Jenne & Mathilde + giveaway

"I’m not a big fan of Nietzsche, but he said something that became my mantra: “He, who has a why to live, can bear almost any how.” It means that if you have a really strong “why” (the goal) you can endure almost everything to achieve it. And I really live by it. Also I believe that you never ever should listen to people who are not believing in you or make fun of your dreams, because they project their own fears and insecurities on you and what they say tells more about them than about you. Surround yourself with people who support you and make you better. Also the failing is good. You have to fail in order to get better and to learn. Everyone fails, so don‘t let it stop you."

Let me, please, introduce you to Jenne Graßmann. I think this interview will speak for itself.
So, just choose one of Jenne's fave songs to play in the background and read it. Do it! Now!

More about Jenne Graßmann.
I grew up in a small village in Germany, but I never really liked it there or felt at home. So I moved to Dresden on my own when I was 16, to get my Higher School Certificate. Three years ago I moved to Leipzig with my boyfriend Alex and our three cats Shira, Karl and Frida to study communication design. While I was studying, I brought my label Jenne & Mathilde to life. My grandmothers name was Hilde and I wanted to honour her because she always supported me and believed in me. So I named my label after me and her.

How would your friends describe you?
When you would ask my friends about me, I think they would tell you that I’m not going to mince matters and are always speaking up. I think some people don’t like that very much, but I don’t really care. They would also describe me as a bit awkward but also funny, kind and giving.

What is a day in Jenne's life like? Do you have a strict daily routine?
I don’t like strict daily routines, but I have to have one. Unfortunately, I can’t live from my creative business ... yet. That’s why I have a part-time job – I call it my “money job” - so I can survive. Because of this, my days have to be strictly planned, so I can get my workload done. I wake up at 6 am, drink coffee, get ready, meditate and got to work until 3pm. After work I walk or drive home, eat something and work for my own business until 6 or 10 pm. The tasks I have to do change everyday. Sometimes I draw/cut new ideas for my shop or work on my portfolio or go outside and sit in a café or in the park and draw people to improve my skills. Also there is planning and bookkeeping as well. If I had a superpower it would be definitely to be super fast like Quicksilver in X-Men. I have the feeling I’m not able to live up to the tasks I have and it’s exhausting sometimes, so to be really fast would help with this problem.

Is there a life situation/story that really changed your life?
Well, I don’t have any contact to my parents or family at all. It was a very abusive relationship and I had and still have many mental issues because of how I was raised. To cut off any contact with them made me stronger, healthier, happier and more confident. It was hard to find the courage to do that but I’m proud of myself that I did it. I believe when people hurt you really really bad, you have to let them go in order to heal and to be happy even when this people are your family.

I see you are really passionate about feminism. I adore your »Free the boobs!« postcards btw.
Yes. Feminism isn’t about women are better than men. It’s about equality, and that we are not defined by our sex. Just because I am a women doesn’t mean I deserve less payment or less respect or that I love pink and unicorns and everything sparkly and just because you’re a man doesn’t mean you have to be strong and brave and aren’t allowed to cry or to wear pink. We invented little boxes in which we put others. But for me this is completely nonsense. I even wrote my thesis about the missing strong female role models for girls and young women in school and in the media. It’s crazy that since 40 years there weren’t any changes in this areas. Girls grow up in a world where boys can be policemen or engineers or bosses in a cool company and the only fields girls and women are shown are housekeeping and motherhood or some caring and social jobs like nurse or teacher. Not that any job is better than the other but it’s full of gender cliché. As if boys or men are not caring and as if girls or women are not strong and intelligent. For me everyone who thinks we should be equal is a feminist. Why the hell should someone think we are not?

Where do you find your inspiration? Is there a particular person (designer, ilustrator ...) you look up to? Which websites, Instagram profiles or blogs do you like to visit on a daily basis?
The everyday life is my inspiration. Peculiar People on the street or a funny conversation from strangers I overhear and of course political issues. Sometimes a line from a song or a quote. My cactus girl linocut is inspired by a quote from Frida Kahlo. I adore her in so many ways, because she inspires me to grow as a person and to be strong and brave and also to don’t give a fuck about what people think about me.
Some accounts on Instagram I visit regulary are e.g. @donnerstagsonntag, @arkcolourdesign, @theprintedpeanut, @juliane.goerdes and @leointhegarden, because they are so colourful and creative and unique. On Youtube I really love The Futur, especially the videos with Kier McLaren because they also inspire me to grow and to become better businesswise and personally. Also I visit Pinterest a lot. But who doesn’t, right?

How would you describe your style? Not only in design but also in clothes/fashion, cooking, lifestyle ...
I really have no idea what my style is. The only thing I know is that I design and illustrate very different from how I look. When I create something I love to use colours, but on me or in my home not so much. Although I really like to bring more colour into my home. We’ll see how this will turn out. On me I like black and dark blue and also I wear mostly dresses, because when I was 13, I decided that pants/jeans are not really my thing. When it comes to food I don’t really know what I am either. Most of the time I eat vegan, sometimes just vegetarian and once in a while I can’t resist a pizza with tuna. So am I a flexitarian? I don’t know.

I really admire your talent! When did you start designing? Is there a story behind it?
Thank you! As probably every designer/artist/illustrator would say: "I started when I was a little child". Since I could think of it was my hobby and my passion and I never really wanted to do anything else in my life. I sat in my room on my desk and could draw and paint and craft for hours and hours. My parents often forced me to go outside to play with other children but I wasn’t really interested in playing outside or making friends. When I had to go outside, I always went to my grandmothers and she showed me how to knit, crochet and taught me how to draw.



Light pink or coral and blue is a contrast I love, but I also like the colours by itself. There isn’t really a colour I don’t like, but I think I don’t enjoy the combination of orange and red.


My favourite app is called Forest. It helps you to stay away from your phone while working or studying by planting trees. I think it’s a really cute idea and it helps me to focus. An app I enjoy as well is Just Rain, because I like to listen to rain and thunder while working and it also helps me to fall asleep sometimes.


I’m not a fan of summer or winter as I don’t like the weather to be too hot or too cold. I love spring because everything comes back to life and for the rhubarb and I also love autumn for the colours, the pumpkins and the stormy weather.


My boyfriend built me a desk a few years ago. I think, this is my favourite object because it’s selfmade with love and it’s huuuuge so I have lots of space to work and (to be honest) to clutter. Also I love to be surrounded by art I enjoy. Yes, I think it’s important to surround yourself with people and things that are making you happy and inspire you to be and get better. I also think that you always should surround you with people who are better in your professional field than you are, because they help you grow and show you things you never thought of.





#monsteramonday or #TBT?
As I love plants and especially Monsteras of course #monsteramonday

How do you feel about social media and the effect they have on our society?
In general I think social media is really helpful for marketing and also for connecting with (creative) people. I met so many lovely, strong and admirable humans through Instagram and they helped me also to grow in confidence as I am really self-critical and sometimes don’t think I’m any good in what I do. I’m really thankful for every comment or message I get about my work. Many people also found the courage to speak up through social media. Whole movements maybe wouldn’t exist if there were no Instagram or Twitter and many people would have stayed silent and didn’t find their voice to talk about very important issues like e.g. #metoo or #bodypositivity. But of course there is always a downside, too. Sometimes social media can make you feel very lonely and even untalented because there are so many amazing people out there who do amazing stuff and even if you don’t should compare yourself with others you can’t help it and you’ll do it anyway. Social media also gives the possibility to speak anonymously and this encourages many racist and sexist trolls to say very despicable things.

More about your future.
My biggest wish is my own studio and maybe even to share it with another designer/printmaker. I’d love to have a studio full of different printing equipment like screen print, lino print and also a risograph. I’d like to give workshops and to infect others with my passion for printmaking. But as I am not only a illustrator/printmaker and also a designer I still would love to work in this field, too. At the moment I am working on two books and I really really hope I will get them published through crowdfunding once they are finished, but this is more of a 1 or 2 years goal. Next year I plan to start studying again to get my master’s degree so I can also be a lecturer in a university. I don’t know if this is a career I want to follow later on but I like to have the possibility. For many years my plan was to move to England or to Scotland but after the whole brexit thing I’m not so sure anymore. So yes, many dreams, many goals, lots of work to do.


Želiš, da bi grafika Jenne&Mathilde visela na tvoji steni in dopolnila tvojo zbirko? Skoči na Instagram profil (@klemen_podezju), poišči story in vpiši, zakaj si prav ti želiš novo grafiko.

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