I think an illustration style is not something to reach but rather something that constantly develops.
Max GutherART . April 24th, 2022
Who are you?
I am Max Guther, Illustrator and Artist living in Berlin. I create 3d illustrations with the focus on both interior and exterior design but also on the minute details of everyday life, trying to capture human behavior and the interaction between mankind and space. I am obsessed with the isometric perspective which enables a wider scope of a scene and leads the viewer up to an an all-seeing vantage point.
When and where were you born?
Born and raised in Darmstadt in the middle of Germany with most of my family members working in the creative field we frequently went to all kinds of museums and exhibitions. Like presumably all children do, I drew a lot, however, possibly to some extent due to my families influence, I have never stopped. I have always loved drawing static arrangements, building up Lego civilizations and nowadays creating worlds on the computer.
What’s your education background? How did you learn?
I knew that I wanted to work in a creative field for a long time. During my studies I became more and more certain of working as an illustrator although I’m also still much curious about many other creative fields. Studying visual communication at Mainz University of Applied Science with a slightly more occupationally-oriented education and at HFG Offenbach with a rather artistic approach, the mixture helped me to find my personal balance of work. I learned that debating and discussing with fellow students and professors and wander far away from the subject would benefit my creative output so much more than grades or yes’s and no’s.
You explore a realistic and yet very specific 3D style for some years now (in the look but also in the way you compose your images). When and how did you reach that style?
I think an illustration style is not something to reach but rather something that constantly develops. Viewed from the outside my style might seem quite monotonic but I can tell it is on permanent change with ups but downs as well. I became interested in isometric perspective early on, inspired by this aesthetic of old computer games as well as technical and architectural drawings I tried to make perfectly static isometric drawings and discovered the technique of collage during my time at university.
I used photos always shot from the same angle to create apparently realistic like collages. I had this vision to edit and distort the objects in such a way that they would later fit seamlessly into the isometric perspective so I could drag and drop them at will – like in a modular system. However, every little object took ages to create and up to my first commission I thought this technique would work out pretty well.
What place take the personal projects in your portfolio and in your planning?
Working in the creative industry is fast paced, most assignments go along with a tight schedule, especially when working for editorial clients. It’s all but impossible to explore new approaches and different implementations on such short notice. Therefore I really enjoy to be working on personal projects with time to think, develop and to play around. A single illustration usually take weeks, if not months or years and often these works never get to be finalized but they help me to gather different processes that can later be transferred to other projects.
How do you find the ideas for your personal projects?
When working on personal projects it is always hard to find a subject I’m curious about but even harder to stick with one that really drives me. The idea for these projects might come to mind any time or any place, mostly at nights when I try to fall a sleep. When I start to work on a new project I try to gather information, to read and to do various sketches before working on the computer.
Which artwork are you the most proud of so far and why?
Besides often preferring working on personal artworks, I am currently pretty satisfied with an assignment I did for the New York Times last year on insomnia and how to get a good nights sleep. I created a set of artworks illustrating different causes for lack of sleep. Not only I think the visuals cover the sensitive mood and atmosphere one feels in such moments but having similar issues myself from time to time I felt a close relation towards this project. Here the link to the project.
If you had all the time in the world, what would be your dream project?
Puuuh, I usually don’t have enough patience for this one forever dream project. The best thing working as an illustrator is being confronted with new subjects all the time, topics you’re an adept in, some you caught a glimpse on but never deep dived in or others you haven’t even heard about. For me the best projects are the ones which come along with diversification and leave room for imagination.
Max Guther is a German illustrator based in Berlin, you can find his work on his website or instagram.