Illustrator Nadine Redlich is a creative we, and practically everyone else, absolutely loves. Nadine’s work is ridiculously relatable. It covers hangovers, procrastination, general self-doubt and everything in between. But it doesn’t do it in an illustrative style that’s too close to home; instead, she designs squidgy sweet characters like a blunt-faced rock or a cheeky little blob. But, watch out loved-up couples, Nadine’s new book I hate you… you just don’t know it yet, is here to point out some of the best and worst parts of any relationship.
Published with longtime fans of her work, Rotopol, the book began when the illustrator did “a sketch of a couple lying in bed,” the illustrator tells us. “One of them is sleeping and the other is watching him/her lovingly and whispers ’‘I hate you…You just don’t know it yet.’ This cracked me up so much, I wanted to make a book out of it.”
This example pretty much sums up Nadine’s work in general, as the written narratives which accompany her comics are often something you would definitely say to yourself, or in your head, but never with anyone around. This idea flows throughout the rest of the book, full of things “you would only whisper into our partner’s ear while he/she is asleep,” Nadine explains. For example, a favourite spread of ours features the confession, “Since we’ve been together I haven’t farted one single time. If you leave me, I will probably fart for three days straight,” others include slightly more romantic statements such as “The heart wants what it wants,” or the more brutally honest, “Everybody can hear you and nobody cares.”
Each drawing is in Nadine’s signature style, but this time round it’s a little more pared back in only red tones (the colour of love, obvs). Illustrated in just singular lines, the work was produced quickly “once I had the underlying feeling for the book,” the illustrator explains. “I produced a lot of illustrations, cartoons and comics to illuminate this feeling. They are quickly drawn, so the main work was to compile it into a book.”
Described by Nadine as “a hateful love letter,” I hate you…you just don’t know it yet is now available to buy and maybe slip under the pillow of your loved one if you’re having trouble saying how you’re really feeling. After all, “It is meant for everybody who has been in a relationship and everyone else as well,” she says. “But if you feel spoken to, you probably are.”
Nadine will be telling us all about her process – as well as this new book! – at this month (July)’s Nicer Tuesdays, tickets are available here.
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