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My Buemann

My Buemann shares the story behind her whimsical illustrative universe

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My Buemann

Published 2015.04.29

My Buemann is an artist and illustrator, fascinated by people and the way we act and feel, both of the rational and irrational. Through her work, My strives to illustrate and convey complex human emotions in a whimsical, relatable way, providing a portal to access deeper emotional layers and broader messages that can be found within ourselves. A courage to acknowledge our feelings, in essence, is the underlying theme that unites her illustrative universe.


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For those that don’t know My Buemann, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

I was born in 1986 in a smaller city north of Copenhagen. Now I live in a small apartment in the Nørrebro area of Copenhagen, where I also have my studio. I just finished at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, where I studied visual communication and design with an emphasis on illustrations and graphical design. I finished my education in January 2015, and ever since I’ve worked at the Danish broadcasting company “DR” as a graphic designer in the art department. Furthermore I work as an illustrator in my own company, where I make illustrations to everything from posters and books to bigger projects and events around Copenhagen.

Describe your path to becoming a designer? Were you surrounded by art and design when you were younger? Was it something you picked up from your family, or did it just mature naturally?

I have always drawn. I come from a very creative family where all vacations were equipped with a camera and a notebook for drawings. In Denmark we have this thing with lunches – especially at Christmas, where its tradition for families to gather around a meal. In my family the Christmas lunch has been exchanged with a day of building things in plaster. My grandmother was my first drawing teacher. She taught me to draw with watercolors and as a child we often sat across from each other, drawing each other’s portraits. Both my grandmothers and my parents’ homes are filled with drawings, ceramics and paintings that me and my siblings have made – some of them I’m less proud that people get to see :)

“My grandmother was my first drawing teacher. She taught me to draw with watercolors and as a child we often sat across from each other, drawing each other’s portraits.”

What do you feel are your label’s main principles and ideals? And in what way has that translated into your work, the way you operate?

I am deeply fascinated by people — their appearance, their interaction with others and their inner emotions. The human emotions that we all have – rational and irrational – have always intrigued me, and I do this thing where I store people’s facial expressions and my impression of their personalities.

“People are often most interesting when they let their emotions control them.”

People are often most interesting when they let their emotions control them. To long for something or someone so much that it hurts, to do something unreasonable or feel so happy that you practically lift off and fly – we all know those feelings and those are the feelings in which I find inspirations and that I love to illustrate in my work.

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I think i’ll stay here

My Buemann
I think I’ll stay here

Some places you just feel comfortable and at home. Like some places have been designed just for you. This illustration can also be seen as a time in life you’ve reached and where it feels perfect to settle down.

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Random People #1

What for you really defines your label and why do you feel your customer opts to buy the products you make?

A classic human emotion is the joy of feeling appreciated, seen or approved – and that is exactly what I think appeals to those who buy my drawings: they tend to find themselves in my work. Not in every drawing, but in one of them. I have often experienced people coming over and asking, how I managed to draw him or her without having met them. But it’s easy if you, just like me, look to understand and illustrate the people you meet and know everyday. My illustrations often takes their standpoint in my own emotions or experiences that I’ve had, so I always feel a bit connected to those who buys my drawings, because I know that we share exactly that one feeling that my illustration is expressing.

“My illustrations often takes their standpoint in my own emotions or experiences that I’ve had, so I always feel a bit connected to those who buys my drawings, because I know that we share exactly that one feeling that my illustration is expressing.”

As a designer when are you the happiest, why?

For me there isn’t one part of the process that makes me happier. I like all aspects of the lifestyle that comes from being an artist and designer. I am always at work – also when I’m not at my desk or my computer. I often get the best ideas while bicycling through Copenhagen or while talking to an inspirational person. When you do what I do, you are always at work, but being at work doesn’t feel like working – that’s what makes me happiest about being a designer.

Is there an untold story of you as a designer in this process?

I work best at nighttime. When you constantly gather impressions, the night gives me a peaceful space, in which I get to immerse in my work. I think other people in my industry knows that feeling :)

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My in her studio
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Mini-My Killing Those Shades
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Easter once ago..

What is the story behind your creations?

I find inspiration for my drawings everywhere and all the time. Some of the motives go all the way back to my childhood. As a child I always wanted to dress up as animals – mainly as a squirrel – which my mom allowed me to. I often use the motive of a child dressed up in an animal costume, as a symbol of childishness and innocence with an obvious reference to my childhood’s homemade animal costumes. It also hit me one day that I am the motive in many of my illustrations, in the shape of a small girl with pageboy haircut. I use my illustrations to describe the feelings I experience with others, and myself so my own personality appears both directly and indirectly in most of my works.

What does your creations say about you? How does it represent / reflect your personality and thoughts as a creator?

I am a very sensitive person myself, and my illustrations are often derived from my own feelings. I guess my drawings say more about me than anything else, and probably more than I am capable of putting into words myself. I think it’s crucial that we don’t neglect our feelings, but that we dare to acknowledge them, which is part of being alive. I hope that my drawings can be used as a tool which for a moment, makes us feel ourselves.”

“I hope that my drawings can be used as a tool which for a moment, makes us feel ourselves.”

My illustrations are very simple and minimalistic, which is my style in general. I like simple things and clear communication – and that is seen in everything from my illustrations, my graphical work, and my clothes to my apartment.

You have produced an exclusive collaboration with Loppist. Tell us about it and what you were trying to achieve with this collaboration? What was it about this theme that inspired or specifically appealed to you?

A couple of months ago I held a solo exhibition, which I worked on for a long time. I developed new characters for my illustrations and new patterns, which you may notice, if you look at some of the older illustrations. The exhibition solely consisted of originals – it was a huge success. My co-operation with The Loppist was a fantastic opportunity for using my new elements for printed posters.

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My Buemann’s illustrations
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My illustrations are very simple and minimalistic, which is my style in general. I like simple things and clear communication – and that is seen in everything from my illustrations, my graphical work, and my clothes to my apartment.

If I was a cat I would spend all of my nine lives with you. That has to be the biggest declaration of love. If you are so lucky as to know a person, with who you wanna spent not just one, but nine lives with, remember to let them know.

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I want to spend all my nine lives with you

My Buemann
I want to spend all my nine lives with you

Can you share your creative process with us? From idea to the finished piece.

I gather the material for my drawings all the time. You can’t plan to have good ideas – they come to you when you least expect it. So I always have a notebook in my bag, so I can write down small ideas. When I have enough ideas I start drawing. My drawings mostly take form after the small texts that often are a part of the illustration, but sometimes it is the motive that comes first and the text that follows. I usually sketch every motive several times before drawing the final illustration. I use the sketches to slowly draw myself “deeper” into my illustration, until each stroke is exactly like I want it to be.

Can you tell us about the materials you use? where do you source them? did you experiment with others?

Art liners 0.1 are indispensable to me. I buy at least two a month, because I use them so much. Most of my illustrations are drawn with exactly this type of pen. Illustratively I experiment a lot – both by variations in sizes - I draw on everything from A5 to sizes of works, which are several meters high and wide.

“I want to keep the expression in my printed posters simple and clean like a united universe.”

In relations to material, I always explore new ways of working with my own stroke: pencil, silk-screen prints, collage – even sand has been a part of my illustration tools. I want to keep the expression in my printed posters simple and clean like a united universe. And even though I constantly develop my drawings, I will continue to use my art liner 0.1, when I draw them.

Do you look to innovate or experiment with new forming and finishing techniques with each new collection, or is there a traditional process you adhere to?

It’s important for me to keep develop myself and test how my universe can be unfold. I am constantly on the look out for new sources of inspiration and possibilities for development, but I also love to “return” to the essence of my illustrative universe.

What were the challenges when designing these?

I always use insane amounts of paper. I draw everything at a light table, and I often draw the same illustration 5-10 times. When the illustrative universe is so simple, each stroke has to be exact and accurate. So the biggest challenge is probably my own perfectionism. But my drawing each motive that many times, I also get an understanding of the drawing. I draw myself to an understanding of how the strokes are supposed to be, in order to make the motive work best.

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“You get the best ideas, when you don’t try to, and the best result, when you work really hard.”
My Buemann at her latest exhibition in IDOART Lab
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Sketching
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I’ll take care of you

My Buemann
I’ll take care of you
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My favourite place is inside your hug

My Buemann
My favorite place is inside your hug

There is no better feeling that being close to someone you really care about. The whole world can disappear around us, if only we are held by someone who cares about us. People need each other and a hug can make us feel safe and worshipped. A hug from the right person at the right time, can say more than a thousand words.

Can you share with us a little known detail about the design process that you have discovered?

You get the best ideas, when you don’t try to – and the best result, when you work really hard.

Why did you decide to collaborate with The Loppist?

I think that the Loppist is a really fine website, that houses a lot of talented and skilled designers. Furthermore I like that you, through an interview, “get to know the designer”, so you don’t just buy a product, but also a story that follows with the product. A product that is created by a person, who has put a lot of heart into it.

What do you have lined up in 2015?

I finished at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts a couple of months ago, so now I am working full-time with my own stuff and at my job at DR, which is fantastic. One of the things that I am looking forward to in 2015, is the release of a book that I have written and illustrated myself. It is a book about psychiatric diagnoses and consists of seven persons very honest and touching stories of their lives with a diagnose. The illustrations in the book is also more bleak than those found in my printed posters. Besides from that I am working on a lot of projects with different partners, and I hope to find time to do another solo exhibition in Copenhagen.

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Preparing the exhibition MY SECRET WORLD
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A collection of My’s work
This is the end of My Buemann’s story
Photos by My Buemann & IDOART agency

My Buemann

Whimsical illustrative universe


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