Autobiographical Comics

Four Questions for Sebastian Lörscher

Sebastian Lörscher: „Ziegenmilch und Zeichenstift“, Kunstanstifter Verlag, 2011Sebastian Lörscher was born in Paris in 1985 and grew up in Bavaria. He studied communications design at the Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Würzburg-Schweinfurt (University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt), worked for a few years for a communications and design agency and then studied visual communication at the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee (School of Art and Design Berlin-Weißensee). He won the next-generation design award Output-Award 2011 for his book Ziegenmilch & Zeichenstift (i.e. goat’s milk and a pencil) which he drew together with his 93-year old grandfather.

Born in Paris, growing up in Germany, living in India and Haiti – has your life influenced your graphic style?

I’d say that my graphic style is basically European and is influenced by the French, Belgian and German artists who have inspired me since my childhood. India and Haiti haven’t had much influence on the basic style of my drawings and their pictorial language. The few months I spent in those countries were too short.

However, my stays did motivate me to try out new things, especially having to do with drawing subjects or colouring. But my approach to a drawing and treatment of motifs also differs from one country to another and adapts to the circumstances and people on location, particularly since I often draw in public spaces.

Slideshow by Sebastian Lörscher

Your comic projects have many autobiographical elements. Is there anything you do not want to tell, or would do so only reluctantly?

With autobiographical narration one can insert one’s own experiences, feelings and thoughts into the action very well. That makes the work as a whole exciting for the reader. As a graphic artist, one naturally asks oneself the question as to how much one wishes to reveal about oneself. I have no problem with making fun of myself, as in my comic Muskulöse Zeiten (i.e. muscular times), or telling about things in my life history in Ziegenmilch & Zeichenstift. But the reader doesn’t have to know everything! Ninety percent of what’s in my autobiographical works corresponds to the truth; the remaining ten percent is invented. It’s up to the reader to decide how these percentages are apportioned. That affords me a certain protection.

You draw a lot – what is difficult about drawing?

I always have my sketchbook with me and draw whenever I can. That’s the best practice and helps me get new ideas. I find it hard to sketch someone whom I like. Even worse: a pretty woman I like. Then one always gets nervous and jittery that the result will be ugly. But if it turns out well, it’s all the better.

Do you have a tip for next-gen graphic artists?

Buy a sketchbook; draw anywhere and everywhere and as often as possible. And don’t be afraid of making a mistake. You cannot make a mistake drawing. One exception: making an ugly drawing of a pretty woman.

Rieke Harmsen conducted the interview.

Copyright: Goethe-Institut e. V., Internet-Redaktion
May 2013

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