GOLDEN BOY PRESS Interview #129
With amazing melancholic colors and rustic atmosphere, illustrator Thomke Meyer creates interesting characters, with a unique stylistic approach. In the faces of his portraits there’s a story being told within that person, it’s beautiful and enlightening.
Could you introduce yourself?
My name is Thomke Meyer. I’m a 23 year old Illustrator based in Hamburg. I study Illustration at HAW Hamburg.
What started it all? What interested you in illustration?
I was always interested in art. At the age of ten I used to visit an ‘art school’ as a hobby, besides my regular school. There, I learned a lot about artists and different techniques to improve my skills. After finishing high school I wanted to study fine arts, but I got rejected from the universities that I applied to, so…I had a lot of time to work on my art.
During that time, I began to notice that I was more interested in Illustration than any other medium of art. I guess you could say my first influences were Shaun Tan and in general artwork of Ghibli or any of the Pixar films.
Can you tell us, in-depth, your thoughts about uses of color, and how it influences your work?
When I use colours, I want them to support the vibe of the drawing.
Most of my drawings are a bit melancholic, so the colours turn out very muddy and dark. Sometimes I want to use a clear colour pallette, but I always revert to my usual colours. The colors are very intuitive and I don’t think a lot about it. I just try out different colours until I’m satisfied with the result.
How has your style developed over the years?
I think since I started studying Illustration full-time (1 ½ years ago) there came a big development. I had to draw all the time and work on my skills. There are so many great artists around me all the time at university, and each one influences my working progress. They encourage me to work more and more, and to try harder.
Who are some of your favorite artists you look up to?
There are sooo many, but here’s a very short list: James Jean, Jon Juarez, Cyril Pedrosa, Sergio Toppi,Lucian Freud, Egon Schiele.
Do you have a favorite series you’ve done?
Well, I’d like to say that my last term project is my favorite series…but when I see drawings that are older than six months, I start noticing all the mistakes I’ve made, and get impatient with my work. In those situations, my thought is to remember the mistakes and try not to repeat them the next time I sit down to start something new.
Could you tell our readers more about your plans for your graphic novel “Calico”?
Calico is a story written by Cassandra Clarke about teenage shape-shifters living in a small New England town in the states, uncovering their own powers and solving the mystery of their parent’s death. It’s a little bit of a mystery, and fantasy, and story about families staying together in the hardest of times.
A few months ago, Cassandra asked me based on my work online if I’d be interested in doing the illustrations for the graphic novel. I started drawing character sketches and she liked them a lot, so now we are working together on the first couple of pages. She is a fan my melancholy drawings. Of course our goal is to publish Calico and make a long-term project out of it, but we are still in the beginning, so it’ll take a bit of time till we can show the first results. Stay tuned!
When you look back at your older work, what do you generally feel?
I’m happy when I notice my work improve!
Do you tend to multitask when you work on your art, or do you need complete focus? What’s your process?
It depends on my workflow. Some days I can’t really focus, so I sketch, and after a few minutes I switch to tumblr looking for inspiration from my peers. But then there are days when I spend my entire day on one drawing.
If I don’t know what to draw, I do lots of studies to get into the feeling of drawing what I’m imagining.
(I also watch lots of films and tv series while working…)
Where do you see yourself in three years?
I guess I’ll still be at university trying to get better. :D
What makes you happy?
Drinking coffee, listening to good music while sitting in the sun , being with my friends and drawing!
Any closing comments?
Thanks for the interview! It makes me happy that you noticed my work and that you like it.
Interviewed by POI