Hometown: Born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel.
Education: I have a bachelor’s in design from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, in Jerusalem. These days, I am finishing my master of arts degree at Universität der Künste—Berlin’s university of the arts.
Location: For the past three years, I’ve been living in Berlin, Germany.
Duration: Shortly after completing my bachelor’s degree, I realized I didn’t want to work in any other field but illustration. Now, I’ve been doing this for more than three years. It is still a struggle sometimes, but it’s a choice I made, and I am very content with it.
Projects: When it comes to client work, I usually do editorials, mostly for children’s magazines or cultural/literary publications. It enables me to connect my love of drawing with my admiration for the written word. When it comes to personal work, I like to make posters, self-initiated exhibitions, and little independent books and zines. I also indulge in hand-based work such as linocut and silkscreen.
Career path: I’ve been drawing ever since I was big enough to hold a crayon, but I never wanted to go into fine arts. I didn’t even realize illustration was a possible career choice until my early twenties. I was working in a bookstore and becoming obsessed with the children’s book section. When I could imagine myself doing this as a job, I quickly enrolled in the best arts academy I thought of, and it was clear to me from the very beginning that this was what I was going to do with my life. I had very little understanding of what being an illustrator actually meant, but I was determined to make it work.
Influences: Folk art, art brut, dusty old books from the library, crafts—things created by people who didn’t necessarily consider themselves artists. I usually go to the Old World for inspiration, be it traditional Persian miniatures or textiles from centuries ago. All the best design and illustration solutions already exist, we just need to see them anew. I am greatly inspired by handwork and good storytelling. Having something to say is so important.
Favorite work: I’m quite happy with my Disorder project; it’s a lexicon of mental disorders, accompanied by black-and-white linocuts I made. This project was my first time doing linocut, and I totally fell in love with the technique. Also, after years of using rich color palettes, it was the first time I ever attempted a strictly black-and-white work. Funnily enough, this proved to be almost harder than picking out colors—a good exercise in minimalism. I’ve had a lifelong interest in mental illness, and this book was a great opportunity to educate myself. It was a therapeutic process.
Work environment: By my desk, I have a big window overlooking a water canal. In the summer, there are swans swimming around. Right now, the water is frozen, and there’s snow everywhere. It’s soothing. But I was never one to have a beautiful work corner. My desks are always messy, full of papers, bits and pieces, acrylic paint that dried on the wood, books scattered about for inspiration, eraser rubbing scraps and cracker crumbs. I need a bit of chaos to create.
Approach: I am not one of those effortless painters who’ve got it all just flowing from their fingertips, and I used to think this was a problem. But I compensate with hard work, serious research and analysis, and a true sense of excitement. I feel privileged that this is what I get to do for a living. Illustration is a way for me to speak to the world, using pictures instead of words.
Guiding philosophy: Personal integrity. Doing things you believe in, enjoying the process, being able to experiment, reflect and grow—these all guide my work process. We live in a world of visual, textual and physical abundance, and it’s easy to lose track of what’s important to you. I want to look back and be proud of the projects I took part in and the road I’ve taken.