Illustrator Jacqueline Smith aka Auf Wiedersehen is Melbourne’s diamond in the rough, her charming illustrations have wowed us and many others over. Having her illustrations painted in Melbourne cafe NBHD Neanderthal and showcasing her brilliant work at the Men With Beards exhibition at the Off The Kerb Gallery in Collingwood, we had the chance to chat with her about her illustrations, inspirations and what’s next for Auf Wiedersehen.
LENA: What is your first memory of drawing?
AUF WIEDERSEHEN: I remember very vividly being in primary school, so I guess I would have been about 5 or 6, and being the only person in my class that drew my stick figure people with torsos or necks. Everyone else’s people had legs sprouting from the head – I always thought that was bizarre and so I never drew them like that.
L: What is it about illustration you like the most?
AW: I like that I can go into my own head, pull out what’s in there and put it on the page. There are literally no rules. Everyone’s tastes are so different, so you can pretty much make anything you want and someone out there will love it.
L: Do you have a favourite artist?
AW: I have a couple. I love Sarah McNeil’s style; her illustrations are so sweet. Ghostpatrol has been a longtime favourite for that reason too. In terms of art as well as the artist behind it, Miso definitely tops my list. She’s an incredible person with so many stories to tell, and it really translates to her art.
L: You make brooches too! What made you take the jump from paper to accessories?
AW: I’m a real brooch fiend. When I realized how easy it was to have them made I just did it – I hadn’t seen any brooches featuring icons that I like (like Mountains, or Bearded men) so I really just made them so I could have them. The bears were just to create something Auf Wiedersehen.
L: Did you study Art at a college or university? Or are you just oozing with natural talent?
AW: I actually just started university this year for the first time; I’m doing a BA in Creative Arts Industries. It’s fantastic – I had forgotten how much fun it is to actually learn. Before that though I had just been working and travelling, so it’s nice to bring Auf Wiedersehen into a lot of the projects I have to complete for this course. It feels natural.
L: You are sporting some home made tatts by the lovely MISO, tell us the story?
AW: This is the beauty of the internet – you follow someone you like and really admire, and these things can just happen. Stanislava had posted some images of one of her amazing setups; one of which featured a hand holding an arrow. I had mentioned I would love to have it tattooed, and she was into it, so we went from there. Now, when we have had time (she’s preparing for a solo show in Sydney and I’ve just started school again so we’re pretty busy people) we’ve fit in two more. I could easily get covered in these – they’re incredibly beautiful and it’s really unbelievable to be tattooed by someone you so greatly admire. I’m pretty humbled she gave me that chance.
L: What does the future hold for Auf Wiedersehen?
AW: I have a couple of exhibitions coming up, the next being Men With Beards at Off The Kerb gallery in Collingwood from April 4th which is very exciting to be a part of. I’m slowly getting through buying stock, prints and also doing a few exhibition pieces, I’ve been very busy! Hopefully it’ll pay off though, I will have lots of new things for people to see and buy.
L: Where can readers view/ commission/ buy your work?
AW: Readers can visit my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/aufwiedersehenillustrated, view my online shop at http://aufwiedersehen.bigcartel.com or follow me on Instagram on @ohaufwiedersehen. I post mostly everything on there.
I’ll also be stocking a few limited edition pieces very, very soon in Signed & Numbered on Greville Street, South Yarra, and brooches at NBHD Neanderthal on Commercial Road, South Yarra. For commissions everyone is welcome to email me at [email protected] — I would love to hear from you.