We speak with Heidi Andreasen, whose digital collages grace the pages of our printed magazine. The Berlin-based artists talks about Interview magazine, digital manipulation and the German art scene.

phoenix_mag_illustration_heidi_andreasen_02You’re based in Berlin now, how does it compare to the experience of living and studying in London?

London is a buzzing city with many opportunities. Sometimes I really miss it, especially the people who I met at CSM. It was an extremely inspiring time and it taught me a lot. London is too expensive though, and that’s the reason why I decided to move. I really love the slow pace of Berlin and the liberal nature of the city. The art scene is young, vibrant and inspiring. It’s a great place for artistic growth.

Would you say that your work style has changed since graduating?

Since graduating I’ve been very interested in the subject digital vs organic. The style in which I illustrate started out as digital, but has slowly become more hands-on. I’ve found mixing digital manipulation techniques with hands-on collage extremely interesting. In my mind, this combination of techniques really brings out the essence of collage-making and the juxtaposition of the organic and the digital in a computerised culture.

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We know that since moving to Berlin, you’ve interned at both Saatchi&Saatchi and Interview magazine. How was it to  move from an advertising agency to a magazine?

At Saatchi, I worked closely with the creative team in creating new ideas and concepts for upcoming campaigns. Pitching and designing layouts was part of my daily routine. At Interview I had been working with their online team in redesigning their new website, which has been nominated for Website of the Year in the German ‘Lead Awards 2014’. Both experiences have been great and I’ve met some extremely talented people.

“I really love the slow pace of Berlin and the liberal nature of the city. The art scene is young, vibrant and inspiring. It’s a great place for artistic growth.”

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Do you spend much time producing your own work and freelance commissions, now that you’re working full-time? 

The past year has been pretty full-on. I’ve been trying to squeeze in time for my own projects in the evenings after work and on weekends. There’s been a couple of freelance projects I had to turn down due to lack of time. It’s been quite stressful when I’ve been freelancing or preparing for an exhibition while working full-time. However, I definitely learned that I get more work done when I have a busy schedule.

Quite a few of your earlier illustrations reference Dadaism and sci-fi shorts by H.G. Wells– both from the early 20th century. Have your topics of interest changed much? 

Influences come from everywhere and the topics change every day. The latest series, which I created for the STITCH group exhibition in London earlier this year, was inspired by how digital imaging has changed and how it’s become a rather sterile and precise process. The idea was to reintroduce the beauty of imperfection to the precision of digital imaging.

1granary_1_granary_central_saint_martins_heidi_andreasen3Looking at your BA work, some of it can easily be thought of as fashion editorial. Is working in fashion something you’ve explored?

The graduation projects ‘Bloom’ and ‘Spring Up’ were in collaboration with my good friend Tristram Mason who is an amazing illustrator. We met through our course at CSM and began collaborating during our second year of uni. We both love collage and fashion, so it was a perfect match. Together we also worked on professional projects for artist ‘Kristjana S Williams’ and fashion brand ‘Beyond the Valley’.

“Creating work for online and for print is very different. It’s extremely crucial to be aware of the technical aspects in order to get the best result.”

Because some of your work is quite tactile and textured, do you approach the work that you produce for magazines, online, and exhibitions differently?

Definitely. I think a lot about the final outcome and the whole process from start to finish. Creating work for online and for print is very different. It’s extremely crucial to be aware of the technical aspects in order to get the best result. Personally, I love print and the texture of ink on paper. My family runs a small envelope and printing factory back in the Faroe Islands, so I grew up being around big presses and machinery. I think this is what sparked my interest in print.

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We know a few students from Berlin, so it’s on our list of places to visit. What places would you 
recommend that we check out there?

Oh, there are so many places… I love Tempelhofer park, a former airport which is now a public park. It’s a perfect spot for BBQ’ing and chilling in the sun. Martin-Gropius-Bau is a well-known museum and exhibition hall which is definitely worth visiting. Every Thursday there’s the Food Market in Markthalle Neun, which serves delicious food. On weekdays the club Berghain hosts great live gigs. The list is endless…

What are your plans moving forward? Do you think you’ll stick with illustration as your medium after spending time working for Saatchi and Interview?

My goal is to continue to grow as a designer and artist. I feel like my style and approach is constantly changing so it can go anywhere from here. It’s been a long time dream of mine to create large-scale artwork. Also, fashion-related work and collaborations are definitely something that I wish to explore even more in future projects.

 

Get a copy of 1 Granary’s second issue to see more of Heidi’s work!

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