Carla Kreuser: An illustrator goes back to the drawing board

Going back to school was one of the best decisions I’ve made, says Carla Kreuser.

“I was at a point in my career where I needed to take a little break, maybe get some perspective again,” says Carla Kreuser in this interview. “I wanted to invest in some dormant talents. For example I hadn’t realised that I was drawing less and less so I needed to invest in that.”

Kreuser needed the “little break” because she’d been desk-bound, working full-time as a graphic designer at The Jupiter Drawing Room, where she is a creative director. She used her time off to pursue a master’s degree in illustration from the University of Stellenbosch. Kreuser took the studious route because it emphasised structure:

“If I’m going to pay for it, I’m actually going to sit down and draw. I needed someone to force me to get stuff done,” she says.

This organised approach worked. At the end of her degree Kreuser has a lot to show for it – she’d hand-drawn and hand-bound six artists books. They capture her spontaneous and sincere style with stories told in a combination of drawings and poetry.

But she doesn’t believe that the studious route is necessarily the right one for every creative: “I think every creative's journey is different, so there’s no formula,” she says. “What worked for me won't necessarily work for someone else.”

Carla Kreuser is one of the designers behind both the cut-and-paste paper portraits for the speakers and for the marketing campaign Make. Change. for Design Indaba 2015.

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