Meta Wraber is a very talented artist. She specialised in watercolour illustrations and she kindly agreed to reply to a short ITW. She invites us to discover her strong and delicate world and shares her tips and advice to create with the heart.
Melody : Can you tell us who you are in your own words ?
Meta Wraber : I am a daydreamer, I have my own dreamworld. I have always been drawing but never believed it could be my main vocation and profession. It wasn’t easy to convince myself and the rest that what I’m doing is valuable. I’m very happy I was determined and stubborn enough that I, just maybe, believe it now.
Melody : You did visual communication Design studies, when did you start to focus on watercolour ? Why ?
Meta : Watercolours have always been my favourite tool. But I started using
them more when I realised how many approaches to the technique there are. I was best at drawing and painting with watercolours. I tried many different tools and techniques, but it still remained my favourite one. I like the spontaneity, the overflowing and mixing of colours. I think that to really master the aquarelle is to know when to stop, to balance the quantity of water and pigment.
Melody : Watercolour is commonly associated with still life / landscape and may be “spare-time” painting… It is a very dated method than gained recently a new reputation in the illustration and design world. Can you share your point of view and on this “popular belief” and its new age.
Meta : I don’t believe that a specific tool should dictate what you have to show to the world. The technique is only the language. If you have a strong message with the content that moves people, you can use a black pencil or spray paint and it wouldn’t really matter. Watercolours are light and breezy, maybe that’s the reason why they have been very popular in the fashion illustration.
Melody : You paint but you also work with collage that gives an extraordinary new dimension to watercolour… Can you tell us about your work and your process ?
Meta : I love to mix colours. I like to experiment with different techniques when I start working on new projects. I hate routine, I try never to repeat myself. I want to find new ways of telling stories through my work, and keep my visual expression fresh and different from what I already showed to the world. I started using Photoshop for collages when I started working on a collection of poems. The poetry was so powerful I just knew I have to make something bold and strong. Basically something different from what I used to do.
Melody : Where your inspirations come from ? Can you advise a few artists / designers to discover ?
Meta : I look for stories and situations everywhere and all the time. I am inspired by the certain light or a specific moment that shows something or someone from a new perspective. I am inspired by little imperfections that make things beautiful. I like to discover and research the old French post-impressionists like Pierre Bonnard, Francois Vuillard, I love the symbolistic of Gustave Moreau and adore works of Sonia Delaunay.
Melody : Images are everywhere. In this digitalised world, people are hungry of visuals and the numerous graphic designers are spreading their works on many web platforms. How to be different and stand out in this artists jungle ?
Meta : I don’t really know how to be different. I have always been evolving and developing my own aesthetics, because I don’t want to become habituated. I don’t wan’t to repeat myself and draw just food or just fashion illustrations. The only philosophy I have, is to draw, sketch and learn to observe so you can keep your drawing strong.
Melody : What are you working on at the moment ? What are your next projects ?
Meta : I am planning to create a fashion calendar for the 2017. It will be my 5th self published project. I can’t wait to start sketching. I am also working on a packaging design for cookies made with flowers, something very different from what I usually do.
Melody : You did an amazing monkey serie, can you talk about it ?
Meta : Thank you. I had this desire for larger formats and through this need I have transformed my experiment spontaneously into a serie of gorillas and other monkeys. It was pure fun and passion of drawing a portrait in a new way. Instead of focusing on age, features or gender. I was painting an emotion. I liked the idea how such a strong animal like gorilla is able to express so much sadness or tenderness.
Melody : Can you give a few advice to the watercolour beginners ?
Meta : Don’t use watercolours like tempera or acryl. This is an adventure, so be playful, light-hearted and gentle with layers. Try to draw things with one movement and use the best paper you have even if you know there is a chance that you’ll ruin it. That’s the thrill about watercolours, you know you paid a lot of money for your handmade paper, but the point is to remain spontaneous and airy. Tricky !
Meta’s website : http://www.metawraber.com
Her behance portfolio : https://www.behance.net/metamundus