A few weeks ago, one of the most creative graffiti crews that spreads across Germany and Austria celebrated its 5th anniversary. We caught up with Frau Isa, member of the The Weird Crew!
In the last 5 years, The Weird, a graffiti crew of artists, graphic designers, illustrators and lecturers have been collectively spreading their unique style across the world. Tracking each Weird artist’s solo artistic activities is almost impossible; all 10 of them have worked on projects stretching from designing for big brands, illustrating for rad magazines, and exhibiting art around the globe to crafting crazy installation pieces and producing movies. Generally speaking, they all shape the (art) world in their way.
Needlessly to say, assembling such a group of multi-talented artists together to work on a wall can either lead to chaos or order. The Weird probably gather somewhere in between, but with each meeting they create beautiful collaborative work with emphasis on the members strong and characteristic art styles. Their crazy and – for lack of a better word -‘weird’ style manages to be one of today’s most sought after attributes: unique.
Global Street Art was lucky to catch a few of The Weird crew members on a short coffee break in their constantly filled schedules. We chatted with Frau Isa, the only female member of the Weird wolf pack:
In short, who is The Weird?
We are artists and illustrators from Austria and Germany, all in our 30’s; Nychos and I are from Vienna, Austria, Rookie is from Münster, Germany, Cone is living in Saarbrücken, Germany and the rest are currently based in Berlin.
When did you guys decide to form the Weird?
Five years ago, in 2011. None of us had thought of joining a graffiti-crew again, but at the time it just felt right. I’ve known and was friends with Nychos since we both began with graffiti and over time we’ve all met here and there. Eventually we decided to form a crew together.
What is the Weird for you?
The Weird is basically having massive fun, painting walls and meeting everywhere in the world – whenever we have the chance to.
The crew members of the Weird are basically always travelling and exhibiting work around the world… How often do you guys talk to each other?
Hard to say, but we try to stay in touch a lot, there is always something to talk about. Thanks to this great thing called the INTERNET it is not that hard to talk to each other, even if we all are travelling.
How do you approach a mural together? What’s the process behind it?
In the beginning there is always a big discussion what to paint and why, but then we figure out a way to do it. There is no rule we follow, it just comes together magically… I think it works so well because everybody in the crew is following their own ideas but also trying to make the best out of the collaboration.
What’s planned next for your personal career?
There are a few smaller exhibitions planned, and I am painting walls at a few festivals, but I try to focus on painting canvases. This year I worked on a lot of illustration jobs, so that part of my art was left behind a bit.
Besides the work you do for your agency Wald & Schwert – how do you manage to squeeze in more artwork? What is your daily process, your motivation?
It is always hard to find the right balance between agency jobs and doing artworks, because both is much fun for me.So the motivation never stops, I do have to let some jobs go to find time to paint. Sometimes it is hard to say no to fun, paid illustration jobs, but then I miss the art part – so I try to paint whenever I can.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I’m inspired by many things! From beautiful colour schemes on buildings to plants in a botanical garden. But what I love most is vintage fashion photography from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. The body language of women in fashion in these eras is exciting and extraordinary.
How do you view the different routes of being an artist/designer? How do you separate the work you do in these different fields?
I think they go together quite well. As I said – I love both parts of my profession! It’s fun to work with clients together with my husband with whom I run this agency – it doesn’t feel like a boring job at all. I use the same techniques for my artworks and the design jobs, I have my style in drawing things, it is just the content that changes and sometimes it even inspires me to do something completely free, just for me.
What is quite important for me is the freedom that comes with my illustration jobs. There was a time when I was completely depending on selling artworks to pay my bills. This was super stressful and my style changed – it was not that relaxed. Now I have all the time and energy I need for painting without thinking of where and how to sell it!
Thank you for your time Frau Isa!