Maria Giemza

Maria Giemza is, an architect, and illustrator based in Berlin. Through her illustrations you can feel her softness, pastel colours, and simple lines. If you like her works as much as we do, then go check out the interview.

Hello, Maria!
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up in sunny Poland, where I studied architecture. Three years ago I moved to Berlin to do my Master’s degree. However in love with architecture, after finishing school I decided it was time to give my passion towards illustration a chance. I work as an illustrator now and I love what I do.

What is the advantage of being an architect in graphic design/illustration? Are they related to each other?
Architecture school was a pretty awesome experience. It was a great mixture of creativity, technical approach and sometimes a real struggle. I think that architects have to be great managers to combine all the fields that architecture blends together. Everything has to have a reason and gets made for a concrete purpose, function. Illustration is less complex and gives much more freedom. Though I always approach my illustration process the same way I was doing architecture projects, always reasoning every move.

Being an architect, I always try to incorporate spatial sense in my illustrations, even if I am drawing in a flat perspective, I subconsciously decide and try to show whether a surface is slightly round, or flat or maybe has a rough material. I can create my own architecture world using illustration and I think that’s a perfect combination.

How did you get into design?
I’ve always loved drawing and having family full of architects it was kind of an obvious choice for me. Though at some point I realized that to me the most fun part became not creating an architectural design itself, but rather thinking of how I would draw it out and then present it. I was slowly discovering the world of illustration until it completely soaked me in.

What’s the most important thing about design for you?
I think every kind of design has it’s purpose. In architecture design it is a function, while illustration is a completely different world, where I would say freedom is the most important. And maybe that’s why it was so tempting for me to change fields.

When I look at your illustrations I feel your softness, pastel colours, and pure style. How do you define your sense of illustrating?
I am a self-taught illustrator and when creating my work, I really have many doubts whether I do it in the right way. Sense of illustrating is quite an accurate description here, because during the process I rather follow my intuition than know things for sure. 

You are also crafting sketchbooks. How did you start crafting them?
I had to make a booklet for my school project, and a friend of mine showed me a bookbinding tutorial. That’s how I figured out it is actually great fun and a good reason to take a break from a computer. It lets me experiment with materials, papers and cardboards and recently discovered marble printing as well. 

What are your biggest inspirations?
I will not be anyhow original here, because what surrounds us is a great inspiration for all of us, I think. I love analyzing spaces, narrow, high, dark, glazed, open and of course outdoors. I love nature.

You live in Berlin. What do you like about this neighborhood? How does it impress your creativity?
Berlin is such a unique place. It is really diverse and open, so much different than any other city in Germany. It combines German precision and strictness with thoughtlessness and levity in a funny way. I really don’t know why it hibernates during winter, to spectacularly bloom in spring with all the colors and people, outdoor cafes and activities. It changes a lot with the seasons, and I am in love with those dynamics.

Thank you!