Girls just wanna have fun and give life to vivid works. We stumbled across these brilliant duo in the wide world of the web, since then we are quite elephant addicted. Signore e signori meet It's Raining Elephants alias Nina Wehrle + Evelyne Laube, Berlin based, from where the milk-chocolate, red-cross, esoteric-bank and great-graphic things are. +) In addition, a little Focus On a particular project - this time we choose the sophisticated illustrations they made for The Grosse Flut / The Great Flood. The book speak by itself, but we have to say that it gained a Special Mention at Ilustrarte (Portugal) and it's a finalist of the 4th Picture book awards (Korea). Well done!
0: Who are you?
N: Nina Wehrle, 27, illustrator, swiss accent, dracula tooth, elephant & mouse.
E: My name is Evelyne Laube. I work with Nina Wehrle together under the name "It's Raining Elephants" as an illustrator. I am interested in drawing as a permanent process of observing and interviewing. I work with the material that I have and that I am. I love to work with my hands and to play around and to see what comes out of it. With Nina work is very fun. Sometimes we work very systematically and sometimes we break all rules.
E: Meadow, forest, farm, secret places.
2: When did you start drawing, what were your favourite subjects?
N: As children we always had plenty of paper in all imaginable sizes because my grandparents ran a printing workshop, so we drew a lot. My favorite subjects were me, myself and I.
E: I don't remember, it is very natural like talking or eating or breathing. But when it was raining, I sometimes didn't want to go out. So i stayed home and drew. I also loved to do other things with my hands, to tinker and to build huts. I didn't have a favorite subject, but i drew a lot of houses where you could open the door, the window, the garage, the stalldoor or unfold the roof and see what is inside.
I started to use not only one piece of paper but to tape paper together and build up a long number of houses, an entire universe. Subjects always changed.
3: An important step for your self-improvement and artistic growth?
N: In the high school I created a picture book together with a friend. From this moment on I got something like a pair of wings because I knew what I wanted to do.
E: Learning by doing. People I met at any point in my life, who are important to me.
4: How is the place where you live influencing your work?
N: There is an endless accumulation of stories on the streets of Berlin and a surprise around every corner. Since illustration actually is nothing else than collecting and retelling stories it's not a bad environment.
E: I can take a little walk and discover many things, a lot of stories are happening at the same time. It's poor but it has its beauty. It's better than watching a movie. In a rather chaotic place I need a little room where I can hide and be calm. This can be a studio or only a blank sheet of paper.
5: Which is the aspect of your profession that you dislike the most?
N: To try to fit the taste of a client
E: Permanent Sitting
6: Is there a project you're secretly rising since a long time?
7: You as an artist in three adjectives... ?
N: Obsessive, decisive, contradictory.
E: Questioning, doubting, sensitive.
SF: If you were living 100 years ago, which artistic movement or group would you have worked into?
N: The elephant movement.
E: 1911 was the early time of Modernism in Europe. In swiss the first group of modernists was built in 1911 by Walter Helbig, Oscar Lüthy and Hans Arp. Later People like Paul Klee joined the group.
I don't know if I would have joined them. I would be certainly influenced by other things then now and I don't know how I would form an opinion and try a life model. If possible in 1911 I would travel a lot, study many languages and learn to swim.
SF: what is for you the main difference between a commissioned painting and a commissioned illustration?
N: One is going to decorate a living room, the other a magazine.
E: The illustration has to communicate, the painting not if it doesn't want to.
SF: Three artists you would like to exhume and interview?
N: Hieronymus Bosch, Bruno Munari, Adolf Wölfli.
E: I would like to make a studio visit with Hieronymus Bosch, Katsushika Hokusai, Sibylla Merian.
SF: which is the most "artistically friendly" city you have visited?
SF: Three irreplaceable visual art values that are useful for the human cohabitation?
N: Empathy, accuracy, profundity.
E: Intuition, curiosity, solidarity.
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FOCUS ON: Die Grosse Flut / The Great Flood - 2011.
commissioned by SJW. Graphic design: André Meier and Franziska Kolb.
A. Name of the project / category:
Die Grosse Flut / The Great Flood (illustrated publication).
B. What's that? :
This publication attempts to reinterpret the narrative of Noah's Arc, one of the most published and illustrated stories. We were fascinated with the archaic force and absurdity of the Bible text (Genesis 6 -9), which the publisher has shown to us. A new interpretation of this text and an examination of the prevalent images and patterns greatly appealed to us.
C. How/when/why it came into the world:
We gave birth to it from May to July 2011. The rainy summer helped our imagination and facilitated it to focus on this archaic flood.
D. Grade of satisfaction:
9.5 of 10 points.
E. Five (5) adjectives about:
Archaic, apocalyptical, playful, empathetic, rich in detail.
Go on following our instinct.