Irma Gruenholz is an illustrator in Spain who specializes in clay and other materials.
How did you start working dimensionally?
I started about 12 year ago without too much asking myself what I was doing. I started experimenting with different techniques to illustrate and I felt very comfortable working with clay, I liked the possibility of this material to work directly on the volume and colour. Gradually, other materials have been introduced, I love experimenting with all kinds of elements and textures.
What or who has influenced the way you work?
My references are quite diverse, I find it quite difficult to say who influenced me most. Some of the illustrators that I admire are: Mattotti, Baudoin, Shaun Tan, Maurice Sendak, Christian Voltz and Ana Juan. I also love the stop motion animations of Svankmajer and Tim Burton. But mostly I am excited to see up and coming new artists, it inspires me to work on new experimental pieces.
Please describe your working process.
First I read the brief carefully and I emphasize what I consider most important, in a second reading I point out the first ideas. Then I look for documentation on the subject if that is required. After gathering all the information I start to develop concepts and specify the materials that I will use. I make a sketch, it is very schematic drawing to help me direct the illustration and from here I begin to model. Once the sculpture is completed I take a photo to send it to the client and once approved we make the final photo in the studio.
What do you enjoy the most / least about working dimensionally?
In this work there is no monotony, each project is different and I enjoy the challenge of finding the best way to communicate concepts with images.
I love being able to experiment with different materials and playing with the interaction between them.
The only disadvantage I see to work in three dimensions is the amount of space each piece takes up. Archiving the finished sculptures ends up being a real problem.
images and content © Irma Gruenholz