Behind the scenes with: Rebecca

Posted on by Anika

Categories: blog and interviews

They are everywhere. Just glance to the right, at the bottom or click on any other page: The wonderful, cute drawings that made my day for the last four months.

Today I want to show you, who’s behind that. Who made RGSoC look so amazing and could draw anything that we wished for. We are so happy she’s here, please meet: Rebecca Conrad!

photo: Anika Lindtner

Some weeks ago we met at the Travis CI office and - some days now it’s hard to believe - it was really warm outside. We chatted and I asked her some questions to get to know the woman with the most amazing tattoos and the one who can draw like I always dreamed of. After doing a lot of funny friday-hug-pics, we settled down on the couch and started talking.

How did you do these scribbles for RGSoC? At the computer?

I actually start by plain drawing old fashion in my sketch books. Then I scan it and work on it at the computer a bit.

So, when did you actually start drawing?

When I was a kid and I went with my class to the “Deutsches Technikmuseum”, we had to draw the machines we saw there. I was the only one who had fun doing that - that’s when I first realized, that I had a passion for drawing.

But actually half of my family is creative, my grandpa was an author and stage actor at the “Berliner Ensemble”, grandma would do poster designs and my uncle is a painter, so no surprises there ;)

Later I studied graphic design at the BTK where I also learned everything from comic to aquarell. When I started to understand the different techniques and possibilities I knew that drawing and illustrating will probably be something I want to do for the rest of my life.

Did you always draw for yourself or did you share it?

Well, I always drew for myself in my free time. A lot of the stuff dusted away in my drawers because it used to cost me (and still sometimes does) a bit of effort to share my work with others. But after 5-6 years of drawing regularly, getting feedback from other students, teachers and friends, I grew more confident and eventually created a website.

Which kind of has a weird name, right?

Yeah (laughs) - I wanted to combine creative ejaculations (or “Künsterliche Ergüsse”) with escaping since drawing, painting, crafting is always a bit like a getaway for me. You spend hours concentrating on pen and paper, just letting the ideas pour out and forget about time and the world around (and the pizza in the oven). It´s a bit like mediation, or programming? So I just merged those 2 things together and this is how it came to the name for my website. Perhaps it´s weird, I guess, but I like weird. The downside is that I get lots of corny spam mails.

What do you like to draw best?

Usually something that doesn´t require a masterplan. Spontanious scribbles. I like those abstract telephone call sketches a lot. I really have troubles keeping any sheet of paper blank.

But my favorite are these animals, I draw lately.

I also like crafting things, things you do with your hands: Pyrography, pottery and old fashion techniques like lino cut. I like to experiment a lot and always have phases I go through, so my favorites always change.

Sounds really fun! You also experiment with programming, right?

In one of my former jobs, I sat in a room with two programmers, and I got more and more curious what mysterious number thing they were talking about so I went to find out. I attended a JS course from Open Tech School and was intreagued. I wanted to start solving this mysterious world of code. Then I read about Rails Girls Berlin and from there on everything took it’s way.

Now I’m meeting up with the ruby monsters (the first study group that formed out of Rails Girls Berlin) at the Travis CI to program every week, but you can’t leave it at that. You have to do that at home too and learn regularly, repeat and repeat to feed the progress bar. It´s not always easy to stay focused and motivated. Have to admit I get lazy sometimes and level down. But I am super grateful for this study group and the experiences. Also watchig the whole railsgirl´s movement develope is exciting. I am happy to play a little part in it. :)

Did you have any goals when learning programming?

At first I did it because it was fun, to do something that had nothing to do with drawing. But I found also similarities. programming is also creative, meditative and abstract, so it’s actually not THAT far away. ;)

I have this idea of a little app and it would be great to build it on my own eventually.

What kind of app?

Just a tiny thing, some sort of trend indicator for your feelings. You would be able to push three emoticons buttons to document your every day mood. Then have some kind of data visualization for it so you can easily see your ups and downs over the year. Or maybe a fart app and you could record your own sounds. ;)

Are you going to continue coding?

Yes. I want to keep on learning Rails but I am also becoming very interested in really learning frontend. I used to work at a place where we had a clear seperation between designer, frontend/backend developer. But things have changed and you need to know about coding in a lot of jobs already. I think it´s about time to become seriously familiar with javascript, HTML and CSS. So lot´s to learn!

Rebecca Conrad

Born and raised in Berlin. Grew up at Tempelhofer Ufer 32, in the apartment german singer Rio Reiser was living a few years before with his band “Ton Steine Scherben” (OMG!). Worked 4 years as a graphic designer for, a website for cartoons and illustrations. Then switched to Europe to work as a production designer. Currently looking for new opportunities. \o/