Sunday Times

The en­chanted world of ASTRID BLUMER

- TEXT: MILA CREWE-BROWN Supermodels · Celebrities · Cape Town · Pretoria · Facebook · Instagram

We’ve fallen hard for the work of lo­cal il­lus­tra­tor Astrid Blumer and it’s safe to say you will too. Her de­signs are filled with magic, whimsy and a love of na­ture as well as a dose of con­tem­pla­tive calm. Most of­ten you’ll see scenes of pas­tels and muted tones, inky night skies, na­ture and her dog Nina, but ev­ery so of­ten she throws cau­tion to the wind with juicy brights. No mat­ter the con­tent or the client, Astrid’s im­ages have a dreamy, painterly qual­ity thanks to her love of ink and wa­ter­colours and a wist­ful­ness we can’t get enough of.

Hav­ing picked up il­lus­tra­tion at a young age, Astrid puts much of her skill down to grow­ing up in a cre­ative fam­ily. “Art was al­ways my favourite sub­ject in pri­mary school and when I went to high school, I chose a school that spe­cialised in the arts. It was there that I learned about print mak­ing, draw­ing, paint­ing, weav­ing and ceram­ics,” she says. To­day she looks up to il­lus­tra­tors like Gemma Koomen, Lind­say Stripling, Kirsten

Sims and Ro­ma­nian folk artist Aitch, all of whom share a love of whimsy.

Her clients vary, but re­cent works that caught our eye in­clude a guest book­let for Cape Town’s La Grena­dine Petit Ho­tel. Her im­ages por­tray the same warmth and quirk­i­ness of the ho­tel with fun il­lus­tra­tions fea­tur­ing an­i­mals, mu­sic and retro charm.

An­other project for in­te­rior stylist Lau­ren McCreath in­volved a brand re­design in Astrid’s tell-tale boun­ti­ful style. A starry night sky, leafy and flo­ral el­e­ments and mys­te­ri­ous tigers form part of this en­chanted il­lus­tra­tion.

Lately she has put her tal­ents to two very spe­cial books, both part of the Dithakgo tša Gobala Word­less book se­ries by Col­lab­o­rate Com­mu­nity Projects. The first of them, Ser­a­pana (The Gar­den), de­picts a young girl tend­ing to her veg­etable gar­den with the sup­port of her friends. “Ser­a­pana and her an­i­mal friends show you how you can grow your own food gar­den to feed your fam­ily,” says Astrid.

The non-profit project gath­ered sto­ries from the chil­dren and par­ents of Pre­to­ria’s Mamelodi com­mu­nity and trans­lated their tales into im­ages. That the books have no words al­lows the reader to nar­rate the story with cre­ative free­dom, in a lan­guage of their choice, el­e­vat­ing the art of il­lus­tra­tion to em­power chil­dren and break down the bound­aries to lit­er­acy.

The sec­ond of her books for the non­profit has just been re­leased. En­ti­tled Moruki, which trans­lates to The Seam­stress in Se­pedi, it fol­lows a young girl who uses sewing to earn a liv­ing.

In terms of her process, Astrid be­gins with pen­cil sketches, which she re­fines un­til she is happy with them. These are then trans­ferred onto “fancy pa­per” where they’re brought to life with wa­ter­colour or ink and then pol­ished in Pho­to­shop.

“If I’m work­ing dig­i­tally, I still start with pen­cil sketches and then fin­ish the art­work with tex­ture and paint brushes in Pho­to­shop or Pro­cre­ate,” says Astrid.

When it comes to dream gigs, she lists a glut of projects in­clud­ing il­lus­trat­ing well-known book cov­ers, a greet­ing card line for Red Cap Cards, de­sign­ing an il­lus­trated fab­ric range, col­lab­o­rat­ing with a nat­u­ral bath and beauty com­pany on their pack­ag­ing and il­lus­trat­ing her own chil­dren’s book.

“I want to do every­thing, so let’s see how much I’m ca­pa­ble of!”

Check out Astrid Blumer Il­lus­tra­tion & De­sign on Face­book, and her de­light­ful In­sta page @astrid­blumer.

There’s a light­ness to graphic de­signer Astrid Blumer’s il­lus­tra­tions that is mag­netis­ing. We wanted to know more!

 ??  ?? La Grena­dine ho­tel - restau­rant scene.
La Grena­dine ho­tel - restau­rant scene.
 ??  ?? Spy in Paris - fine art print.
Spy in Paris - fine art print.
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Ser­a­pana cover, top; Lau­ren McCreath brand­ing il­lus­tra­tion, above.
Ser­a­pana cover, top; Lau­ren McCreath brand­ing il­lus­tra­tion, above.
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa