They're expressive. They're emotive... and we can't take our eyes off them! Lea's characters take us on a journey through a slightly strange yet wonderfully imperfect world, where fashion illustration takes a twist. Each of her illustrations is #glutenfree, #dairyfree and of course #plantbased.
How did you start illustrating?
When I was a little kid my father always drew with us, even wrote entire books and illustrated them. I can not remember myself doing something without pencils and paper.
There is something very whimsical about your work. How did you develop your style? What influences/inspires you?
Maybe it´s again the influence of my father whose illustrated figures where really odd and ugly. In school I never understood why everyone liked these pretty and perfect girls. I always was fascinated by some kind of strangeness.
When I discovered ink I suddenly found a way to put this fascination on paper. I love that you can't control it and every line is thin and scratchy and imperfect. Meanwhile I'm working with a variety of materials, but I always try to bring in something "wrong".
What is your creative process when you're starting a new piece?
I try to avoid thinking about what I expect. Sometimes the "blank page" scares me, then I just paint it over or draw on used paper. Often there is music running while I´m working, mostly hip-hop, then I occasionally stand up and dance. That´s quite relaxing.
I've noticed you use an alias for your illustrations… where did this come from?
Most of my favorite works "formed" accidentally - so did the Alias. Lea Schneider is a pretty common name in Germany, so I decided to combine my passion with my name. (Zeichnet is conjugated from the verb 'to draw' in German). I was too lazy to change it, but I think it´s still better than my full name.
What superpower would you have and why?
I am pretty nosy, so I´d love to read minds. But as the little secrets of mankind are also my inspiration, I am glad I don´t have superpowers.
Lea's home is where her pen is. Currently based in Berlin, Lea Zeichnet studied fashion design in Bielefeld (a really small town in Germany). She was always illustrating, and ultimately her creative vision took over. More interested in fragile people and strange bodies than the fashion world, she turned her hobby into her profession.