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Sarah Illenberger

Sarah Illenberger redefines the latest paper trend with her artistic work and installations. With great love for detail she creates vivid and unique works of art, often with a humorous touch - and makes stories come to life. Read more about this creative mind in the LigaStudios interview with her.

Sarah Illenberger

What meaning does art / form design have for you?

It has a great meaning to me, as it is the field I have decided to spend most of my time in. I am not an obsessive form lover, more a story teller and idea machine. I grew up in a creative scene in Munich, Germany, surrounded by designers, photographers and artists. This definitely had a strong influence on me.

 

Besides unusual materials such as food or flowers, you often work with paper. Which challenges arise out of using this sensitive material?

I love using paper because it is very versatile and fast. Only a few working steps, some scissors and glue, and you ́ve got your finished artwork. It ́s perfect for fast working processes. On the other hand it’s not very long lasting. It doesn ́t become better with age and is very sensitive when transporting it. Once you have a crease or fold in it, it is difficult to remove it. The variety of paper is immense, but still there are many colours missing from my favourite colour scheme. Ideally I would like to have my own colour palette in paper form.

 

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You recently installed an imaginative window design made of paper in ten windows of department store KadeWe in Berlin: what was special about the project? Where did you find your inspiration?

It was special to build a set not only for photo purpose. To actually have something stand in a space for a longer period of time brings in a new aspect, where one has to work very precise and exact. I found my inspiration looking at old Jacques Tati movies and also photos of the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California. It is quite unusual to have so much space for a window installa­tion. It took us approx. 5 months from first concept to finali­sation. I had a team of up to 8 people working on it.

 

In the context of “visual storytelling”: what’s the special challenge in design­ing a window? How do you awaken interest?

Often windows are just pure eye candy or they represent a strong commercial interest. You need to have an open­ minded client in order to tell a story. It is obviously more difficult to tell a story in one window than ten. The concept of the „parade“ allowed a continuous story line. Originally, I even wanted the backgrounds to move, like in Hollywood movies, to give a stronger sense of progression. The challenge when telling a story over a series of windows is to make each frame stand by itself; to appear entertaining and sufficient without the rest. We also integrated some motors and fans to give a great movement and dynamic.

 

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How would you describe your creati­ve work process?

I spend a lot time conceptualising the given brief; researching all aspects of the subject via films, pictures, books and magazines. Then I bring all ideas to paper and in that process I realise what excites me most. I guess that works quite intui­tively. If it brings a smile to my face, it will usually do that to others too. I try to maintain some freedom in the precise develop­ ment of ideas, knowing that the best things will happen within the design process. I build dummies or mock-­ups and once these are approved, I work on the final, which is then photographed by me or other photographers. In the case of the windows, they were installed very close to what we had intended.

 

What’s the ‘soundtrack of your life’?

1. Nena: 99 Luftballons 

2. Madonna: True Blue 

3. Robin Beck: First Time 

4. Snap: Rhythm is a Dancer 

5. Pearl: Jam Alive  

6. Neneh Cherry: 7 Seconds 

7. Red Hot Chilli Peppers: Californication 

8. The Thrills: Big Sur 

9 . Cat Power: The Greatest 

10. Lana del Rey: Video Games 

 

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What’s close to your heart?

My family, boyfriend and dog.

 

What are you currently working on? What can we expect from you in the future?

I am working more and more on installations and exhibition projects. I will have a little show at Colette, Paris, at the beginning of December, which I am looking forward to. Other than working, I am planning to travel a lot in the next months to collect inspiration and stories.

 

www.sarahillenberger.de

 

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19 / 06 / 2012 // by LigaStudios Team

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