With 2015 just around the corner (eek!) it will soon be time to think about planning out the New Year in a bit more detail on the work and life front. Ok so I know most of us are currently running around like crazy things trying to get everything done before our Christmas breaks, cramming in shopping and many other festivities. However somewhere among all that madness why not take a moment to sit back and work out your hopes and plans for the coming year and get a head start on all those plans and resolutions.
With this thought in mind, today I wanted to bring the beautiful designs of Illustrator Karolin Schnoor to the blog as well as share with you some of her unique calendar designs and illustrations that may just inspire your New Year office space and organisation. Plus there's a chance to win one of Karolin's very beautiful 2015 Wall Planners (more on that below).
To begin with I'd like to introduce Karolin and let her tell you a little more about what she does. As a freelance Illustrator and Screen Printer, from Germany and working in London, Karolin designs and creates beautiful prints, calendars and stationery. Her designs are sleek and sharp and the quality of the products always extremely high as she chooses to print in small quantities maintaining quality rather than compromise on the high printing standard.
I personally love the boldness of her designs, the colours are striking and the final effect always visually clean and so pleasing to the eye. All of the pieces would make fantastic editions to any smart and stylish office space, offering something unique and individual to inspire you on a daily basis! So let's find out a little more about what makes Karolin tick, how she handles her work-life balance and what inspires her beautiful designs.
You have built a fantastic career as a freelance Illustrator. Is this a difficult career path to get involved in?
I think within most careers there are difficult aspects. Chosing to be an illustrator seemed easy to me because it was what I most enjoyed and had pursued throughout my studies. Actually being one is mostly enjoyable but it also has it's downsides! I think most freelancers experience the frustrations of an unsteady income, periods of intense work followed by quieter days where you get nervous and the strange sensation of not having talked to anyone in days as you hole up to draw. But I like working on my own, the variety of the work I do and the joy it gives me. I'm certainly never bored and that's very valuable to me.
Could you give me a little low down on your business and the passion behind what you do?
I'm a full time illustrator which does not actually mean I illustrate all the time. I do a lot of quick deadline editorial work but also longer ranging projects and I run my own shop so a lot of admin, post office runs and briefing calls make up my days as well as actual drawing.
How do you find being your own boss - what are the challenges, what are the benefits?
I personally really enjoy being my own boss. I like to be as efficient as possible (a German stereotype rings true here) and that's much easier when it's me who decides what gets done when. I do enjoy working on briefs with Art Directors or other types of collaboration so it's not always lonely.
How do you find balance between work and life when your workload gets really busy?
I wish I had my work life balance sorted out. It's quite tricky when your work feels like a big part of your life and sneaks outside of your regular working hours. I think Jessica Hische once said that you can work like crazy in your 20s because you have the stamina. As I approach my 30s I'm trying to rebalance but it's proving tricky. For the sake of my health and sanity I hope I figure it out soon!
What do you like to do in your downtime? For example what would the ideal weekend look like for you?
My ideal weekend looks different depending on what is going on. At the moment I'd love to just hibernate and watch bad TV but occassionally I do enjoy going out and seeing other humans!
Huge thanks to Karolin for sharing her thoughts and advice on working in her chosen career field plus her honesty about finding a work-life balance and how tricky this can be, especially when you work for yourself and your job and passion combine. Make sure you check out all of the stunning products in her online Etsy shop for even more inspiration.
I'm also really excited to have the chance to offer the beautiful 2015 Wall Calendar shown above to one lucky reader in a giveaway launching today. To enter please follow the instructions below. It will be open for 10 days in order to try and get this out to the winner in good time for the New Year so be quick if you would like the chance to win!
Just a few T&C's - this giveaway is only open to UK residents on this occasion. Please note that the print does not include the frame as pictured. The print is A2 size and will be safely shipped in a sturdy cardboard tube.
So get your entry in and best of luck!