Klaus Kremmerz on how he finds his signature illustrative language
Despite working with the same felt tip pen focussed technique for a few years now, Klaus tells us how it’s only recently – and through trial and error – that he has felt fully confident with his practice.
- Lucy Bourton
- 7 February 2020
Klaus Kremmerz may be the illustrator with the fastest hand in the business. Not only does he have a steady influx of commissions but his work in itself takes time, made up of continuous felt tip scribbles neatly stacked to add texture, building characters and landscapes.
On this process, Klaus admits that continuing his signature style hasn’t been as easy as it may seem in the three years since we first wrote about him. “Well, I’ll be honest with you, when I started working in this way my style was raw,” he tells It’s Nice That. “I have had to make a lot of images in this time, to find the creative flow.” This flow is one Klaus refers to as its very own language, hoping that his illustration communicates with audiences “in a completely natural way,” he says. “The translation of the message in images must be authentic,” the illustrator points out, “otherwise what I do will not look authentic.”
Despite seemingly confident in his work when we first chatted to Klaus in 2016, it’s only recently that he’s become fully comfortable with the work he produces. “Inventing a visual language is a delicate, long process. In order to do achieve my goal I must make wrong images, and bad images, because this is the most effective way to correct my work,” he admits with honesty. But even after this process, “felt pen drawings, even if digital, take time as you can imagine. But it’s cathartic somehow, and I love it.”
This love comes from the satisfying enjoyment Klaus gets from his works, following the development he’s put in personally. “I love all the process, but if I had to say which part is my favourite, I would say probably the very beginning – when an idea sparks in my mind.” Only after this point do the details – which in Klaus’ case make his illustrations so engaging – pop into his head, thinking of colour, angles, the people that may be added or where to place a shadow “until the image just works in my head”. Post-production, too, plays a large part in taking Klaus’ drawings to the finish line, explaining he has “a sort of internal alarm” to know when it’s finished, or if something is slightly off-kilter, “sometimes I don’t know why at first, but eventually I find the way to fix it.”
Most recently its been personal work Klaus has spent his time developing, in particular remaking the famous artworks of Italian artist Giuseppe Capogrossi. Concentrating on Capogrossi’s part in Manifesto del Primordialismo Plastico, Klaus’ illustrative interpretations will soon be made into an animation, produced with his agents Dutch Uncle. At present, however, these appear as stills, teasing what is to come but also valid artworks as standalone pieces. This project, Klaus says, “is for sure the next big thing for me. I will travel down new roads in this direction. It’s very exciting. I already have a lot of ideas and I can’t wait to see these things coming to life.”
Klaus Kremmerz: Lemon
About the Author
Lucy (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a staff writer in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In January 2019 she was made deputy editor and in November 2021, became a senior editor predominantly working on It’s Nice That's partnerships. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about creative projects for the site or potential partnerships.