Mariann Fleischmann was born to draw. Having been involved in various art fields for most of her life, the passion she developed for illustration is inspiring. After winning 4 of our design contests, we talked with Mariann about how she got her start and what she likes best about the Creative Allies community.
Where are you from and what is your occupation?
I live in Pécs city in Hungary. I don’t have a steady job at the moment but am seeking opportunities as well as freelance work.
I like drawing. My sister says that I was born with a pencil in my hand. As a child, I was an introvert child. I lived in my own dream-world and was always drawing. This is what led me to my desire to be an artist.
How did you get started?
I went to an art high-school. I wanted to be a graphic designer but, because everyone wants to be that and at the time, others were better in drawing, I was only admitted to the ceramics department. But it was absolutely OK! I learned ceramics and how to draw after sight as well as art history, art anatomy and painting.
Then, I studied visual-communication in Budapest at a very good university. It is not an easy school to be admitted to. In that time, there was only 7-8 placed each year. I was admitted to the animation department even though I didn’t even have a computer that time. I didn’t had a clue about animation but I tried it. After a short while, I felt that animation was too complex for me.
During the university, we had a chance to make one semester abroad with a kind of scholarship program. I went to Luzern, Switzerland and tried the fiction-illustration department there, which I thoroughly enjoyed. In the beginning, I would hide my drawings because I didn’t dare show them to others but eventually realized that I wanted to be an illustrator.
I always wanted to be an artist who make posters, shirts and covers for rock & metal bands. I like that kitschy fantasy art style with skeletons, dragons, viking ships, kings, knights, roses and wolves, and ravens. But in all actuality, my style is far from that.
Tell us about your design style. Where do you pull your inspiration?
My style comes from animation and children-book styles. It’s just me. I don’t try to copy other artists. It’s simply me, as I can do or see things. I don’t like making things too complicated.
What is the story behind your name MissWenut?
Years ago I wanted to create a logo for myself. An avatar that I can use on every platform. I am shy, like a rabbit and in university, I made an animation with a rabbit. (She was too shy to knock on a door, so she wrote a message instead of daring to go in). Because that’s me.
I was 100% vegetarian for 20 years, continuing to make me feel like a rabbit. I remembered how Egyptians would combine their goddesses with animals so I began to design. After I finished, I needed a name and discovered that there was an Egyptian rabbit goddess named Wenut. So I begun to use this Wenut name. Lastly, around that same time, I fell in love. We sent many messages to each other where I called him Mr. Catman and he called me Miss. I combined this with my Wenut character and thus, Miss Wenut was brought to life.
I was happy to win with that Manes World design. It seemed so unlikely to win. There was so many good submissions! I am good at drawing animals with personality and feelings, children book style. Plus, I love lions so it was obvious choice. Wayne’s World is one of my favorite movies and I was so glad to make this connection. I worked two days on that poster design and submitted even when I was not 100% satisfied. I’m still really surprised that it went to the first place.
It depends on the topic. Sometimes I make sketches on paper or simply have a brainstorm session. I’ll look through my hundreds of drawings to see what can I use or continue. For example in the circus contest I was using a half-ready drawing, that I made months earlier, but didn’t finished. The guy in the picture was inspired by my favorite guitarist. The black haired person in the watchers picture was also inspired by him (where the two man looks each other in different planets). But he looks a bit different and has light-brown hair.
I always watch what others have done. Not in the way of stealing but in the way to see how widely they interpret the theme.
Who are some of your favorite artists/designers?
My favorite artist is Gyula Havancsák, a Hungarian artist in metal music art. I love his style. He makes what I want to create (at least once).
Everyone have chance to win. Even if living in a different continent, with or without friends, fame or money. I like that we can see and learn from each other’s work. We can get new ideas. And it’s much better to participate in a contest, than drawing without goals. It helps me to be better. When I draw for myself, I usually don’t spend the time to finish or correct the drawing. But when it is for a contest, I make much bigger efforts!
What does it mean to be creative?
Having different ideas, messages and thoughts with the ability to explain to others without words.
Don’t give up. Keep drawing and look at the world around you.