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Illustrator Spotlight with Moritz Wienert

Get to know the talent behind the illustrations we love from process and style to color and influences

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you found your way to a creative career.

My name is Moritz, I'm an illustrator currently based in Hamburg, Germany. Like most people who draw, I was always into drawing. When I was a child I had dyslexia, so it took a long time for me to learn to read and write and when I did learn it, I hated it, because it was still really difficult for me. My mother was a librarian, so my whole family is kind of bookish. From time to time I got a comic from my parents and I really loved it. Of course I never read the text and just looked at the pictures. That's how I started drawing comics and also started to love books and to read. When I got older, I stopped drawing comics and just drew single pictures, but I never stopped drawing. After school I didn't really know what I wanted to do, so I studied graphic design in Nuremberg. There was a new professor, Alexandra Kardinar, who taught illustration. When I met her, I knew that I also wanted to become an illustrator. Through her example I realized that drawing is the perfect medium for me to communicate ideas and concepts and it also never gets boring for me. There’s always so much to discover and learn. During my bachelor’s degree I read more experimental comics for the first time, and I was really blown away by all the possibilities of the medium. So I started doing comics again. After graduating I moved to Hamburg to do a master’s degree in illustration and there I studied under Anke Feuchtenberger, an amazing comic artist. During this time I also got more and more commissions for editorial illustrations, which was exciting. I did an exchange semester in Tel Aviv which was an important experience for me. It took a while for me to graduate because I was working full time as an illustrator as well as studying. In 2021 I graduated with my first comic book “Es gibt nur uns” which was also published in Germany last year.

How did you find your medium and style, and who and what influenced you?

I experimented a lot with different materials and styles for a really long time. During my master’s degree I found my style. I mostly draw with pencils and rulers and add colors with Photoshop. When I started working like this it was simply the way of working that was the most fun for me and what I felt comfortable with. The ideas and concepts that I have work well with this style. If I use a different technique, my ideas change as well. Even though I’ve used this technique for a long time already, I never grow bored of it. There’s still a lot for me to learn and my work is always evolving. I like to experiment with different materials and these experiments also influence my work.

During my studies I was really influenced by illustrators and comic artists like Hergé, Saul Steinberg and Mark Beyer. Currently I think I’m more influenced by essays and novels than by visual arts. Also I’m into performances and installations. This type of artistic work is really far away from my work and that’s maybe why I’m so fascinated by it. It's really inspiring to see a topic that I'm interested in but that’s really different from my own work.

Besides that, I'm influenced by the news, politics and pop culture. I also love to walk through the city and wonder about the architecture and city in general.

What subjects are you most fascinated with?

In general, I'm interested in almost everything. For me it’s also part of the fun of being an illustrator: to get constantly introduced to new topics and to find a position dealing with these. For me, that’s what life and illustration is all about, staying curious and learning more!

I'm really interested in cities and how we are living together as a society. That's why I love architecture. I love drawing houses, planes, and cars, even if I don’t have a driver’s license. These things are shaping how a city looks and how we live together. I like to draw humans and animals too because it's fun and an important part of life for me.

How do you create characters, what inspires them, how do you use color?

I draw a lot with rulers, so most of my characters are based on geometrical shapes. They are inspired by my friends, what I’m into currently and what I see on the streets. Social media plays a big role in this too.

I draw in analogue, then scan these drawings and add color with photoshop. I think color is a complicated topic, there are so many possibilities. I always have a few color combinations that I use regularly and that I transform a bit for every project. It helps me to limit myself to stay focused on the idea and the pictures. That's maybe also one of the reasons why I mostly draw with pencils and rulers and don't change my technique so much. I’m also working a lot with gradients to give the drawing a bit more depth.

If you had to pick a favorite project, which one are you most proud of and why?

That's a difficult one. I really like “Es gibt nur uns”, my first comic book. I worked on it for over 3 years and I'm really proud that I managed to finish it. It was released in Germany last year and the Slovenian translation came out this year. I was really blown away that the book was translated into another language. Also, I learned a lot about drawing during this project, because it's drawn a bit rougher than most of my other drawings.

Besides this, I did the illustrations for the investigation “Cities4rent”. It was a project for 16 different newspapers from 16 European countries. They did an investigation on the housing crisis and all of them used my drawings. It was a really awesome experience to be part of such a big team and work together with so many interesting journalists.

Currently I'm doing drawings for a regular section for a German Magazine called “Spiegel Start” that deals with the intersection of climate change and romantic relationships. It's always fun but also informative. Climate change is such an important topic, so it's one of my favorite projects I'm currently working on!

What’s next for you?

I'm currently working on a new comic which is really exciting but will take some time to finish it. I also have some projects coming up that I can’t reveal just yet. I'm curious and excited for what the future holds.

Rapid Fire Round!

Weekend: Lounge in bed or go out and party? I love to do both. So I can’t decide!

Coffee or tea? Coffee, but I love tea in winter.

Cats or dogs? Dogs, at least on Instagram.

Favorite season? Summer, I love when it's warm and sunny!

Cinema or Netflix? Cinema, but I should go more often!

Pool or beach? Definitely beach

Computer or sketchbook? I love the possibilities of both!

Text or voice note? I like both!

City or countryside? I'm a really big fan of cities, but I like to be in nature from time to time.

Getting dressed: Colorful or monochromatic? I'm in between both.

Thank you Moritz!



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