PORTRAIT OF ROBERT NIPPOLDT
Robert talks to FN about his books and Studio Nippoldt
How did you become an Illustrator?
Since I was a kid I was drawing all the time, mostly scenarios and portraits – hidden caricatures of the teachers on school tables – on travels, in supermarkets, cafés, simply anywhere, and even as a court sketch artist for newspapers. Then I went to Münster, Germany, to study graphics and illustration at the University of Applied Sciences. My degree project was a book called “Gangster. The Bosses of Chicago”. It luckily found its way to a publisher, so I focused on illustrations for books.
What was the first ad or artwork that inspired you?
The drawings of my older and more talented sister Astrid. I remember the day when she let me draw the smoke of her car-picture. I was three years old and really proud to do it.
Can you outline your creative background?
Before I focused on illustration I went trough different fields of design at university. Photography, sculpture, animation, web design, typography, product design. I always loved to work in a team, so together with my sister Astrid and my fiancée Christine we founded “Studio Nippoldt” in 2011. Astrid is mainly a video artist and Christine more specialized on children‘s books. The teamwork is very inspiring.
Where do you find your inspiration? What captures your attention in everyday life, graphics or art?
I am a very social person, so the most inspiring thing to me is to experience life together with other people.
Besides that of course all evident types of “cultural products” such as books, catalogues, exhibitions, photos, posters and movies are part of a pool of inspiration. I never watch TV by the way, and if I do, it’s only for live sports events…
What is the process you go through to build your imagery?
Whenever I draw a portrait, I try to figure out the character of the person. Before I start sketching and finally drawing the portrait I read about the person, look at photos and study all available footage material. And I always discuss the results with my two partners.
How do you describe your style?
Graphically, straight, reduced, rich in contrast and in the retro-style of the early/mid 20th century.
What tools do you use? Digital? Hand?
It is a combination of both. First skribbles are done with pencil, than the portrait with ink. The corrections, colour and finalization with a digital Pen Tablet.