Donnerstag, 31. März 2011

clear and simple

séverin millet is a french illustrator focussed on magazines, books and posters. his name came to my notice via édition MeMo and his picture book les rêves de milo. i love his clear and simple style.

les rêves de milo (c) séverin millet (2011)

drôle de zèbres (c) séverin millet (2005)

 graphics of seriel vent of 29 serigraphies (c) séverin millet
 graphices of seriel figurines of 8 serigraphies (c) séverin millet (2006)

please find more of his work on his website or blog.

Freitag, 25. März 2011

small talk ::: mehrdad zaeri esfahani

a few weeks ago i have asked him for an interview. today it´s finally possible. sincere thanks to mehrdad zaeri for the "small talk" and to heide for translating it. i wish you a pleasant reading.

(c) mehrdad zaeri esfahani
my name is mehrdad zaeri esfahani and i was born in 1970 in isfahan/iran. on december, 24th in 1985, at the age of fifteen, i came to germany with my family applying for asylum here.

when i took the abitur exam at heidelberg in 1992, i decided to draw pictures for the rest of my life. i began to work as a taxi driver and to line up many expositions with my own works. in 2001 i stopped working as a taxi driver and started freelancing as an artist. since then i work together with artists and story-tellers on the stage at (dance) theatres, musicals, readings and concerts. i accompany their performance with my drawings which become generated and then projected during the event. so the audience can attend the creation of pictures.

since 2008 i work as an illustrator. a year later i founded the group knopfkino with enno kalisch (actor and story-teller) and friedwart goebels (pianist). out of the moment storys are being improvised and told with visual, musical and spoken elements (look here or here).

momentarily i work on the following projects:
  • calendar of strange commemoration days 2012: will be published by büchergilde gutenberg in may 2011
  • men's duties – a declaration of love in 19 articles: fruit of the cooperation between me, students of book sciences at the university of mainz and the publishing house büchergilde – will be out in september 2011
  • designing the cover and booklet of the CD „berggeflüster“, slow and melancholic jazz composed and performed by the trio gerdband (piano, drums, bass)
  • in may and in autumn this year i will accompany the grupo sal on their tour in germany
illustrations for the calendar of strange commemoration days 2012
i always loved working as an illustrator. during the first years i designed a lot of posters for theatre events followed by an increasing number of requests for illustrations. in 2008 i received from the publishing house büchergilde gutenberg the order to make 25 illustrations for the book das chinesische dekameron. it was my first bigger job for a book project.

das chinesische dekameron
due to the success of that book i received more requests for illustrations. i decided to (nearly) give up lining up own expositions and to use all my time working as an illustrator.

my inspiration mainly arises out of thousands of small drawings i have collected in my uncountable sketch books. i made these drawings whenever i had to wait in everyday life. for this reason i always carry a pencil and a sketch book.

when illustrating a book i always try not to be too close to the text. my drawings shall be an addition to the text. they shall also tell the story and hopefully become one with the text in the reader's mind. for example, illustrating a story about war by drawing an armor isn't exciting for me. drawing an abandoned baby carriage instead is better and it inspires the reader even more.

what i really appreciate as an illustrator is the high grade of communication and that i can reach so many people in their homes while drawing at my table at my home.

what i dislike as an illustrator is the typical situation that everyone knows who is working for a client: he already has got the pictures in his mind and wants the illustrator to draw them exactly like that. if the illustrator gives in, he's lost.

my daily routine:
  • getting up early in the morning between 6 am and 7:30 am 
  • having breakfast, working at the drawing table: pencils, paper, sketch books, computer
  • taking a walk 
  • watching a lot of films in the cinema or at home on DVD, often listening to music 
  • having my beloved wife around me during the day (as an photographer she has a similar way of life) meeting my parents, my brothers and sisters and their children 
  • listening to the radio (deutschlandfunk), no tv (otherwise I'd watch night and day arte
  • going to bed at around 11 pm 
  • no cigarettes (never before), no alcohol (never before), no other drugs, but music and „food for the eyes“

Donnerstag, 24. März 2011

wish i would be in bologna

i wish i would be in bologna on 28th-31st march 2011. why? because the most important international event dedicated to the children’s publishing takes place at this time: the bologna children’s book fair.

the  highlight for me is the illustrators exhibition, which presents 76 illustrators from 17 countries. this year´s guest of honour is lithuania, a country with great and solid tradition in the field of illustration.

lithuania has organised the exhibit illustrarium, which traces the history of lithuanian illustration by presenting works by its most famous artists, e.g. sigutė chlebinskaité, irena daukšaitė-guobienė, stasys eidrigevičius lidija glinskienė or deimantė rybakovienė.

sigutė chlebinskaité:
illustration from the book “what’s happening in the yard“, 2003
irena daukšaitė-guobienė: illustration from the book “the gods and goddesses of old lithuania“, 2009
stasys eidrigevičius: illustration from the book “tales of fairies“, 2008
lidija glinskienė: an illustration to aleksas baltrūnas book "katė ir balandis" (the cat and the pigeon), 1967

deimantė rybakovienė: illustration from the book “lithuanian fables“, 2010

Montag, 21. März 2011

julia´s characters

do you know julia pott? if not, it is time! i came across her illustrations during one of my researches and succumb to her magic to this day. not only her fine, detailed drawings captivate me, but also her characters. due to herself julia likes to work mainly with mildly ridiculous anthropomorphic animals and their awkward relationships. she uses them as a way of working out her own experiences with loved ones and enemies.
all pictures (c) julia pott

Dienstag, 15. März 2011

brehm's animal country

© Simon Schwinge
today i would like to introduce a new illustrated book by dorothea huber (illustration) and kai splittgerber (author): brehms tierland (engl. brehm´s animal country), a satirical adventure story by kai full of "amazingly imaginative illustrations" by dorothea throughout 240 pages.

(c) büchergilde gutenberg
what is the book about? "the brilliant zoologist edmund alfred brehm, captain pamphile and a quirky team travel to a mysterious island animal country. there brehm does not only meet incredible animals, but also his great love mathilde, the wild animal country woman. but a vicious enemy of the animal researchers seeks his life." (blurb)

due to dorothea it was kai who had the idea for the book inspired by a visit at a natural history museum and brehm´s wildlife three years ago. at that time dorothea and kai didn´t know each other. "we have met for the first time at the book fair in leipzig and shortly thereafter we have started to work."

(c) büchergilde gutenberg
at the beginning of their joint work they still had no clear vision of the book. "the idea of ​​combining an expedition report on a trip to a fantastic animal world with anadventure story for instance just developed little by little ", dorothea is reporting. The idea has opened up great new possibilities for them. "From now on we could allude to classic research and exploration reports, adventure novels such as treasure island, robinson crusoe or dumas´ three musketeers and captain pamphile, and we could refer to postmodern motifs of comic books, hollywood movies and animes."

(c) büchergilde gutenberg
dorothea´s first design approaches were like an artist book, and they tried to preserve it by linking picture and text so that they enter a dialogue complement and comment each other. thus the book is not a classic illustrated novel but a kind of postmodern picture novel.

therefore the kind of collaboration was obviously a critical success factor. dorothea and kai neither haven´t established a workflow nor striktly seperated their working fields - here literature, there illustration. in fact they have worked very interactive: "we have always made proposals for both text and image, and criticized the work of other mutual", dorothea enthusiastic tells.

(c) büchergilde gutenberg
so the collaboration on the book was very inspiring and intensive: "we have met quite often and came up with animals and worked on the conception of history", she is telling, "either kai has written a text for an animal and then i have designed it or the other way round." the result of that interactive and intensive working process is an awesome illustrated book and a must-have for my bookcase. i have already ordered it.

thank your very much to dorothea for telling me about the background and making of the book.

please find further impressions and readings here or here.

Montag, 14. März 2011

Samstag, 12. März 2011

follow the line

follow the line is a series of books by laura ljungkvist, an illustrator born in sweden and living in new york. the series includes  follow the line (2006), follow the line through the house (2007) and follow the line around the world (2008). the first one is part of our "private exhibition". but please have a look at the other awesome books and products of laura ljungkvist.
our "private exhibition": follow the line is on the lower shelf in the middle of the books


book of patterns
illustration division. art department

Donnerstag, 10. März 2011

the allure of water colours

anouck boisrobert is a young illustrator living in paris. i have come across her via popville, a pop-up book by anouck and louis rigaud. i haven´t known before that i love water colour that much.
tom et les sardines

loulitu? (diploma project / book)

loulitu? (diploma project / book)

loulitu? (diploma project / book)

vieille godasse (book)


bonne anné