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Artist Feature: Nanna Prieler

All we knew of Vienna before meeting Nanna was of crisp apple strudel, and schnitzel (though never with noodles, we live in LA, land of the Gluten Free), though after our chat we believe ‘strong coffee’ and good wine should be added to that list- as they are two of Nanna’s favorite things. You could also add plant enthusiast, admirer of beautiful things, and literary sponge to that list as well- her most recent read having been about Picasso! Her love of museums, culture and color all seem to melt their way into her work, much like the hot summer day that melted her resolve and brought her to the awareness that illustration should (and would) be her lifes work.

Move over Mozart, Beethoven, and Freud Vienna is making a new name for herself in Nanna Prieler, graphic designer turned illustrator- and what an illustrator she is!

Tell us a little about yourself and your work.
My name is Nanna and I'm working and living in Vienna. I used to work as a graphic designer, which is – without doubt – a beautiful profession, but it didn’t take me very long to recognized that it's not the right thing for me. So I quit the job and tried to survive as an illustrator from then on. My artworks still contain a graphical approach…composition is very important for me, sometimes illustrating feels a bit like layouting in a very playful way.

Describe a typical work day for you.
Every day starts the same…I really need a strong coffee before I can do anything else.  Depending on my schedule, I'll make sketches or continue working on ongoing projects until I get hungry. I'm lucky enough that my boyfriend and I share a studio with a nice kitchen, and cause he's a passionate cook I'll not stay hungry very long ;-)Usually I'll work until late afternoon and meet with some friends for dinner or an after work drink.

Which part of the creative process do you enjoy most?
I do like sketching, but when it finally comes to the coloring process nothing can stop me from working - hahaha. But seriously… it's such a great feeling to see an idea coming alive.

Was there a striking moment in your life where you knew you had to become an Illustrator?
Drawing always seemed to be the most natural way of expressing myself. And I remember that on an especially hot summer day I said to myself: Just give it a try!

What mediums do you enjoy working with most?
I enjoy creating analoge structures and use them in Photoshop.

If you had unlimited resources, what would your dream project look like?
I'd probably do screen prints on unusual materials as well as on haute couture clothes and silk scarves.

Outside of your work, what other hobbies do you enjoy?
There are a lot of things that I enjoy and mostly I'm combining them. Such as reading while listening to music and drinking a glass of good wine. Looking after my plants while sitting in my favourite chair. Looking at beautiful things in plant markets and museums.

What is your favorite show you’re watching right now?
Just started Making a Murderer 2 – still insane!

What was the last book you read that you really enjoyed?
Life with Picasso by Françoise Gilot.
What is a common creative block for you and how do you get unstuck?
Sometimes I don't know how to express the idea on paper. My method to solve this little problem is to draw things that are surrounding and inspiring me, thats perfect to initiate the sketching process.   

Outside of design, what do you do that inspires your creative pursuit?
I love to see exhibitions and art shows - very classical - but works well for me!

Are you an early bird or a night owl?
More like a night owl, but coffee helps a lot.

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