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Marc Hennes

Work / Illustration

From analogue printing to illustration: meet Marc Hennes

“The backbone of my illustration practice is really analogue printing,” Marc Hennes explains. “Doing linocuts taught me how to use the limited flat space you have as an illustrator, because once you cut then thats it – no correction. It also taught me how to simplify things, as it is such a rough technique.”

Working originally as a screenprinter, the Berlin-based artist, illustrator and animator learned a lot about colours, a knowledge which came to influence his work in an unusual, and thrifty, way. “I learned to work with just one or two colour combinations to simplify a drawing but make it more succinct, because the less colours you use, the cheaper the print gets. I feel that illustration is a lot about the right restrictions you choose for your work.”

Finding his inspiration in the pages of ancient books (“old medieval prints about alchemy or luboks, the first newspapers”), Marc’s illustration process varies from project to project. “It depends on what I am working on,” he considers. “At the moment for example I am doing a sci-fi comic together with Paul Paetzel and I am spending a lot of time researching spaceship designs or interiors. So when there’s a bigger concept behind what I am working on, I go back and try to find factual and visual references that I can start from. But then for most of my more abstract works, I try to work very direct and don’t sketch at all. I don’t like to overdo a drawing because I think then it looses its spontaneous character.”

Recently, Marc was commissioned by fashion mag L’ Officiel Hommes, Germany. “I worked on an article-series about growth,” he says. “I think this was my favourite commission so far as I had total freedom visually and the topics were very diverse: from Donnie ‘tiny hands’ Trump to men with breast-implants!” Next, he has his eye on “more larger scale drawings, more music-videos, more comics and illustrate a book!”

Marc tells us that he loves how illustration is a very broad playing field. “From animation to typography, from posters to comics… you can work with illustration in nearly every medium. and it also doesn’t take much preparation. Most of the time you just need paper and pen to get things done, so for me drawing is a very direct artistic practice!”

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