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Vhcle Magazine Issue 17, Design/Illustration

Thoka Maer illustrates and creates animated illustrations also known as GIFs. With pencil, natural as it is or digitally colorized. She has since created illustrations for print and screen. The scope of her work runs the gamut from the figurative/narrative to the abstract/surreal, though is held together by the consistent use of pencil and crayon. She graduated in Visual Communication in 2014 from the University of the Arts, Berlin, and is now located in New York.

See more of Thoka Maer’s work in Vhcle Issue 17





Tell us a little bit about yourself

I'm Thoka Maer, a Berlin based illustrator who has just relocated to New York. As an illustrator I make animated looping GIFs and non-animated, non-looping illustrations that get printed or can be enjoyed on screens. All time favourite tool: pencil!

What is the inspiration behind your work?

I was asked this question before and made a GIF that answers the question, mostly: here

And the serious answer is that I think that my work takes two different directions. One where I’m mostly inspired by the average human's experiences in every day life. It’s observational and supposed to be humorous. The other direction my illustrations take is more surreal, still full of tiny people, but here I draw most inspiration from abstract things presented to me in words. The images and stories form in my head and my right hand draws them.

What do you think is the artist's role in society?

There is such a variety of roles an artist can take. I used to be and still am occasionally mildly annoyed by very provocative art. Though I learned to understand the value for the progress of society despite still not at all agreeing with it. For some artists I believe their only purpose is to being different and showing just this to the world. Society needs annoying pebbles in its shoes. For myself, I see my role more as of a narrator, recording the time with my abilities, a producer content with a little zeitgeist.

What superpower would you want and why?

If time travelling is considered a superpower I would like to have this one. Jumping in time and space means no more flying on planes, meeting your young grandparents, hugging your most beloved and yet dead pet again, never being late anymore, and all the other great advantages of which there are too many to list them all.

Favorite drink?

Sometimes tomato juice with jalapeño tabasco and most of the time green tea, coffee and water.