It is my pleasure to announce the first DigitalArtistSpotlight hosted by Astute Graphics! Each month we’ll post a profile of an exciting artist who uses digital tools. You’ll discover fun facts and details about digital artists from around the world. Although we’ll cover a wide range of artists, because Astute Graphic lives primarily in the vector world, profiles might trend a bit more towards artists who integrate vectors tools (and Adobe Illustrator) into their workflow.
When Astute’s Nicholas van der Walle first asked me to suggest an artist to profile, I excitedly proposed a bunch of wonderful artists, all of whom we’ll feature in future posts. However, we both decided we should turn the first DigitalArtistSpotlight on the wonderful artist whose work is featured on the cover of The Adobe Illustrator CS6 WOW! Book: Sabine Reinhart.
Sabine Reinhart is an artist, surface pattern designer, and illustrator whose work is simultaneously lush and exquisite, quiet and complex, timeless and memorable. Her work takes many forms, but her patterns have already left an indelible imprint on my consciousness. Like the great 19th century textile designer William Morris, Sabine’s patterns create rich worlds unto themselves. I keep returning to patterns, trying to explore the details, hoping to discover secrets hidden within. But I also find myself daydreaming about acquiring just few yards of her fabric, maybe to create something glorious to wear, or perhaps to subtly transform a room with that single special drape, or seat cushion. Until then, Sabine’s work boldly adorns the cover of my latest book, and so where better to start than to begin this profile by telling you a little about how I found out about this wonderful artist.
When I asked Terry Hemphill at Adobe if any great artists were testing the new Illustrator CS6 pattern editor, he directed me to two people. The first person Terry mentioned is Von Glitschka (aka Vonster), the well-known artist, author, and co-blogger on these pages. Adobe had commissioned Von to create custom patterns that would ship with Adobe Illustrator CS6. Von has been a featured artist in past WOW! Books, so we were delighted to develop new lessons using Von’s artwork for the book, as well as in a free expanded WOW! lesson for CreativePro.com.
Then Terry introduced me to Sabine. Adobe had commissioned her to produce an elaborate composition using the pattern editor. The final artwork, “Nature’s Journey” is a loving tribute to the Botticelli Venus so iconically associated with Adobe Illustrator. (You can find a description about how Sabine created this piece, along with a downloadable version of the Illustrator file, in the Adobe Design Center.)
I am thrilled that we have been able to include a number of Sabine’s patterns in the book, as well as on the cover. Although I am newly acquainted with her work, she has, of course, been at work illustrating and designing for a long time.
Sabine Reinhart lives in Germany. She began her design studies in 1994, but she soon had to take off some time to pay the bills. After working for a few years as a flight attendant, she was finally able to return to school to earn her graphic design degree, specializing in web design and illustration. Sabine’s immense talents, however, aren’t restricted to digital tools. For her thesis project she created twenty-four realistic images of animals using an airbrush, color pencils and a cutter “to scratch out each little hair of their coats. It took weeks and I loved it.” The lion below is one of these detailed airbrush and color-pencil pieces, which she created using a photo by Hans-Detlev Kampf as a reference (click here for more examples).
After graduating from school in Düsseldorf, Sabine got a job as an art director, where she was able to continue her work in internet design as well as work on developing brand identities. One project she particularly enjoyed involved her traveling again, this time photographing outstanding buildings around the world. Below are her photos of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and the Mito Art Tower in Japan (Arata Isozaki, architect).
While still working as an art director, she found it relaxing to design seamless patterns in her “spare-time”. When Sabine realized that she’d created quite a number of these patterns, she created the website patterrific.com so that “she could share her patterns with others”.
Sabine’s “relaxation projects” began to lead to freelance work, and eventually she was designing patterns for greeting cards, gift wrapping, and for the textile industry. Sabine continues to maintain patterrific.com for her raster-based patterns, but she also maintains two more sites; her main site sabinereinhart.de and floralcy.com for her vector patterns.
Sabine enjoys the process of working with clients, and finds it a challenge to find the best solution, that perfect design or illustration that will most exactly meet their needs: “First, I carefully read the brief and try to conceptualize visual solutions. Sometimes a certain style is dictated to me by the agency or client, and sometimes I have the chance to determine an appropriate style.”
For her personal work, Sabine finds much of her inspiration in nature, and from art and textiles from around the world: “My work is contemporary with a strong illustrative feel. I enjoy using a combination of pattern and illustration in my work, utilizing both traditional and digital techniques.” And yet one of the most wonderful aspects of Sabine’s work is that it transcends process. While she generously shares her patterns and her techniques, perhaps her greatest achievement is that she can create entire worlds that exist entirely within themselves.
Additional links to Sabine’s social pages
About the author
Sharon Steuer has been creating, writing about, and teaching workshops on digital art since the early 1980s. The current edition of her Illustrator WOW! book, The Adobe Illustrator CS6 WOW! Book, is the twelfth book in the series. Sharon is also the author of Creative Thinking in Photoshop: A New Approach to Digital Art, and is a regular contributor to CreativePro.com and Untapped Cities. Her digital paintings and illustrations have appeared in numerous books and magazines and have been exhibited nationally, and her
“Artistic Painting with Illustrator: Natural Media Brushes” is available on lynda.com