Nadine Kolodziey can't stop moving -or creating- and nobody wants her to.

Some people write or walk to get to certain state of mind where you are very close to yourself. When I am drawing I feel very intuitively connected to my inner consciousness and it helps me a lot to understand and structure my thoughts.
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Nadine likes to keep things fresh. Switching homes between Berlin and Frankfurt every two weeks isn't enough- she spends a month out of the year in Japan. Her illustrations are colorful and her characters are bold. They are often faceless and feel oddly familiar.

She has been eager to work as an illustrator since the age of 4 growing up in the countryside of Germany. Nadine does everything from melted-plastic collages to digital illustrations, physical installations and karate kicks.

What's your creative process like? What's your favorite part of it?

That’s easy: The magic of the first draft/design is my favorite because it is so intuitive. In general I don’t like pre sketches and then doing finals afterwards. It might be a bit radical, but in my process I always work on the first draft until it is a final. To have a better choice, I would do 5-8 finals and then choose amongst them. 

This can be confusing when you work on editorials for clients because they want to have a preview of where the work is going. Then I have to do a bit of convincing that there won’t be a draft or sketch phase- but 5-8 finals to choose from. Surprisingly, It worked quite well until now. 

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Why do you draw? How do you feel when you are doing it? And how often do you do it?

Some people write or walk to get to certain state of mind where you are very close to yourself. When I am drawing I feel very intuitively connected to my inner consciousness and it helps me a lot to understand and structure my thoughts. This also means yes, I am doing it a lot- I try to work wherever I am, daily life and strolling around are my main sources for ideas. Collecting tiny things, stories and weird circumstances along the way.

Creating my collages (cut and melted plastic) is a bit different: I use an industrial melting machine, the machine is quite high and heavy, I can’t sit down when I am melting, so usually I dance when I’m working on those.

 

Your characters all have such strong personalities, who are they? Where do you begin when making a new illustration? 

Yes I am working with very bold and edgy characters. I think it is the beginning of a story or interaction, when you make the very first eye contact with the unknown. I try to catch that moment of attention when I draw a new personality. In general I get inspired a lot by ancient illustrations, in museums for example, and then I really enjoy remixing their old heritages with daily life impressions or pop cultural elements as a commentary to our own very mixed backgrounds.

I saw you recently did a beautiful installation, what's it all about?

This is my Graduation (Master) artwork called the selfiepark. I did my master in art and design at eike königs class last year. At my university we have a 50 % theoretical thesis to our practical work. I was writing about strolling- scrolling and the similarities of taking a stroll outside and moving without a defined purpose in the internet (eg. Instagram).

So my aim was to walk in a surreal, but real artificial nature (and of course I wanted to walk in my illustration too) so I built this park myself by hand using a hot wire. It is 72 pieces and the tallest tree is 5,80 meter ( 230 inches). It's called selfiepark so the visitors can take a selfie and send it back to the digital world. This work should ask questions about artificial & nature/digital & analog. It feels like walking in 3d rendered nature but actually it is all hand-cut polystyrene.

Any fun fact about yourself? Anything else that you want people to know?

- Spend one month a year in Japan

- Used to have 5 Axolotl (pokemon like salamanders) as pets

- 7 years karate experience

- Very restless, no need for much sleep

- Bad driver, good dancer

 

 nadinekolodziey.com | @nadinekolodziey