«Ideas often come to me spontaneously, and actually rarely at the studio.»
Hi Balthasar, can you briefly introduce yourself?
My name is Balthasar «Balz» Bosshard, I work as a freelance illustrator. I studied scientific visualization at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). Since getting my BA, I’ve been working as an illustrator in my studio at Lagerplatz in Winterthur. My focus is on designing posters and flyers for various clients.
What does your normal work day look like?
My work day starts in my studio in the morning. During a coffee break in the morning I get to chat with my studio friends. I usually work at the studio all day, often till late at night.
What is this shared studio like?
There are three parties in the studio – Zweihund GmbH, Samuel Jordi, and myself. We share a long space, which we’ve divided with partition walls and doors. So everyone has their own office within the big space.
Tell us a little about the OAS Collective!
The OAS Collective has existed for about a year. It consists of Marco Wyss, Samuel Jordi, and myself. The collective was formed on the Canary Islands, where the three of us went on vacation together. It’s a vacation collective, so to speak. We spent a lot of time painting and drawing, which made us realize that we work well together. Back in Winterthur, we did our first joint project. When the opportunity presents itself and everyone has the time for it, we work on projects together. Apart from that, we’re also good friends.
You design lots of flyers and posters. Your works for Gaswerk and Kraftfeld – two music clubs in Winterthur – are great and very original. How did this collaboration come about?
I started making flyers for Gaswerk a few years ago. The flyers were made around 2012. Since there is a wide distribution of flyers in general, a lot of people see your work. So, people’s interest grew gradually and I started receiving more requests from bands and clubs in Winterthur. Designing flyers and posters has become a regular part of my work, and the one I love most to this day – it’s become my passion and I’m excited about each new job.
Can we talk about your design process? When a new assignment reaches your mailbox, what happens next?
When I’m asked to do a job and a collaboration materializes, I usually start with little sketches of various ideas. I keep developing them until the one idea that seems most feasible emerges. Depending on the job, I might show this process to the client – or not.
When putting an idea into practice, I really dedicate myself to the process until the product is finished. Sometimes that involves overcoming just a few obstacles, sometimes many. It is important to me to really fully delve into the work process (which is a battle sometimes). Sometimes this leads me to change or add something to my initial idea.
Is the process you’re talking about more technical or more conceptual in kind?
Both. At first, it is more conceptual, of course, until I’ve found an idea that I consider good enough or appropriate. Sometimes, the idea emerges after a few sketches or thoughts, sometimes it takes longer. I don’t have a specific formula that I follow when developing an idea. They often come to me spontaneously, and actually rarely at the studio.
The second step is the design process, which I usually start with an idea and a sketch. Realizing the idea and combining words and images often leads to problems or questions that need to be addressed and solved. These problems and questions can change my idea or complement it. I don’t need to have the entire work conceived right from the start. Rather, it emerges through the back-and-forth between light table and computer.
Can you tell us about one of your projects?
Sure, for instance the «Volt Fest» poster for Gaswerk in Winterthur. The assignment was to create a poster for a two-day music event, and it had to contain a note that the Peacocks would play songs from their new album.
I wanted to make a sort of «electro-shock skull,» where the writing emerges from or goes into the skull. So I did that by drawing several color layers, which I combined, superimposed, and edited on the computer. That’s an approach I use a lot.
Do you have a favorite technique?
I translate my pencil sketches with the help of a light table, using Indian ink, quills, and brushes. I usually draw various color separations, which I then scan, before combining and editing them in Photoshop. It often happens that I mix the digital with the analog, so that I usually end up sitting at the computer.
This technique of drawing the individual color separations is ideal for screen-printing the works afterwards. In fact, your posters look as if they were carefully printed by hand. Is that impression wrong?
Being able to screen-print a poster is an absolute highlight for me. But sadly, for financial reasons, that rarely happens with posters for the culture industry.
But I’m also a big fan of Risograph printing. Compared with screen-printing, this printing process is less complex and much cheaper. Nevertheless, it produces great results, I think. Time and budget permitting, I like to print my posters on the Risograph. I usually do it myself. The Volt Fest poster, for instance, I printed myself on the Risograph at Dynamo in Zurich.
What inspires and drives you?
I get inspired by just about anything, especially by other artists, live music, and my environment. I see so many great works, so that gives me a lot motivation to also make progress myself.
The music scene seems to be very important to you. Do you play in a band yourself?
Yes, the music scene is very important to me. Unfortunately, I don’t play in any bands anymore, but I used to play a lot of drums in bands and projects. Now, I just like going to shows often. Since I work for the cultural institutions in Winterthur, I get discounts on cover charges and drinks, so that I can go to a lot of shows. That’s important to me and I think it does have an effect on my ideas for the posters and flyers.
What would your dream assignment be?
My dream assignment… hmmm… That would be a brewery that is also a band at the same time, so I could design everything for them: labels for the beer bottles, t-shirts, CD covers, posters for their gigs and tours…
Or, of course, a concert poster for Primus or the Melvins…
What’s next for you?
The next thing is a trip to the US that I’m planning with a friend. My goal is to document the trip in a sketchbook. If everything works out the way I imagine it right now, it would be great to create a little publication from this sketchbook. But, of course, you never know exactly what’s going to happen…
Photo credit: Anna Haas
Photo credit: Anna Haas
Image credit: Balthasar Bosshard
Photo credit: Anna Haas
Photo credit: Anna Haas
Image credit: Balthasar Bosshard
Illustrated poster of "Solaris," a science fition novel by Stanislaw Lem.
Ratio, 60 x 85 cm
Produced following an invitation to the BDfil Comicfestival in Lausanne, the publication collects an selection of previous separatly publisched comic short stories by Philip Schaufelberger.
This novel is a perfect addition to short stays in a reception room!
Graphic Novel, 70 pages, in english.
In this book, 15 female illustrators share their dreams. These dreams were listened to by groups of children from Spain and Switzerland, who were the first illustrators of the dreams. The final illustrations are a collaboration between the dreamers (professional illustrators) and the kids (professional dreamers).
Printed in 2 Pantone colours, open stitch binding w/ glue
Translated to English and Spanish - handwritten dreams in illustrators native language
Art Direction by Roger Omar (E) & Rina Jost (CH)
Published by Ginnungagap & elmonstruodecoloresnotieneboca, 2018
Pigment Prints on Hahnemühle paper.
Pigment Prints on Hahnemühle paper, framed, 91x121cm.
The Galerie Idea Fixa presents the 2013 work collection of Michael Meister which is on display for the first time.
The tableaux are digital paintings: Meister first draws by hand with Indian ink and paints thereafter using an interactive monitor.
The “Interiors” of Michael Meister tries to invoke the moment where the hierarchies between humans, space and nature are suspended. Thereby the detail serves as a membrane.
The internal space defines the outside. By reducing the content of the pictures the artist creates a floating state between reality and fantasy, between the possible and the impossible. The depictions are nested in space and suggest a balance between closeness and distance. Frequently they focus on functional elements which carry no meaning in themselves. But the simple aesthetics places them into a suggestive context such as a door handle in front of the wide open sky. If the viewer takes one step back the paintings gain a narrative quality and tell a story – if he approaches the pictures impart feelings of forlornness and sobriety. The light incidence is of major importance and the coloring seeks to evoke different emotions – mostly melancholia.
The floor painting is an installation specially designed for the gallery: the visitor steps into the the episode und becomes part of the art work.
The work of Michael Meister relates polarities or contrasts such as color and light, poignancy and vagueness, surfaces and lines as well as covering and glazing surface.
Anina Michel, August 2013
Posters for some of my favourite fantasy classics
Patches, originally designed for Fizzen
26 fully animated stickers for iMessage.
«The Meaning of Life» includes twelve stories, and every comic tells about an other meaning of life.
„So sieht’s aus bei der Frau“ means translated "that's what it looks like with the women". It is an illustrated booklet about the female genitals. It was created in collaboration with sexual education worker, gynaecologists a scientific illustrator.
Here you find more information:
Bowls, dishes and plates printed, dishwasher-safe. Prices on request. www.gabikopp.ch
The persian cookbook includes 80 recipes, stories and portraits about the cooks and many colourfull pictures. Gabi Kopp travelled in Iran and cooked with the people in their private homes. Besides there are typically restaurants, manufacturers or a wedding portraied.
Istanbul is a melting pot where the most diverse culinary traditions meet and mingle – so it’s small wonder that the Turkish cuisine should count among the best in the world. Gabi Kopp interviewed Istanbul housewives and street traders, restaurant cooks and authors of cookery books and jotted down their best recipes.
Turkish cuisine owes its diversity to the many cultures that were once represented in the Ottoman Empire. And Istanbul, this year’s vibrant culture capital of Europe, is a place where these traditions are kept very much alive.
During her rambles through the Turkish metropolis Gabi Kopp watched the cooks in the kitchens, drawing them, and noting their recipes the while: there’s the Armenian woman compiling a cookery book and who obviously has to try everything for herself, a Kurd who cooks for his wife, a ninety-year-old Greek who visits his favourite restaurant, the "Meyhane", every day. Not forgetting a Laz woman, a Michelin-starred chef, a sephardic Jew, Turkish women from the shores of the Black Sea, from Anatolia or the Marmara region – Muslims, Jews and Christians.
To round things off, there’s a detailed index and a Turkish glossary.
A picturebook, a reading book and a cookbook
hoi ceramic is a collaboration of potter Robi Wehrle and the Illustration duo It’s Raining Elephants (Evelyne Laube & Nina Wehrle). Traditional craftsmanship meets young design, playful ideas finds clear form language. The pottery of hoi enchants through narrative wit and formal cleverness. We produce series in small numbers. Every individual hand thrown and painted pottery is unique.
Have you ever wondered if your friend's dog, chasing his own tail, your neighbour's fat cat, eating all day, and the apparently pervert mating behaviour of your girlfriend's turtle are normal? What's happening to our pets? This book presents deranged pets and gives advice from the complex field of pet psychology.
Postcards are available in my webshop
Lilo and Balz are the Best friends, going through thick and thin together.
28 one-page-stories about theire adventures.
ISBN 978-3-033-03541-6, Hardcover, 64 pages. Self edition.
Since 2017 also as SJW-booklet available.
Marine Life Posters
Des lignes fortes, des formes et douces et une folle imagination.
L’illustratrice germano-suisse Anja Denz crée des portraits de femmes élégantes et sûres d’elles, avec en toile de fond une luxuriante forêt tropicale. Après l’Université d’Art de Berlin, où elle a été diplômée d’un master en communication visuelle, Anja a commencé en tant que graphiste avant de revenir à son premier amour : le dessin. Toutes ses œuvres sont dessinées à la main, puis quelques touches sont ajoutées par Photoshop. Son travail a été exposé à travers toute la Suisse, et elle a récemment été nommée parmi les 200 meilleurs illustrateurs du monde par Luerzer’s Archive. Au vu de sa passion pour les plantes, son client de rêve serait un jardin botanique.
An illustrated book of fairytales about the obsession with beauty and anorexia.
A fairy tale about a serious problem: When the wish for happiness and perfection ends with the one question, to eat or not to eat.
Natalie Springhart: text
Stefanie Beyeler: illustrations and layout
with a preface by Dr. med. Bettina Isenschmid
Hardcover, 112 pages, illustrations in color
My new art book costs $ 39 (plus $ 15 shipping).
88 mostly colored pages. Hardcover.
Michael Kaluta gave me a beautiful work of his art and has writen the introduction:
“Who is this Dead Guy?” I asked myself. He had to be dead: One: every gifted nuance of the portrait attested to it having originated during one of the long-gone Golden Ages of Representational Art. Hence, the artist had to have passed on, died, decades, if not centuries, ago joining the pantheon of brilliant artists in the Salon of the Skies. Two: if he wasn’t dead, if he was a living, breathing, still-producing Art Master, then I would track him down and murder him. So: a dead guy one way or another."
Ramen is a knitted sweater by Tobias Gutmann limited to an edition of 25, manufactured in Germany using 100% extra fine merino wool.
Initially inspired by the undulation of water, the pattern evidently became one of a long and tedious ramen noodle. A metaphor on how well, we humans, are able to adjust to the hazards of life, zigzagging between this wavy path and the predominant importance of food in social interactions – or how we identify and adjust to it over time. With this sweater Tobias creates a wearable art piece and starts a discrete yet recognizable community around his artistic production. Each sweater is at the beginning of a social collection while – at the same time – the collector-wearer creates his own.
A3 Riso Prints
Ceramics have always really fascinated me. It is a bit like a mix between alchemy and baking cakes. I create simple decorative and narrative tiles, occasionally bowls and vessels. I apply colour through hand-cut stencils (or screen-printing) directly onto the porcelain. The botanical designs and narratives happen quite accidentally, each ‘plant’ consists of a separate shape. Foreground and backgrounds are very important; the layering of different coloured designs allow me to to achieve depth.