Urban Sketches

Interview with Anja Nolte

Anja Nolte, who spent her childhood near Bavaria’s Rott and Isar Rivers, is a freelance artist and illustrator. Nolte spent two years sketching her way around Munich’s way of life, arts, culture, landmarks and nightlife – right up to celebrated Munich residents from past and present.

Motel One Munich-Messe now gives you a chance to enjoy the quickest sightseeing tour of the Bavarian metropolis as revealed by Anja Nolte’s illustrations. A journey through Munich of the very special kind.

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10 Questions for... Anja Nolte

How did you end up working with Motel One?
One day I received an email from Vienna: an art scout from Motel One had stumbled upon my book about Munich. That was exciting and the beginning of a long creative journey, something I could never have imagined at the time.

What was the task you were set by Motel One? And what did you deliver?
The idea was to bring the city of Munich into the hotel. The idea was that the guests of this Motel One – many of whom are trade fair visitors who barely find the time for a stroll through the city – should still be able to get an impression of Munich. Basically, the fastest, most artistic sightseeing tour of Munich with added humour.

What was the creative process like?
In the beginning, I was spoilt for choice and asked myself questions like what should I include, what could be included and what do I absolutely want to illustrate. I spent two years drawing my way around Munich,  exploring all facets of the city. Creating wall installations for Motel One from over 200 drawings collected in the travel guide that I had created previously was a completely different, but no less challenging, creative process resulting in artworks in the most diverse drawing styles, colours  and sizes, and also divided into themes. Having to weave all that into balanced and inspiring compositions really got my brain working in overdrive.

Your favourite Munich motif is...?
The Olympic Stadium – a real design  sensation! And the Oktoberfest – a melting pot, a reflection of society, Munich tradition and modernity – where everything comes together for the ultimate celebration of  life and beer!


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What was your happiest moment during the creation process?
Definitely when I entered the Motel One lobby for the first time and came face to face with my Fairy Tale King and all the other pieces. It moved me to tears and represents all the work, passion, creative battles and  experiences that went in to it.

And what was the most difficult moment?
When it came to the composition of the reception, I just couldn’t get it right. For four days every morning I approached it with new confidence telling myself that it would work out that day. But I would go to bed in the evening feeling all dejected, still not having managed it. That was bad, I’d never had that before. 

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Can you briefly explain your technique?
It’s never the same. Always different, breaking rules, being open to new things. And I use all kinds of drawing techniques and materials, everything from pencil to nail varnish and all types of paper from serviettes to expensive watercolour paper.

How do people react to your art?
With joy and enthusiasm – it’s always a lovely experience for me!

Do you have any role models?
Yes. Matthew Barney, Nobuyoshi Araki, Louise Bourgeois, Francis Bacon and Neo Rauch.

What do you dream of?
A whole year without any pressure, to experiment and just work on anything I want. Combining painting with virtual reality. Or a trip around the world. But either way, my dream is always to explore new horizons!

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Book Motel One Munich-Messe