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The Story of Carmi Grau, An Icon Living!

An artist's story sheds light on why they create their art. Hearing (or reading) the story of an artist can unlock a new perspective in their work - allowing you to appreciate and enjoy it in a new way.

Carmi Grau has a beautiful story of humble beginnings that lead her to be the incredible illustrator & lettering artist she is today.

Carmi's story beings in a small forest town in Germany:

"Growing up in a teeny-tiny town in the middle of Germany, stuck between cornfields and trees, allowed my creativity and imagination to grow. The landscape is stunning, with volcanic mountains and forests. It has something magical when the morning fog lies between the hills."

Using the natural tools she found around her, Carmi's love of creativity began:

"I created art with everything I could find in nature — sticks, stones, clay. And I drew a lot, preferably on the endless printer paper my dad brought from his office.

The impressions from my childhood in the midst of nature still inspire me today. They merge with my daily life. Today I live in a very vibrant part of Berlin, and it is this contrast that gets my creativity flowing. Sometimes I need the serenity and tranquility of nature, and other times I need the chaos and hustle bustle of the city. For me, it’s vital to live in both worlds. I also have a curiosity for people and places that inspires my work. It’s my way of shifting perspectives and making me think."

"After attending art school, I studied industrial design. But even then, I knew I was more interested in layout and typography, so I worked for a couple of years as a freelance graphic designer for various agencies. At that time, I also started working for a boutique record label based in New York, which is where I did my first hand-drawn vinyl covers. This brought me closer to my love for illustration.

When life got rocky, Carmi used art to heal her broken heart:

"After a difficult loss in my life, I truly began to draw from the heart. Since then, I could sense a connection between my own experiences and the inner worlds of others. This creates a strong bond between my audience and myself. I hope others feel seen and find some comfort in my work."

These days staying, busy keeps Carmi balanced:

"Creating a lot of personal work keeps my creative energy flowing. I usually start with pen and paper or draw immediately on my iPad — especially when I am traveling. Tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fresco give me the ability to work from anywhere, which allows me to have my work set up no matter where I am."

If you want to see the heart-felt messages Carmi illustrates and get to know more of her through her work, you can head over to her Instagram here.
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