In Conversation With: Robin Eisenberg
Bathtub pizza sessions, purpled skinned guitar bands with 60s haircuts and space based moonlit dips into to the ocean accompanied by skeletons. L.A illustrator and designer Robin Eisenberg merges everyday occurrences with Sci-Fi imagery to create a world that feels as familiar as it does far-out with its own idiosyncrasies.
Inspired by Star Trek and the myriad of fantasy and graphic novels Robin grew up reading, largely they're depictions of female aliens looking strong, sexy, empowered and incredibly chill about the whole thing as if to say, "What's the big deal about firing an arrow into flaming battle alongside some sort of mermaid / goat hybrid, huh?"
The scenes in this alternate universe act as something aspirational for us all in someway. The aura contentment permeating from these extra-terrestrials alongside a tangible sense of mischief and fun is perhaps what we're all striving for. And as a bonus, pizza rules even more in that world than it does in this.
We caught up with Robin to talk about her ridiculously long working day and the supportive nature of the artistic community.
When did you realise you were good at illustration and design?
Drawing has always been a thing I just did all of the time, so I don’t know if I ever really thought about whether I was good at it or not! I always knew I loved doing it and that I never got sick of it. Eventually, when I started drawing for my first ever non-friend clients I was just like, “Oh rad, other people like my art too! Yay!”. I do think that it took a while for me to take myself seriously as far as realizing that I could actually make art professionally and make a living despite not having any significant formal schooling.
What was your first piece of commissioned work?
I did a lot of portraits for friends and family throughout high school! I don’t think I ever charged for those haha, but it was really fun seeing people excited by my drawings. My first significant and paid project was probably my friend Hollie Cook’s first album cover back in 2010 I think. (Still one of my fav projects!)
Which pieces of work are you most proud of?
I am always really proud of animation projects as well as physical drawing/paintings (as opposed to digital ones). They take such a long time and it’s way harder to fix mistakes! I am also really proud of my Weekend Plans drawing because I feel like it represents a starting point in my career and connected me to a lot of people.
What does an average work week consist of for you?
Sometimes I think I work too much but then I realise I’m okay with it because I really do love working/drawing and I don’t think that’s a bad trait or something I should try and diminish. I usually work/draw 12-18 hours per day. On weekends I will try to go get breakfast or see friends/family and actually leave my apartment because I do think that’s really important, too! But I really love working and don’t usually have a hard time feeling focused/motivated.
One thing that has surprised you about your industry?
It has been an awesome surprise that most artists I meet are so supportive of other artists and not at all spiteful of each other’s success. The community I’ve encountered is really amazing about lifting each other up and collaborating with one another. It’s so rad! I have met so many wonderful people in LA through art and enamel pins and it is one of my fav things about it. I’m sure that’s not everyone’s experience, but I’m glad that it’s been mine so far.
What advice have you been given on the road to where you are now that sticks out?
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your style if it’s feeling tired. Don’t undervalue yourself. Get enough sleep! Don’t work from your bed! Haha wait I don’t know if I was given this advice so much as this is advice I would now give due to making mistakes and learning, but yeah! It’s good advice I think.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this?