Artist Interviews: Rahel Süßkind
Based in Berlin, Chrissy aka Rahel Süßkind is an illustrator who we discovered through the artwork she did for Money$ex Records and Ninja Tune. Her illustrations are vibrant and unexpected, and usually on the more humorous side.
In our interview we talked about her career as an illustrator, her latest works for some of our favorite labels, and got some tips about visiting Berlin.
Interviewed by Kenji B.
Where are you from originally?
Originally I’m from Georgijewka in Kazakstan, my Mother is Russian and my father has German ancestors. We came to Germany when I was 1.5 years old and I grew up in a small town in the middle of Germany. I moved to Berlin 6 years ago.
How long have you been drawing/making art? Who/what are some influences?
I was drawing , since I was 3 Years old, I think because I loved Cartoons so much, I started drawing and I learned it all on my own. Smurfs, and loony toons and all the Disney-shit , Ren and Stimpy… haha. When I moved to Berlin I studied Communication Design based on Illustration.
You seem to personify animals and creatures a lot in your drawings, is that your go to when you start sketching? I assume you are an animal lover? What’s your favorite animal/do you have an animal companion?
You’re right , I really love animals, they are the best and I think that Humans and Animals have a lot things in common.
And some Humans really look like Animals or they have an essence of them, you know what I mean ? Or when Dogs look like their owners. Also this was the Topic of my graduation work: “Faunal”, a book about human-animal-relationships.
Drawing humans is boring to me.
My favorite animals are Bears and Apes, this little Lemurs ( Tarsiers ) , Dinosaurs and my Boyfriend. But in the end they are all dope.
Certainly I don’t have time for my own pet.
How did you meet the folks at Moneysex Records? What’s it like to work alongside djs/musicians? How has your collaboration with musicians helped you with your work?
I met Max Graef and Glenn Astro through same Friends we have and Max and me became a couple. Max and Glenn liked the stuff I do and when they started Moneysex Records they asked me to do the Logo and the Artwork for them, which is a great pleasure for me , cause I also really love what they are doing. It’s nice working with them, they push and support me a lot and all of the crew became close friends which i am thankful for. They’d let me do the Ninja Tune Artwork for them twice, which is a great reference I guess.
So it’s lots of fun working with or for musicians as I am very into music. On the other hand it can be exhausting to work in the music scene, cause most of the people can’t pay you right, that makes it hard to live from your art.
What mediums do you use? Which do you prefer/which do you plan on experimenting with?
For the most of my last Projects I used my Wacom Graphic Tablet , painting and drawing with Photoshop. I am not a big friend of vector illustrations.
But I first started with sketches on Paper, which I scan afterwards. Sometimes I mix analog with digital. At the moment I use Aquarell colors and am going back to analog, which is fun.
It depends on what I do, Posters and Flyer are better to do with the Tablet. I am planning to do stuff with Acrylic and Markers.
I will do a book for children, with little comic stories about Dinosaurs, I will send you a picture of it.
Also I want to make more little comics next year with my character Hubert (a grumpy cat who hates everything). Another Plan is to do an exhibition and to join the Comicfestival in Berlin.
Do more political drawings to leave a message!
Stop smoking so much ….
Do you work with galleries? Or are you currently freelancing/seeing how working in the music scene will pan out?
At the moment I am not working with Galleries, but I have contacts with one in Portugal and Zagreb and also in Kassel, a city in Germany. We will try to figure something out for next year.
I will go on with working in the music scene but my plan is also to send my portfolio to magazines, newspapers and publishers, which is hopefully finished soon. I try to make my portfolio since one year.. hehehe... this will give me a better chance to live from my work.
We will see.
I found your illustrations because I’ve been following Max Graef / Glenn Astro for a while and stumbled on your drawings some time after. They’ve been getting a lot of recognition in the music scene, love their music and your illustrations, I think it’s a great fit – what’s their influence on you? Did you listen to this kind of music before moving to Berlin? What’s your favorite kind of music?
Thanks man, I’m very glad you like it !
My influence I guess is the Humor of our Crew, the Jokes and Stuff. And of course the music lets my imagination work.
Music is very important for me and my work, it always influenced me in a way, with colors and styles and stories.
I like a lot of different genres but my favorites are jazz, funk, soul, Hip hop and experimental electronic stuff.
My favorite Cartoons…there are so much … 1) Rick and Morty , Adventure Time, Bojack Horseman …Bobs Burgers
Tips on where to go next time in Berlin?
Don’t go to Berghain !