Kirsten Rothbart is a German artist and illustrator currently based in Berlin. She received her formal training from the School of Art and Design Kassel. Rothbart’s work incorporates mixtures of analogue and digital drawing techniques, all wrapped up in a comic book aesthetic. Her imagery exhibits her deep infatuation with rock music, youth culture and all the trappings that accompany them. The narratives Rothbart develops, told to us through an ensemble cast of tattooed rock chicks and stoned hipsters, often revolve around the intimate scenarios that exist between people and the relationships which are built from them.
“I think I am an illustrator most of all. But that doesn’t mean I’m not an artist as well. To me illustration is a variety in art, just like sculptures or traditional paintings. When working on a drawing or a comic story it is quite the same creative process as in any other part of art. You start out by sketching ideas and developing the composition, and the content of the drawing or the panels. And then it takes a few tries or sometimes the piece of work just evolves.
Illustration can also serve a range of purposes. Before I started studying illustration I never made a comic story. What I did was draw single illustrations or paint canvases, and I think this can still be seen in my current works. I focus much on telling a story within one picture or one scene. I work kind of iconographic I think, but always in a very pop-arty way. I think my ideas come up the same way as a painters ideas come up. It’s just that I choose illustration to be the way I put out my ideas.
What really makes a difference to traditional art is that I can use my skills and works in a commercial way, which is often seen as selling out your talent. But I think as an illustrator who works for clients as well, you should always consider to stay creative and – just like in design – make your work something that has depth and skill and something personal and outstanding that can be part of every day life.” – Kirsten Rothbart (We Heart)