Friday, November 13, 2009

Irma Gruenholz

I know I had said Fridays would be a day to reflect on dimensional artists from the past, but I have SO many current artists to post about that I just can't wait another day. Check out the amazing Irma!
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.

Irma Gruenholz
images and content © Irma Gruenholz


  1. Irma, your work is so beautiful! I love the subtle textures you add into your pieces. The compositions feel so well thought out and balanced.

  2. I love how you design the bodies ( arms , legs) and how simple and smooth the fabric looks. Very inspiring. Beautiful work.

  3. these are so amazing, i love how soft everything looks!!