Virtual Design Festival

"I illustrate but I don't draw" says artist Sarah Illenberger at Forward Festival

In the fourth part of today's collaboration between Virtual Design Festival and Forward Festival, artist and designer Sarah Illenberger discusses how she makes illustrations from everyday objects.

"I have difficulties explaining to people what I do because I illustrate, but I don't draw," Illenberger said at Forward Festival in 2017. "I design illustrations."

People often think her illustrations are made using photoshop or CGI, Illenberger said. But, in fact, she uses real objects, often in unusual ways.

"I have a democratic way of approaching materials"

Illenberger has created dinosaurs out of door handles and made a desert landscape from handmade brooms for an Hermès store window installation.

She has designed geometric fruit sculptures made of foam for a Fruit of the Loom pop-up store, and created dresses made from vegetables and salads.

"I have a democratic way of approaching materials," she told the audience at the festival.

While her creations often end up having to be thrown away after they've served their purpose, which she finds frustrating, Illenberger explains that the digital era has led to an increase in the demand for physical installations.

"It probably leads back to the fact that these installations are always photographed on mobile phones, and then spread all over the world," she said.

About Forward Festival

Based in Vienna and founded in 2014, Forward Festival runs conferences for creatives in Vienna, Munich, Hamburg and Berlin. The conference, the centrepiece of the festival, is accompanied by various side events, such as workshops, live art sessions and networking events.

Past speakers at the festival include Oliviero Toscani, Paula Scher, Stefan Sagmeister, Kate Moross, Erik Spiekermann, David Carson and MoMA New York. The next edition of the festival will take place on 8-9 October 2020.

About Virtual Design Festival

Virtual Design Festival, the world's first digital design festival, runs from 15 April to 30 June 2020. It is a platform that will bring the architecture and design world together to celebrate the culture and commerce of our industry, and explore how it can adapt and respond to extraordinary circumstances.

VDF will host a rolling programme of online talks, lectures, movies, product launches and more, complementing and supporting fairs and festivals around the world that have had to be postponed or cancelled and it will provide a platform for design businesses, so they can, in turn, support their supply chains.