Tag Archives: berlin

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Comic Illustrations and Wedding Invitations

Happy Friday!

This month has been full of exciting new projects. I had to put aside the embroidery for a couple weeks, to work on a rather complex comic project for the German company Bosch in collaboration with Knusperdesign. The illustrations were drawn in a traditional, black and white inked format, which was a bit scary for me at first, as it’s been a while since I’ve dipped my brushes in black ink.  But everything turned out well and the comic is in it’s final stages of production as we speak.

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In addition to this project, I’ve been working on a number of wedding invitation commissions this month. Did you know I design wedding invitations and thank you cards? You can find examples of on my Etsy or Dawanda shop. All the invitations include a custom portrait or other illustration which I base on photos I receive from the couples. The portraits are drawn by hand in ink and coloured digitally. I haven’t attempted to do any embroidered wedding portraits yet, but it’s in the back of my head for this coming year. So if you know anyone getting married in the next year, send em’ over! Here are a few examples below:

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All in all, 2016 has started off well! We’ll be flying to the homeland of Canada in a few weeks for a visit and I have a few illustration meetings lined up while I’m down there.  Hopefully, I’ll have some exciting news to announce on here when we get back to Germany in February!

I hope you’ve had a great start into the New Year, and thanks for reading!

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New Christmas Illustration

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As I was planning this new illustration I had to remember Christmas’s with our wiener dog, Karmen. Yes, I know, it’s not exactly the most manly of names, but he was named after my great-grandfather’s wiener dog. Karmen was a feisty little guy. We quickly learned that wiener dogs are much bigger in their heads and very capable of mass destruction. He always found something to rip to shreds, if we weren’t quick enough to give him a bone to chew on. The cuteness factor quickly wore off for our neighbours who had to endure his incessant barking. But I loved him in spite of all his mischief.

I think if I had been a bit smaller, I could have easily convinced Karmen to pull me in a box around the living room. Given the opportunity, he would be the most determined little reindeer on Santa’s sleigh.

I hope you have fun looking at this illustration because I had a lot of fun making it. Maybe it will bring you back to your childhood Christmas’s and all the imagination and “anticipation” that surrounded the season (though I still haven’t grown out of this!).

And on a totally different note. I finished that CD cover design I mentioned in my last blog post. Here is a photo of the printed CD’s taken by Projekt: Kirche.

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My inspiration for the cover design was a patchwork quilt. The CD contains music from 12 different artists, who have through this CD project been patched together. Most of the artists are based in Berlin. The CD can be purchased through Projekt: Kirche, and 50% of the cost goes directly to the artists. The other 50% covers production costs. I would highly recommend it, if you are looking to discover some up and coming musicians in Europe.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Recent Blog Posts

Illustration Friday: Noise

Well, it’s been about a month since my last personal blog. I must say, I was quite shocked at the increase in views, but also very encouraged by all the thoughtful comments. Thank you!

This past month was a bit crazy, with moving to a new flat and sorting out all the details for that. Thus, I haven’t had as much time as I wanted to devote to illustration. However, I’ve done what I can and have been steadily working on sketches for the Mr.Buttonman picture book.

With all of this sketching, I’ve been itching to bring at least one work to completion. So this week, I decided to do an illustration for the Illustration Friday blog, just for fun. Though I noticed today, that I actually missed the deadline to post it on their blog. I’ll have to be quicker next time! I hope at least you will enjoy it!

The theme for this week was Noise. And here’s Mr.Buttonman being very noisy in the kitchen.

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I was quite pleased with how this turned out. It’s one of the first times I’ve put Mr.Buttonman in such a detailed background. There will be more detailed backgrounds in the picture book so this illustration was a good testing ground.

Have a great Friday and make some noise!

 

 

Recent Blog Posts

My First Berlin Christmas Market: Part 1

This weekend will be my first time participating as a vendor in a traditional German Christmas market in Berlin! I’ve been busy preparing all kinds of holiday wares for this sale. There will be art prints, Mr.Buttonman Christmas postcards, original embroidered creations, handmade matchboxes, and up-cycled jar candle holders. Everything is 100% handmade by myself. Check out the pictures below, to get a sneak peek!

The market is the annual Kiez Weihnachtsmarkt  in Friedrichshain, Berlin (website here). You will find it around the old church on Samariterstrasse. It runs both Saturday, Dec.13th and Sunday, Dec.14th from 1-8pm. This is a great market if you are looking for small, handmade gifts for family and friends. Most of the vendors live in the neighbourhood and some even have store fronts here.

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And in case you’re wondering, yes, there will be Glühwein! Hope to see you there 🙂

 

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Photo Gallery of “Stitch and Line” Art Exhibit

Here are a few photos from the opening night of  “Stitch and Line” art exhibit in Speakeasy Sprachzeug language school in Berlin.  The exhibit showcases work from myself and Sarah Stein ( www.sarahstein.com).  Thanks to everyone who could make it out; it was a fantastic night. I really enjoyed the musical performance of Canadian musician Bruce Millar and meeting so many new faces!

For those of you who couldn’t come to opening night, you still have time to see the exhibit. It will be up until November 7th. 

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Berlin exhibit coming in August!

So I’ve officially failed at updating my sketch blog regularly. Perhaps it’s because I’m in full-time German  language school AND trying to have a life AND trying to make tons of new art, all at the same time? Probably. Wahrscheinlich. Oh yeah, throwing in the Deutsch. Did you see that?

Anyway for those of you who are curious, here’s what art-related things I’ve been up to lately:

I’ve been designing some logos, graphics, a beer label for a wedding and participated in a couple art markets. My art was featured in an exhibit in L.A. AND most exciting, I’m preparing for my first art exhibit in Berlin!

There is a background story to this. I’ve been attending “Speakeasy Sprachzeug” language school for the past 4 months ago (It’s a fantastic, smaller school in Friedrichshain, former East Berlin). Every 3 months they feature artists from a different country. The current show is an artist from Belgium and the last show were two artists from South Africa. There’s been some amazing work come through this place!

A couple months ago, I was in conversation with the school’s director, as they had found my art website. They’ve never had a student from the school do an exhibit, or a Canadian artist, so this seemed like a unique opportunity. I also thought it was a great idea, and so, voila!

It’s sooo great to be making new work. After the move to Berlin, I went through a couple months of transition and couldn’t make anything. I finally feel like my creativity is alive again. Here are some photos:

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My goal for the show is to have about 10-12 new pieces. The “common thread” (haha, get it?) in my work is that all of the pieces are a mixture of drawing with embroidery on paper and are based off of quotes from famous Canadian poets, songwriters and artists. To name a few: Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Emily Carr, Alice Munroe, Yann Martel and Justin Bieber.

Just kidding. There’s going to be NO Justin Bieber in this show!

Not all of the drawings are finished, but they’re getting there. The school will ultimately decide which pieces to display so for now, I’m just making, making, making! (And praying it will all be finished in time!).

Thanks for reading!

-Joelle

 

 

 

 

 

Recent Blog Posts

In Front of the Camera

Usually, I hate having my picture taken. I would rather be the one behind the camera than in front of it. But, for a while now I have needed some decent photos of my artistic process and a good headshot for my website and art submissions/interviews.  So, this week I finally had some photos taken, and I’ve posted some of them below. (You may find these photos in the pages of a book  in the near future, but I’m not going to tell you about this yet…)

When I’m working I like to be surrounded by other artists’ work that I find interesting or inspiring and a few of my own favourite works. I also need to have good books, good coffee, window light, thread, fabric, buttons, pencils, paper and ink! We included these elements into the photos, and of course had to put “Mr.Buttonman” in at least one of the shots.

Thanks to Zach Bulick (again) for taking the photos and also to Kulturshöpfer  and Aunt Benny’s coffee shop for letting us use your space! (If you’re ever planning to move/work in Berlin, you should come check out Kulturshöpfer. It’s a great co-working space in Friedrichsain, that hosts many cultural and artistic events throughout the year. You will definitely be hearing more about them on this blog in the future!)

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Recent Blog Posts

New Project: Joelle Labels Berlin

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GermanWordExamplesSo, this project is called “Joelle Labels Berlin”, as you can see from the photo. It’s a new social media project, involving Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr that will (hopefully) help me and others to learn the difficult language of German.

If you have been following any of my social media tracks, you should know that my husband and I have recently moved to Berlin, Germany. My husband is originally from Germany, so the goal of this year is to learn the language and experience a his home culture. I’m hoping it will also be a year of meeting new artists, attending exhibitions and making A LOT of art.

This is my newest project, that was birthed out a conversation with a fellow English-speaking friend yesterday (thanks Shannon!). We were talking about how difficult it is to learn German. Then, she shared with me that one of her friends labelled everything in her apartment to help learn the German words with their proper articles. I thought, “What a brilliant idea!”

You see, in German every noun has an article (die, das, or der). Some words are masculine, feminine, and neutral. For example, das Fenster (window), der Spiegel (the mirror) and der Wand (the wall) There is no reasoning behind this system, from what I can tell so far. The only way to learn these articles is to memorize them. So, what better way to memorize then to label everything with sticky notes?  But, why stop with household items? I mean, there are only so many things in your apartment. But I need to know everything. So, everything must be labelled!

WHY DO THIS, YOU ASK? Because German is really difficult, and I’m a visual learner so I need pictures to remember things. Also, I wanted to do something for the greater good. I’m sure there are other English speakers out there, struggling with me to learn this language.

AND HOW WILL IT WORK? I will label random things with sticky notes and take a photo with my phone. Then I will post the photo to Instagram, Twitter and my Tumblr feed using this formula in the caption:

TheGermanWord (e.g. #derspiegel) +  “German+EnglishWord” (#germanmirror) + Project Name (#joellelabelsberlin).

As I build up this photographic dictionary, anyone can find these words through searching for hashtags.

THIS SOUNDS GREAT JOELLE, HOW CAN I FOLLOW YOUR LEARNING EXPERIENCE?

Great question! You can follow me on Instagram @joellegebhardt, Twitter @joellegebhardt or my Tumblr feed (the link is on my website). The Tumblr feed will be exclusively for this project, but I will still be posting other things on Instagram and Twitter.

I THINK THIS IS A RIDICULOUS IDEA, YOU ARE CRAZY.

Thanks! It might be a stupid idea, but I’ve gotta learn German somehow!

 

 

 

 

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On Leaving

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I wanted to make something “creative” this afternoon, but I couldn’t stop thinking about leaving Vancouver in a few weeks. I made this #hashtag card above to filter my emotions. Good ol’ hashtags! I’ve been learning some German with this free app called Duolingo, and incorporated some of my new vocabulary into it too.

It’s becoming more and more real that we are relocating to Berlin. Almost every day I am asked, “So, are you getting excited?”.  I’m never certain how to answer this question because, to be honest, I’m feeling mostly sad about it. It’s hard to leave behind all your loved ones to travel to an unknown place for an unknown amount of time. I know, it’s Europe, and everyone wants to go to Europe because it’s cool. But, the coolness factor is not helping with that ache in my heart when I think of all the people I’m leaving behind.

I have unintentionally put some roots down in this city, even with it’s transient nature. It is home now. And there are days when the idea of leaving is more than I can handle, so I have to pretend that it’s not happening. This is a horrible strategy for packing! Do not ask me for advice when it comes to moving.

If you’ve ever had to move to another city, I’m sure you can relate to these feelings. It’s something we are all faced with at some point. And I always think that it will be easier the next time, but good-byes always seem to suck.

On the flip side, I know that Berlin is going to be amazing and I am excited to go. I have my appointment with the German Consulate tomorrow to apply for my work visa, and plan on making lots of art while I’m there. And as an artist, this is an ideal place to be going.

Everything is going to be ok. (I actually hate it when people say this, however, in this particular case, it’s true). Everything will be ok. The ocean isn’t THAT big, right? There are planes and boats and skype and letters. Wonderful inventions that make the distance smaller between me and you.

And on that note, I’m going to go organize my closet now. Thanks for listening 🙂

-Joelle