The clear and immediate style the studio works in is matched by the speed and quality of its service. Fun, colorful, cartoony projects are delivered on time and Lena ensures KATENA always brings the client’s vision to life through the artwork.
An ethical standpoint is important to Lena, including causes like Black Lives Matter, body positivity and LGBTQ+ equality. She studied illustration, typography and photography at Georg Simon Ohm University, and is inspired by artists such as René Magritte, Akira Toriyama and Rebecca Sugar.
Nothing beats a pencil on paper as far as Lena is concerned and that’s how each image begins. It’s then inked with a brushpen, scanned and digitally colored using Photoshop, and sometimes a grungy handmade texture will be added to rough things up.
Bold, colorful and fun, KATENA’s style has been honed for quick communication in world where you only have a few seconds to make an impression on the viewer.
Question: What drew you to illustration/design? KATENA: I have always wanted to do something creative. When I first heard that there is the profession „illustrator“, I knew immediately that that was exactly what I want to do. Question: Do you have any formal design training? KATENA: Yes, I studied illustration in Nuremberg at the TH Georg Simon Ohm. Question: Where do you live? KATENA: In Nuremberg. Question: Can you describe your studio for me? KATENA: Creative chaos, lots of colorful paintings on the wall, some from me, some from others for inspiration. Chilly music or a podcast in the background. Question: How do you get the best ideas? KATENA: By reading a briefing and doing some research on it. Afterwards it´s good to do something different, like walking, sleeping or taking a shower. That´s how the mind runs free. Question: Who or what is your biggest inspiration? KATENA: Life itself. It´s important to find a balance between work and leasure time, otherwise the ideas dry out. Question: What technique do you use? KATENA: Mainly with the computer. But also I like drawing by hand. Question: Tell us about a favorite project you have recently completed. KATENA: Currently I am still working on a creative magazine, together with friends in Nuremberg. We even won a little sponsorship. It´s great fun to develop an entire CI by yourself. Question: What would be your dream job/commission? KATENA: That would be a large scale comic project. Either in the field of journalism or fictional. That would be very appealing to me. Question: Who are your illustration heroes? KATENA: Rebecca Sugar, Pendleton Ward, Dina Rodriguez, Loz (Idle Letters) and last but not least Lisa Congdon. Question: Do you keep a sketch book? Several, at the same time. Question: What are your hobbies? KATENA: Reading comics, playing video games and travelling. Question: If you were not an illustrator, what would you be? KATENA: Probably something else creative. Question: Who would you like to meet? KATENA: Marlene Dietrich! Question: If you could travel back in time, where would you go to? KATENA: I would visit myself as teenager to give myself some good advice and tell me that everything is going to be just fine. Question: What kind of music do you listen to? KATENA: Recently I have discovered Japanese City Pop. Perfect for summer! Question: What is the funniest thing you have ever done? KATENA: That´s nothing you should talk about in the internet ;). Question: If you won the lottery, would you still work as illustrator? KATENA: Yes! Illustrations, comics and some crazy art projects. Question: Do you collect anything? KATENA:Games consoles. Question: Do you have a favorite game? KATENA: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time