2020 Just Got More Creative - Meet Yael Anders
Sometimes I’m in awe of how multi-talented and cohesive a person or brand can be and Zurich based Yael Anders is definitely a wonderful example of this! Holding an impressive design filled CV and creating everything from jewelry to hand painted porcelain to paper goods (all ethically made and self designed)- I think she’s building a beautiful kingdom and I’m excited to see what the future holds for her and what is next!
Read on for an interview with her and for a peek at her 2020 planner (which I’m so excited about).
Where are you based and have you always been there?
In Zürich:) I am working in my studio just at the Limmat close to the Limmatplatz in the Photobastei building. In fact it's the old building of the Zurich university of the arts and my studio used to be the teachers room.
I went to school and studied in this city - so Zurich surely is my base. But then I also lived in Sweden for quite a while which had an impact on my designs. I studied graphic design in Paris for a short time and in Berlin I used to live right after gymnasium to work in the open design city of betahaus. So i think it is quite important also to change a base once in a while to get new perspectives on things and projects. At least for me it gives new ways of thinking and new ideas.
When and how did you start with your creative brand? What was the inspiration?
I discovered illustration back in school as a kid- I started to create my own planners because i didn’t like the pre-lined ones telling you what and where to write. I felt like everyone should be able to create ones own's structures so I came up with an agenda with a lot of empty space.
I used my planner as a sketchbook to illustrate and take notes. Also I worked with collages or other artistic techniques combining photos and inspiring things. That’s pretty much how I developed my aesthetic language.
First I started to produce hand bounded planners for friends & family. After that I learned more and more every year. In the beginning I didn’t even know how to use Adobe InDesign or how to bind a book professionally so I went to a local Bookbinding place where Christa is doing her work and she taught me how to bind books in different ways. My output became more and more professional year by year. I’d say and I could refine it during my studies at the Zurich University of the Arts where I am still doing my Masters.
In addition to this I started to create all kind of design projects and developed my artistic repertoire.
My own analog planner is my source of forms, colours, combinations and illustrations and whenever I’m coming up with something new I touch base with it.
See all of my planner scans in my digital plannerarchive.
Can you talk a little about your new 2020 planner? It has a really fun, free and open concept - what was your inspiration?
As in all of my planners - the concept is to let everyone create own structures and planning systems. So the inside leaves a lot of space for sketches or ideas. My designs should remind people to create and shape their empty spaces in life consciously… :) The 2020 edition comes in a slightly new appearance compared to earlier ones. The cover is more minimalistic and I added an illustration element to it. I changed the type and am now working with a swissdesign typeface by swisstypefaces which is an amazing Swiss graphic design studio.
Do you have advice for other creatives wanting to start their own brand/similar projects?
Just do it, trial and error, Laissez faire - be openminded for people and projects and do the things that put you on fire. Actually me and Anna from les solides had a talk about this subject at the Zurich Maker Days! And we'll maybe have it again soon this year - stay tuned;)
How does sustainability and the use of materials factor in to your concepts?
Sustainability is a main factor when it comes to my core beliefs. Since the analogue and haptics are central aspects in my general concept and work I try to only work with primary and solid material from local, fair and high quality sources. Less is more for me so all of my products come in a limited stock - the ceramics pieces I even produce myself so there are only a few of them.
I don’t think there is a need for more materialistic things and overproduction in the western world so I focus my work on objects with a meaning and function. The entire planner is printed on recycled paper in Europe and is meant to give memories and stories to it's user.
And a few more prying questions :)
Favorite shops in Zurich?
In Zürich you should for sure visit Sphères It’s a lovely space to have lunch or coffee. It’s also an amazing book store hosting readings and events. Then Print Matters! store it’s an amazing concept store focusing on independent magazines such as trans, dazed, Reportagen, Another, Another gaze, The Gourmand and many more rare titles.
The best place in summer for sure is „Chuchi am Wasser“ which will btw. be a pop up restaurant of my friend @momomaifood in January & February 2020! More to come soon.
Are you listening to any great podcasts or reading anything particularly good right now?
Podcast: a talented friend, Kerstin Hasse just founded @ciaofornow podcast together with Annik Hossmann. I really like their way of talking and taking up themes in a fun and yet well rounded way.
Then to read and see: There is an amazing local magazine called „Spleur“ and it’s about feminism and illustration so a quite nice combination! Also Rosa Rot is a great mag made from people in Zurich.