Interview with Franziska from Roadtyping

nuukk proudly presents… or something like that. As you all probably know, we work with a number of great illustrators and of course we would like to recommend their work to you. Today, dear Franzi from label Roadtyping has therefore answered a few questions. Live from Oregon, by the way. Because she is currently traveling around the world with her husband.

Hey Franzi! With you, the name says it all. With Roadtyping you are on an adventure trip together with your husband and at the same time you illustrate on the same topic. Would you like to tell us briefly how that came about?
Hihi, yes, I really love my name and Marius, my husband, even adopted it last year as well. He always embodies a lot of positivity, I like that. To be completely honest, I always wanted to have a location-independent job. I already traveled a lot with my parents and, to be honest, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go after I finished high school. But when I was 20, I never thought I’d be able to travel the world so freely as an illustrator.

Roadtyping actually came about as a small personal side project in 2016. I started my own business as a graphic designer in 2014 and then had a desire to make things the way I would make them; some pretty greeting cards on natural paper for a few fellow humans. But Marius and I are very good at developing things together and we had fun on this joint project. I design things we both experience on the road and together we suddenly found so many distribution channels.

How does your day-to-day work as an illustrator On The Road perhaps differ from that of another illustrator?
Since May 2022 I’m on the road in North America with my two children, my husband and our dog. In our camper we want to travel for a year through Canada and the United States. Here, of course, you get so much inspiration and ideas that make it very easy for me right now to create projects and new products. For me, traveling, the mountains, camping and nature have always been the biggest and most important source of inspiration. Of course, I’m in seventh heaven right now. But daily life on the road and in the fresh air is also exhausting, you definitely don’t manage to work as much as at home.

Have you always wanted to be an illustrator?
Honestly, no. I always found it very difficult to find my own style and in college I loved to try everything and every project had its own signature. But all of a sudden there was a continuity that was also very pleasing. So I rather slipped into it.

How would you describe your own style?
I think that you can see my love for old advertising posters and old things in my illustrations. I love old things and actually collect a lot too. I like old typographies, colors and color combinations and the lightness, maybe the naive humor of that time.

What are the biggest ups and downs of illustrating or working as an illustrator?
I still find working the blank white sheet to be a hurdle, I struggle to find a start. And then not every day is the same and equally creative. It can take me an hour or three days to do a drawingand I find that difficult sometimes, because it’s so unplannable sometimes.

Did the pandemic have an impact on your order situation?
There is Roadtyping, our label, with which we have illustrated products about being outside, the mountains and camping produced and distributed to retailers and via the webshop. The pandemic had a strong impact on the topic, which meant that the months tended to be stronger for us.
But I also still work for external clients and private projects and here I can hardly estimate it, because at the beginning of the pandemic, in April 2020, I had my second son and shut down a lot anyway.

Do you draw from your head or with a template?
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My head rattles all day and inspirations arise very quickly, through various influences. Feelings, photos, colors and shapes in nature, things you have seen. As soon as I have an idea or a flash of inspiration, I write it down and then when I’m sitting at my desk or in the passenger seat or in the chair outside. Then I look at all the ideas and when one grabs me and jumps out at me, I draw away. Sometimes it becomes a final product, sometimes it lingers and waits for a second chance.

Have you ever been/are you employed or self-employed?
I studied communication design at the Blocher School in Munich from 2010 to 2013, and then accidentally ended up at Vitra (they make beautiful furniture from the same era that I love so much). There I did a year of sales traineeship, so something completely different, I was surrounded by beautiful things, but was not creatively creative myself. But this year I have learned a lot for successful sales and this was the best chance I could take. However, I really missed the creative work and so I started my own design studio in 2014.

What advice can you give to all those who would like to start their own business as an illustrator or with a label?
I am a very optimistic and positive person, I love to just do it and believe that every experience will get me further. When I decided to start my own business in 2014, I had an office at my parents’ house, lived in an old bus, didn’t have a boyfriend or kids, and loved spending nights at my desk until 1am. What I mean to say: I didn’t have any obligations and I set out to get by with very little in the beginning and find my clients. It worked very well surprisingly quickly because I loved what I was doing and I’m still proud of those first projects today, they were the best of my life. If you are not as naïve and reckless as I am, my advice is to look for a freelance position, for example, to bridge the initial period or to reduce from hours of the full-time position. The most important thing is not to have time to doubt.

What values are important to you in your work?
As a traveler, sustainability, climate neutrality, openness, peace, optimism, the little things and friendly togetherness are already very close to my heart and that is what my work should express.

Thank you for the interview and keep traveling!

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