ANALOG & HANDMADE ILLUSTRATIONS - Interview with Notietzblock

Hi! My name is Christina Jachow (30) and I am an illustrator & communication designer from Germany, currently living in Berlin. I am specialized in analog and handmade illustrations, editorial, paper and fashion illustration.

Can you tell us a little bit about your style?

I would describe my style as very colorful and cute, romantic dreamy, but realistic. My illustrations show people in nature or in happy everyday life situations. Especially the bright colors should emphasize the positive emotions.

Is there someone who inspires your work?

I think during my development, it is above all fashion that inspires me the most. With its shapes, colors, and patterns, the medium offers so much freedom to express different realities. Especially in connection with art, it can be perceived on so many levels. Only fashion illustration and fascinating artists like Mats Gustafson, Sara Singh or Bill Donovan triggered me to start illustrating. Today there are wonderful illustrators like Ruby Taylor, Susie Hammer or Leena Kisonen, who inspire me with their sense of color and the simplicity of how they represent things.

What triggers your creativity?

It is an interaction of two components. On the one hand, I feel how silence, relaxation and balance promote my creativity. Then the head suddenly has so much room for new ideas. On the other hand, there are also many moments when I am drawn by colors, by new surroundings, by the flood of images in a kind of spell, that it suddenly gushes out of me. And this creates something new again.

How has your style changed, or progressed, since you started illustrating?

When I discovered the illustration for myself during my studies, I was particularly fascinated by current fashion illustrators like Tina Berning, Stina Persson or David Downtown. I just wanted to breathe in as much of this art as possible and try it out as well. I was mainly interested in watercolor techniques in combination with crayons and pencils. At that time my work was much more natural, characterized by the lightness and flow of watercolors, but It felt like I wanted to be something.

Later, I designed my own fashion illustration magazine for my diploma. I tried many techniques again to find my medium. That's when I discovered pen, ink and Photoshop for myself and stuck with it. Now my style is still handmade, but also more digital, clear and colorful. I had to take many steps to find myself and a style that reflects me.

Are you currently following any design/art trends? Are there any trends you're not a fan of?

I am inspired by the current Pantone Spring colors and combine them if it suits the ideas of my projects. In addition, my projects are influenced by fashion, the Hygge trend, the desire of more mindfulness in everyday life and the movement of women's empowerment.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not illustrating?

I like to go to concerts and festivals and try to keep in mind these moments. Music has so much power to my feelings and emotions. In addition, I like to spend my free time with dear friends, together we like to enjoy food and go dancing.

With my boyfriend, I regularly plan small timeouts over the year. We like to explore new cities and in the evening, we fever together in crime series like Bates Motel, Dexxter or The Missing..

What is your design process? (start to finish)

I always start with making sketches on paper and working mainly analogous. I mostly work with colored pencils. The final drawing I do with ink and watercolors. Later on, I scan everything and edit in photoshop to get those bright colors. Doing this, I try to keep as much of the individual features of my style as possible.

Is there anything you’re currently working on?

I'm currently planning new Temporary Tattoos to be prepared for the Summer Festival season.

Do you have any goals for 2018?

So finally I quit my graphics job in order to take the next step towards self-employment. I want to focus on being an illustrator and to do what I love. I really want to use my time to develop my knowledge, improve my skills and try out new techniques. I am looking forward to new projects, collaborations and to connect with other people.

What is your favorite song, artist or band to listen to while you illustrate?

Especially in winter, I try to escape with some disco music. Everything feels a lot easier with new influences from Parcels and Moullinex or old classics like Donna Summer, Chic or Evelyn King.


My free calendar printable for 2018 is still available and ready to download!

All photos are from a shooting with dear friend Luisa Beck. You'll find the download below and will get to Lu's colorful DIY & Handlettering Blog.