Under the pseudonym Auf Wiedersehen, illustrator Jacqueline Smith creates quaint artworks of shy girls & tiny landscapes in her Melbourne studio.
Seeing herself as more of a life long “curator” than and “artist”, Auf Wiedersehen has a wonderful eye for colour, and demonstrates this in her cute illustrations and muted palettes which you may have seen around in Melbourne cafes, & Frankie Magazine calendars.
Her signature “Shy Girls”, who hide behind carefully illustrated fringes, are quiet, reserved, and totally charming.
Below is our interview with the Jacqueline herself, an insight into the wonderful & creative mind of Auf Wiedersehen.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you into becoming an illustrator/artist?
My name is Jacqueline Smith, and I live in a tiny apartment and work from my studio in Melbourne. In terms of drawing and making, I fell into it all kind of naturally; I had always liked drawing and I wanted to do it a lot. That’s really the only way I can describe it starting. I was lucky enough that people liked what I was putting out there, and it has slowly built up from there. Even now, I don’t see myself as being an ‘artist’ forever, I think I would rather set myself as a curator, because I like the process of discovering new art and palettes much more than I like presenting my own pieces.
How would you describe your work?
This is always hard – ‘naïve’, maybe? I have always just wanted to draw what interested me at the time, particularly palettes that have gripped me. I’ve always used pencil because I appreciated its kindness and flexibility. My Shy Girls are somewhat a representation of myself and the feelings of wanting to hide away, the rest is always just an extension of what colours or shapes or styles I’m really into at the time, particularly of what I’ve been thinking about creating for a while and figuring out how to do it in a way that I like once it’s on paper.
Can you give us some insight into your process? What mediums do you like to use and why? Do you plan each artwork or do you work more intuitively?
I often have an idea of what I want to create before I start it – in saying that I’ve started pieces that change completely during the actual process of putting the piece on paper. I catalogue tonnes of images where the form, shape or colour is something I’m taken by, which usually plants that seed of an idea in my mind before I begin, but the work itself usually starts as one thing, and ends up as something else entirely once I put down my tools.
What inspires your art?
I’m constantly on the lookout for pleasing palettes. I archive scenes and colour combinations in my mind all the time. I’m always taking photos of the ground, or places on my walks, someone’s outfit or makeup that catches my eye; anything really. Iceland and its natural palettes, atmosphere and landscape is always a constant inspiration.
What are 3 of your favourite online resources which you look to for inspiration?
Tumblr is the biggest one, I’ve had it for over five years now and so I’ve built up quite a collection of nice blogs I follow and get lots of visual inspiration from. I also am a longtime reader of Hel-Looks; that was my big teenage obsession. Watching whatever my creative friends put up on instagram is always something that fuels me to keep making; and I have a lot of really talented pals so they’re always a constant source of inspiration.
Tell us about some of the people who inspire you and why?
At the moment I’m really inspired by the works of Anna Varendorff, Miranda Skoczek, Holly Leonardson, Evie Cahir, Anthony Cudahy, Tallulah Fontaine and Kirrilee Bailey. Longtime inspiration comes from the photography of Ryan McGinley; his work has always taken my breath away, particularly his palettes in his Moonmilk and in his Fireworks series. Photography is always one of those things I couldn’t get a total handle of, so I guess its that awe that also intrigues me. Sufjan Stevens, for this reason also – you can just tell he sees the world in a totally different way to the rest of us.
If you could create an artwork for anyone in the world, who would it be?
I came up with a set of palettes and weird shapes and lines that came to my mind’s eye as I was listening with my eyes closed to Sufjan Stevens a little while ago. Maybe it’d be nice to show him those pieces one day.
What would your dream project be?
I would want to share air in a performance piece with Marina Abramović until we both pass out.
Right now – my studio. I’d spend every day in there if I could.