When did you first know you wanted to be an artist?
I already was thinking about it when I was a teenager. But it took a while to finally go for it full-time. After studying media technology at the university of art and applied sciences in Leipzig I started working for film production companies and eventually ended up in a big advertising agency here in Berlin.
I always created my own work in my free time and after a few years, I decided to quit my job and focus on working as an artist/illustrator.
How long have you been using Affinity apps?
I discovered Affinity Designer and Photo just recently, at the beginning of 2019 I bought them for my Mac and iPad Pro and was instantly thrilled by both of them. It was pretty intuitive and a lot of fun to get going. Especially Affinity Designer which I use almost every day now.
What features of Affinity are most important to you?
I love how I can switch between the vector and pixel persona without having to leave the app. It’s not only a timesaver but also allows me to play around with the artwork and makes it really easy to experiment.
I also really like that the app for the iPad is so powerful. It allows me to work anywhere without compromises. I use it a lot when I travel by train and want to keep working on artworks that I started on the desktop.
“I also really like that the app for the iPad is so powerful. It allows me to work anywhere without compromises. I use it a lot when I travel by train and want to keep working on artworks that I started on the desktop.”
What is your workflow like—do you start in digital or sketch in traditional media first?
Both. I sketch a lot on paper, especially when I am away from the studio. But I also love to use the iPad for sketches and sometimes I just start right away on my Mac and skip the sketching part. So it is always different.
Your style is quite abstract, where do you draw inspiration from?
I’d say a lot of my inspiration came from admiring the work of other artists. I always loved abstract art and illustrations, because they give you a unique perspective instead of just depicting reality.
Also, I love when artworks have this extra dose of trippy weirdness.
Do you prefer a strict brief or a more open one when working with a client?
I like an open brief more because it usually means more creative freedom too and the chance to come up with something really new. But sometimes a strict brief has its advantages too, especially when there is not a lot of time until the deadline.
Do you have any advice for artists getting into the game?
The most important thing is to constantly keep working, creating and experimenting.
A solid body of work will help a lot with getting your first jobs/clients. And try to come up with your own style, that you love—this way you’ll have a lot more fun working on projects because you can do what you really like and how to do it!
Especially at the beginning, it can be frustrating, when there are not enough jobs coming in. Don’t give up. If you are good at what you do and keep developing your skills, it’ll pay off eventually.
Last but not least, it really helps a lot to get a good representation.
About the artist
Mathis Burmeister is a Berlin-based artist and illustrator with a background in advertising and film production. He is represented by Jacky Winter Agency. Follow Mathis on Instagram and check out his website to see more of his abstract artwork.