Click here to read more of the interview.