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MARGARETE GOCKEL

Fashion Illustration A Diverse Aesthetic


MARGARETE GOCKEL Inspired by her love of costuming, fashion, and design, Gockel brings a diverse aesthetic that has driven her through a successful career. She is among the world’s top illustrators with a client list punctuated by the likes of Herbal Essences, Dove, Sony, and Neiman Marcus—to name a few. Gockel’s illustrations have graced the pages of Elle, Glamour, Marie Claire, The New York Times, and the cover of the best selling book, “Skinny Bitch.” Influenced by the works of Erte’ and Antonia Hilke’, Margarete’s diverse aesthetic comes from a deep love of fashion, costuming, and design. Born in a small town near Duesseldorf Germany, Margarete was encouraged by her mother at an early age- whose vintage and handmade clothes gave Margarete her first taste of fashion. With a love for travel, Margarete enjoys working from all over the world. She lives in Germany with her husband, artist Juergen Buhre.


Did you always want to be an artist? Already as a child I have enjoyed painting. My father fulfilled each of his 3 daughters one artistic wish: I got an oil paintbox and there was one violin each for both sisters. I did not have the explicit preferred choice of career “artist” but only wanted to form my life with creativity doing the things I love to do most. I think it’s a great gift being able to earn my cost of living by doing something which I also would do if I would not be paid for it. What inspires you? Everything visual: Magazines, beautifully designed books, people on the street, exhibitions. Tell us about your technique. I start drawing with pencil into sketchbooks of which I never throw one away, I have a gigantic fund meanwhile. Then I make Indian ink drawings with nib and brush, scan these and continue to work on at the computer. I combine photos of patterns, furniture and architecture with the handdrawn sketches and bring them to a harmonious whole by digital working. Describe your creative process. I research in my archive, in which I collected vast amounts of colour examples, fashion photos, patterns, ideas, and then I spread these sheets in a big circle around me. I try and combine different scenes and begin to outline. I listen to inspiring music that pump me up. While working it also is part of it that I always wear a perfume that inspires me. Do you listen to music while you paint and if so, what music most sparks your creativity? When working I always listen to music, especially while doing the Indian ink drawings it must be loud Club- and DanceMusic, because I draw standing and often dance at the same time. This gives my line the necessary drive and power. How has your artwork changed or developed over the years? In the past, I have worked with watercolour and acrylic colour, the work was sent out by courier. By the digital completion of the work today my life has got much more uncomplicated: The transmitting is no more problem, changes are possible and the circle of clients has extended over the whole world. I still draw by hand but the possibilities for perfecting the artwork are fantastic. Tell us one thing about you that nobody knows. I’m dreaming of an orange-coloured Vintage Hermès bag made of ostrich leather.

“News of the Fashion Market” on TV recording the Fashion Shows in Paris. During this TV programme the editor Antonia Hilke drew wonderful humorous fashion sketches. I was fascinated by that completely. The drawings of Erté were also a revelation for me. Describe your work environment/studio. A beautiful old building with large ceiling height and large windows and terrific light, vast amounts of books and magazines, pens, brushes, paper. I love the smell of paper. In addition, I’m a hunter-gatherer and it always looks a little wild also around my computer. What would the title of your autobiography be? “Sunday’s Child”. As a child I read a fairytale of Wilhelm Hauff : Only children, that were born on a Sunday between eleven and two o’clock were able to see the “Little Glass Man” and were granted 3 wishes. Well, I was born on a Sunday noon... Where did you grow up? In a little town in Germany near Duesseldorf. What were your early influences? My earliest and most important influence was my family, particularly my creative mother, who had a focus on fashion and costume design - all my clothes and stuffed animals were sewn by herself - and in addition the many books of fairytales by which I was devoured as a child. What song would you chose as the soundtrack to your life? Everything of Diana Krall. Where is your next travel destination? Saigon, Vietnam, where my younger sister is living. If you weren’t an illustrator, what alternate career path might you have taken? I also could have become a costume designer or a gardener. Main thing is the passion which one develops for a thing and I also can feel enthusiastic about plants and fabrics. If you could be an animal, which animals would it be? A cat. Who would you trade places with for a day? Karl Lagerfeld. Who are your favorite artists? Erté, Anish Kapoor and my husband Juergen Buhre. What is your greatest influence? Everthing I can see with my eyes, odors I smell, sounds I hear.

If a Hollywood film were to be made about your life, who would play the lead role? In any case a Frenchwoman, for example such as Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi.

What are you currently working on?

What inspired you to become an illustrator?

What is your mantra in life? “There is a right time for everything.“

As a little girl two times a year I loved to watch with my mother

A corporate identity figure for a fashion company. Fashion drawings for a department store.


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copyright notice: This book and all of its contents/images is copyright of Margerete Gockel Š 2013. All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited and punishable by law.

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Margarete Gockel Portfolio  

Inspired by her love of costuming, fashion, and design, Gockel brings a diverse aesthetic that has driven her through a successful career. S...

Margarete Gockel Portfolio  

Inspired by her love of costuming, fashion, and design, Gockel brings a diverse aesthetic that has driven her through a successful career. S...