I've been admiring Gisela Goppel's work lately and thought you'd enjoy meeting her. Gisela lives and works in Berlin and is here today to talk about her life and inspirations. Before we start, I want to thank cwc-i for helping to make this interview possible. Enjoy!
mj: How would you describe your style?
gisela: Bold, colored, realistic, vintage.
mj: Does fashion inspire or influence your work?
gisela: As I am mainly focused on people in my work, fashion naturally acts a part and I like when it gives an illustration the association of a certain time, milieu or occasion.
mj: What is your favorite project that you've designed so far?
gisela: Last year I made a cross-section view of the building of the eye-wear company "Mykita". Their company is just opposite of the studio I am working and I look at the building every day. To make the illustration I visited all the workshops and studios as they have the whole production in-house. This opened a completely new perception of the neighborhood I am working in. Besides I loved this kind of cross section puzzle picture as a kid and it was really fun drawing it, especially because all the Mykita-stuff recognized themselves later in the picture.
mj: In terms of your drawing style, who are your influences and how did you develop your style?
gisela: I admire and got into the work of documentary and reportage photographers like Walker Evans, August Sander, Richard Avedon and Helen Levitt. Also my main interest in drawing is about people and their relations. Before I dedicated my work to illustration I made a little detour and studied textile design in the class of the Japaneses Designer Masayo Ave. There I developed an experimental, material-based approach that I still retain in my illustration work. Later during my studies I did an internship at the studio of Tina Berning. She gave me great support to follow this way and showed me how to make my work professional.
mj: Do you have new projects that you're working on?
gisela: In one week I am going to Tokyo together with a group of 6 Berlin-based artists. We will stay there two weeks and I am eager to fill my sketchbook and get new input and inspiration. I've also been involved with a steadily ongoing project for the last 5 years called the Bilderklub. It is an online diary run by 5 Illustrators. We post all the random ideas that pop up throughout beside our working process. It is a great opportunity to keep our minds open for new ideas and to bring our work forward.
mj: What would your ideal project be?
gisela: I rather like the diversity of my job and I am always challenged to try out something new. There are some areas I just had a quick insight and would like to follow on like book illustration, animation and packaging.
Here are A FEW THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT GISELA GOPPEL:
A) THE FOUR MOST STYLISH PEOPLE THAT INFLUENCED ME:
1 My friend sonja, with whom I could act out my enthusiasm for the style of the 1920s, easy listening and black and white photography, when we were teenagers.
2 dawid bowie with his exaggeration and his great music
B) FOUR WAYS THAT STYLE MAKES THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE
1 To quote my friend Alice: We should choose our clothes and furniture with the same thoughtfulness as we are choosing flatmates because we also share our lives with them- for me that is the best definition of finding your style. It is about getting a unique attitude towards life- in order to express yourself and to form your surroundings into a place worth to live in. Unfortunately fashion easily degenerates into a ideology, that is moralizing about what is right and wrong.
C) FOUR OF MY FAVORITE DESIGNERS
1 Chris Ware
2 Miranda July (she is somewhere inbetween design and art but as I love her work I list her)
3 Hella Jongerius and Droog Design
4 Bruce Mau (primarily his incomplete manifesto for growth)
D) FOUR JOBS I HAVE HAD IN MY LIFE:
2 Helping my boyfriend run his restaurant 3 Designer for a shoe trendbook in Palma de Mallorca 4 Selling pretzels as a teenager
E) FOUR MOVIES I WOULD WATCH OVER AND OVER (AND DO):
1 Comorades: Almost a Love Story by Peter Chan ( with the great music from Teresa Teng)
2 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid by George Roy Hill
3 Buffalo 66 by Vincent Gallo
4 Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle, Spirited Away and all movies from Studio Ghibli
F) FOUR PLACES WHERE I HAVE LIVED:
2 Palma de Mallorca
G) FOUR TV SHOWS I LOVE TO WATCH:
I don't watch TV I love to read books instead
1 The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
2 Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
3 The Master and Magarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
4 Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger
H) FOUR PLACES I HAVE BEEN ON VACATION IN THE LAST FOUR YEARS:
3 New York
4 next week I go to Japan!
I) FOUR WEBSITES I VISIT DAILY (Or at least Weekly):
2 www.spiegel.de (german newspaper)
3 www.leo.org (english-german translation website)
J) FOUR OF MY FAVORITE FOODS:
1 Sticky rice with mango
2 Thai Curry with roti
3 Dumplings in all styles ( bavarian, chinese, japanese)
K) FOUR PLACES I WOULD RATHER BE RIGHT NOW:
Actually I am rather happy being in my Studio in Berlin, but here are some places I treasure
1 Kangaroo Island, Australia
2 Pirgos, small village at the Peleponese in Greece
3 Palma de Mallorca, Spain
4 Bavarian Alps