Andrea Ihl, can you tell us a little more about yourself?

A lovable scatterbrain, someone with awkward social skills, a lover of plants and cats and an Aries who doesn’t quite believe in astrology but still reads horoscopes from time to time.

What is your profession?
Currently I’m studying Communication Design in Aachen! With my third semester starting soon, I’m trying to focus more on illustration. I’ve always drawn in my spare time and now I’m finally turning my childhood passion into something more.

Where do you come from?
I’m from Geilenkirchen (Yes, it’s actually called that. And yes, I’ve heard plenty of jokes about the „Geil“ part.) with some Russian roots. (No, I can’t chug a bottle of Vodka, heard plenty of jokes about that too.)

What you love about design?
I love the process of reinventing yourself for each project while staying true to your foundations. It’s about finding a balance between what makes your work personal, recognizable and also being open to new influences and approaches. Over time, design pushes your creative and sometimes personal limits. I’ve learned a lot about myself and improved considerably!

What you hate about design?
Sometimes there’s too much focus on design being „pretty“. It’s not about that. Design should communicate, spark conversation and at times even question what you believe in or always have taken for granted. For that, it sometimes has to get rough, dirty and even ugly.

What is your secret superpower?
Effortlessly setting everything near me on fire while trying to cook.

What means being a designer to you?
It’s about knowing established rules and actively breaking them in order to continue to produce interesting work. Break rules regarding not only style, but also social norms, etiquette and stereotypes. Make people think outside of the box by starting to do it yourself.

Three things on your bucket list? 
Own a stop sign, preferably by stealing it from somewhere it won’t be missed. Go abroad. Make a small living off my work.

If you had three free wishes….?
Have an apartment that looks like it came straight out of Ikea. Magically learn how to use oil or acrylic paints. Be able to cook without effortlessly setting everything near me on fire.

One must do/see/try in the Euregio?
Tell people about the Dom’s legend and watch their expression fill with either fear, joy or disgust (or every emotion at once) when they feel the little nub in the cathedral’s door handle.

Your epic fails?
Everytime I try to paint realistically it turns out looking like something you’d throw up after a night of heavy drinking and fast food.

Your best discovery?
Don’t ever take yourself too seriously. Dare to be bold, stupid and a bit careless instead. Drawing becomes the most fun for me when I don’t mind if it’ll turn out good or not and that always shows in my work.

You in a napkin sketch?