Karolin Schnoor: Forest Lady

Released Tuesday, December 15, 2009

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Forest Lady, by Karolin Schnoor.
15% of the gross sale of this print goes to Transportation Alternatives.

Karolin Schnoor is an illustrator and designer living in London. She was born in Berlin but moved to London to do a foundation degree. One year turned into five and she still calls London home. Karolin works from a tiny flat that she shares with her boyfriend, a sound designer - so all of her work is created in the midst of a growing mound of cables and pens. After graduating with a degree in illustration, Karolin has worked on a range of projects with clients including Nokia, Time Out, Amelias Magazine, The Worn Journal, INQ Mobile, and YCN.

About the print:
I have been drawing a lot of trees lately, and I liked the idea of using them in a composition as abstract objects. I also like to play with the idea of scale, so that the girl in the drawing turns into a kind of superhuman earth lady who is holding the bear, which should actually be much bigger than her. Since winter is approaching, I wanted to use a cooler colour-palette. All of these things together made a nice-set up for the illustration.

Forest Lady is a digital print on 230gsm Tecco Matt Poster Paper.

PURCHASE $30!



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What has inspired you recently?
I have been stuck at my desk for a few months, so I don't get out much! The idea of having some time and sitting down to draw, away from my computer screen, is probably what keeps me going. I am quite lucky - from my desk I look out onto a garden where a lot of fox-verses-pigeon or cat-verses-squirrel interaction takes place, which can be quite exciting - in a friendly, non-confrontational kind of way, of course.

Why did you choose to pair Transportation Alternatives with your print?
I come from Germany, where cycling is a mode of transportation that a large percentage of the population uses to get around. In Germany, providing a safe environment in which to cycle is taken very seriously. Moving to London was strange, because I found it too dangerous to cycle - cars don't leave room for you, there are almost no cycling paths, and the pollution is so bad that most couriers, for instance, wear masks. It's frustrating to see one person after another driving a six-person car with all of the passenger seats left empty. It makes perfect sense to encourage walking and cycling in big cities and urban areas, so I want to support that movement. I think that Transportation Alternatives has a really good program that sets out practical solutions which aren't impossible to implement, but that will make a big difference in New York. Hopefully something similar will happen in London, soon!

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How have you seen art transform the world around you?
That is hard to say - design and art are more often than not at the forefront of my mind when I look at or analyze things, but I shouldn't assume that to be true of everyone. I like when artistic intervention can reach out to a broad audience, even if that happens on an unconscious level. I do think that the reason people feel more comfortable or even happy in certain places has a lot to do with colour, arrangement and design, so that can be called transformative.

Where I grew up in Germany, there is a park called Sanssouci. The gardens were created by landscape designers who made sure that wherever you stood, you had an attractive vista to admire. The park does not look unnatural, but as you walk through it, it really lightens your mood. I think this is achieved partly through the park's careful layout. I like the idea of having a park that was designed to be enjoyed by the public, which you can just walk in to. There is no pressure to understand the process or the meaning of the park's design, but it affects how you feel, and that is a good way to bring design to an audience. I don't know if that answers your question entirely, but I hope so!

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If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
Well, if it were possible for Utagawa Kuniyoshi and Milton Glaser to set up a little tutoring studio together, I would be first in line! I was only recently introduced to the work of Kuniyoshi through an exhibition at the Royal Academy in London, and I fell in love with it. His patterns, colours and compositions are so intricate, yet feel natural. Throughout his impressive body of work, Kuniyoshi retains a sense of lightness, personality and wit, which feels very contemporary (for someone who worked in the 19th century, anyway!) His work manages to be beautiful and interesting, which is a desirable combination for any illustrator to achieve.

Milton Glaser would be my other chosen mentor, not only because I really love his work, but because his work feels like it comes from a person you would enjoy meeting and spending some time with. That is another quality I look for in good work. Sometimes I see work that is accomplished and perfect, but the fact that I would have no interest in the artist behind it, makes it incomplete somehow, for me. I think really great work makes you want to get inside the mind of the maker and find out how they think and live.

Who are some artists that other people should know about?
That is a difficult question. I go through phases of obsessive fandom! At the moment I am really into Jason Munn's screenprinted posters, the illustrations of Micah Lidberg, and Ursine Brawl's wood sculptures.

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