Karolin Schnoor is an artist from Berlin, and has been living in London for the past seven years. A large portion of her time as a student in London was spent in the screenprinting studio, where she developed her folk art-infused, graphic style. The screenprinting process continues to inform her work today, as you can see from her bold, flat colors and clean lines. Naturally, Karolin’s work translated well to t-shirt designs, and we’re stoked to have her be a part of Poketo’s new line of Fall t-shirts and pullovers.
You’ve done commercial illustration as well as textile design, which is more pattern-based. Could you take us through your thought process for when you make an illustration vs. creating a pattern?
In some ways, they require almost opposite approaches. An illustration needs to stand on it’s own and feel complete, whereas a pattern is endless. In illustrations I like a balance of elements and colours, maybe a strong focal point and smaller details to complement it. Although when you make a pattern everything has to be a little more even, this idea of creating a good dynamic still applies. I also use a lot of pattern in my illustrations anyway, so making patterns just for their own sake was a fairly seamless process.
courtesy of Paper and Cloth
courtesy of Paper and Cloth
What direction do you want to go with your textile designs?
I still feel very new to pattern-making as I didn’t study it at university, so it’s been more of a side project. I am really starting to enjoy creating patterns. It’s calming somehow, although you never know how it will turn out. When you work on one element it might seem a bit bland, but it can come together really well in repetition. Mostly I just want to improve my process, and it would be great to see my patterns applied to different surfaces and media.
Your Hibernation Zine is a gorgeous self-publication, about humans hibernating through the winter like animals. Could you tell us a bit about that? What inspired you to create a zine about human hibernation?
When I first had the idea, I really did feel like the only thing I wanted to do was hibernate. It felt right to channel that desire into something productive. London can be a very unforgiving place in the winter, and I just liked the idea of taking a step back and shutting myself off from everything for a while to recuperate. I made the publication while in my last year at University, and looking back, I do appreciate the luxury of having had the time to work on something that was my main interest at the time: sleep! I also did a little zine on Apathy in my first year… mmmh I see a recurring theme here!
You grew up in Berlin, and now you’re living and working in London…could you tell us your favorite memories of Berlin?
It’s strange–since I’ve been in London for the last 7 years, I don’t feel like I know Berlin very well anymore. I really love and miss the general feeling of space and quiet, which is unusual for such a big city. Berlin still has vast, open spaces and people don’t rush as much as they do here in London. There also seem to be more independent cinemas, book-shops, restaurants, and cafes as chains aren’t very prevalent. A few of my favorite places are the Renate comic shop and library at Oranienburger Tor; Cafe Cinema at Hackescher Markt; the art bookshop under the arches at Savignyplatz; and perhaps most importantly, I am a little obsessed with the food at Monsieur Wong near Rosa-Luxemburg Platz, and the very tasty Dada Falafel across from the Tacheles at Friedrichstrasse.
I should also mention that I actually grew up in Potsdam, a city within the periphery of Berlin, but not in Berlin proper. It has retained many of its historical buildings and is known for its old parks, castles, and lakes. Many of the parks were designed by the landscape artist Lenee, and they are so beautiful and peaceful I would recommend anyone going to Berlin to dedicate at least one day to exploring them and the rest of Potsdam, including the best mosaic mural I’ve ever seen!
The Potsdam Mural
Could you tell us about your t-shirt design?
The image of the forest is a detail from a larger drawing, inspired by Kerouac’s Big Sur. The forest image seemed a very powerful image to me, seeing as it had managed to lure someone like Kerouac away from the city with all it’s activity and the people in it.
The bird shirt is a little more straightforward as I quite liked the idea of a t-shirt with a hand on it and one with a bird and then it was a matter of deciding how to combine the two in the best possible way. I like images that leave things open to interpretation a little and hopefully that has worked out in this case!
You can view more of Karolin’s work at karolinschnoor.com.