Matthias Frey

What inspires you?

All kinds of music, design history (especially the seventies), people, everyday things. And Berlin—it's such a vibrant city with so many contradictions. You can be in ten different parts of the city and feel like you are in ten different cities. This contrast is inspiring. There are a lot of creative people in Berlin, which, although it means stiff competition, is also Inspiring. There are just too many exhibitions to see—inspiration is interdisciplinary.

Are you interested in fashion?

Yes, I'm very much interested in fashion— but I'm not a fashion victim anymore. My urge to be fashionable was definitely stronger in my twenties than today, I still follow trends but not every single one. I am now comfortable and well dressed— rather than loud and outrageous.

Describe your work.

It is very "pop", very pretty. Its aim is always to please the viewer. My work is mostly very bright and colourful. It has improved over the years and still does. Every once in a while I come up with a different way of doing something—for example, shading or coloured outlines instead of solid black ones. Then I look at my older illustrations and think "I should always have been using coloured outlines".

Which media and techniques do you use? I draw by hand, then scan my drawings and do everything else on computer. I work with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. I've been using this technique for a while now, but in between it's Important to try out new techniques.

What, for you, makes a successful fashion illustration?

It should give you some information about the garments or a feeling of what they are like. I think a fashion illustration is more a piece of work than a piece of art—so it should be less about the self-expression of the illustrator.

What artistic training have you undertaken?

Diploma in Communication Design at the Fachhochschule, in Wiesbaden (Germany) with two semesters at the University of Technology (UTS), in Sydney, Australia. This had an immense impact on me, both personally and professionally.

If you could give one piece of advice to a student, what would it be?

Do go and study in a different country for a while. The Fachhochschule, in Wiesbaden, where I studied is very industry-orientated. That's good, because at an early stage students get to know how the industry works: timings, meeting the client, presenting work, etc. The university in Sydney (UTS) was quite the opposite— the focus was on the idea, the creative process. Also, living in a foreign country broadens your horizon immensely. Dealing with a different mentality is fascinating. You start to adapt to parts of it, while at the same time you get in touch with your own country's mentality and become more aware of it. So take my advice and take on the challenge—it will pay off.

Describe yourself and your greatest achievement.

I'm a graphic designer/illustrator. After I finished my studies, I worked in smaller design agencies for a while. Two years ago, I moved to Berlin, becoming self-employed. I love my work—I couldn't think of any work field that would suit me better and could make me happier. At the same time, I don't take it too seriously. I don't like designers who can only think and speak about design. There is a lot more to life, and I think it's healthy to acknowledge that fact. I love music. I think, along with flying, it's the best thing mankind has ever invented. My greatest achievement? Has yet to be achieved, I guess. I've had some of my work published in magazines and books, and I always find It very exciting. But I think my greatest achievement so far is staying a positive-thinking person!

Michou Amelynk
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