Dominik Plassmann is an illustrator based in Bielefeld, Germany. He is currently working on his master degree and freelancing as an illustrator for various projects. Recently the international publication “MODE ILLUSTRATION” by Willemina Hoenderken published several of his works. He has also worked for Annette Görz a successful German fashion designer, participating in numerous exhibitions during Berlin Fashion Week, Vogue Fashion Night Out Berlin 2013 and Düsseldorf Fashion Week 2013.
KALTBLUT: Hi Dominik. You are currently working on your master degree. How did you come to illustration?
Dominik: Hey, actually I’ve been drawing all my life. If my mum wanted to shut me up when I was a little boy she only had to hand me a pen and a piece of paper to keep me busy for hours. But it never came to my mind that I could do this for a living. However, for me, drawing was and still is my preferred way to communicate. When I was at a Model casting to accompany a friend I was overwhelmed by all the creativity and the possibilities that fashion offered. So spontaneously I started studying fashion. During studies my Professor discovered my potential and I decided to go on with my old love illustration even though I knew it would be a hard way to go.
KALTBLUT: Your work has been recently published in the book “MODE ILLUSTRATION” by Willemina Hoenderken. How did this collaboration happen?
Dominik: Professor Willemina Hoenderken started a new project, a book about fashion illustration so she was searching for the best illustrators among her students and offered me a spot to publish some of my works in her book. It turned out to be a huge success and has been published international.
KALTBLUT: Your illustrations are mostly related to fashion. What does fashion means to you?
Dominik: For me fashion is really important. It gives me the opportunity to express myself in many ways. There are so many new shapes, colors and fabrics invented every season and it’s an ongoing process. Designers having there own research done when it comes to new fabrics and colors. Fashion never gets boring. 3D-Prints by Iris van Herpen or Fashion out of the Spray can are exiting news as well. It’s always an inspiration for me to watch nice collections whether they’re old or new they make me want to pick a pen and get going. From the first Idea to the finished collection that’s what I think is fascinating. To get special ideas Marc Jacobs for example works with many different artists like Yayoi Kusama who only works with points. For me fashion is art that fits our fast moving lifestyle and reacts to all kinds of incidents like science or even politics. So fashion always mirrors our society.
KALTBLUT: Who is your favourite fashion designer and why?
Dominik: I love Rei Kawakubos work who founded the label “Comme des Garçons” in 1969. At her first fashion show in Paris she was the spot of attention because no one knew how to handle this new “image” of fashion. She is revolutionary. Her fashion is not projecting beauty, sexuality or sexes on the wearer. She leaves room for your own imagination. Her work is fashion and at the same time art. Kawakubo explained in the “New York Times” in 1983: “…I’m designing for a woman to be able to feel confident. We must break away from conventional forms of dress for the new woman of today. We need a strong new image, not to revisit the past.”
KALTBLUT: Do you have a preference between man and woman silhouette?
Dominik: That’s a hard question. In general I have to say that I find the female silhouette more exiting, because there is not just one. But that’s just because the female fashion is a much bigger part in the industry. We are living in a time where there is no specific way a woman has to look like. A woman fits in many “roles” and you can see that in the way she dresses. Luckily the way we think a man has to look like changes as well at the moment. So that gives us the opportunity to try different cuts and looks to finally invent new or more kinds of men. I like the Idea of not fitting into a required system. That is way in my work you often see “humans” where you can not tell rather they are male or female. That’s my way of questioning this strict separation. But of cause as an Illustrator that is not always possible because you are working for customers and you need to keep up with their expectations which is exciting and big fun as well.
KALTBLUT: Except of your degree, do you have other projects going on at the moment?
Dominik: I actually do, at the moment I’m working for a fashion store. I’m illustrating a classic style guide for men and the first part has already been published. I’m also working on illustrations for the website of the stylist Ewa Braetz as well as I’m trying to realize an exhibition. There is always something to do and it never gets boring.
KALTBLUT: Do you already know in which direction you want to go once you’ll be done with your studies?
Dominik: I would like to work as a freelance Illustrator, but I could as well imagine myself teaching. I enjoy working with people. In the end the most exiting thing is to not know what’s going to happen in the future.