Seasons Greetings with the Penguin Greeting Card

2011 is almost over. My gosh, that one went by so quick, I am still working on last bits and then I am off on my Christmas Holiday.
I am very happy with all the opportunities and projects I was able to work on. Last year about the same time I was still hoping and dreaming of being an illustrator, now, a year later, I can claim to be a published illustrator and soon author. What more can you ask for!?! I hope that 2012 will hold as just as many wonderful projects for me and I want to say thank you to all my wonderful clients, it's been lovely working with you!
I wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous New Year! And hold on to your dreams! 2012 might just be the year to make them come true :-)!

See you all next year!!!!!!!

Bear - Greeting Card

Unbelievable but it's only a week until Christmas. I am still in the midst of a picture book commission and preparations for our own family Christmas activities.
The card below is also the illustration I am using this year to send out to clients and potential clients. It is a watercolor illustration with a bit of digital touch up. For instance the sky and foreground were put together using Photoshop, although both were created traditionally. I also used a bit of collage in this one with the presents.

Well, I hope there is a cuddly bear close to you making sure all your presents arrive in time! This one is in a real hurry but having lots of fun in the snowy mountains.

Stork and Robins - Greeting Cards and more

I've just returned from London where I attended the Christmas Party of my agency and met all of the lovely Bright team aswell as some of the wonderful illustrators they represent such as Daniela Dogliani and Benji Davies and many many more (shame one of them doesn't have a blog, I would have liked to share a link! You know who you are ;-)). It was really nice to actually get to meet the people behind the art.
I also met Sandra Dieckmann for a cup of coffee and hot chocolate which was extremely nice, as I've kind of known her via twitter and blogger for I think almost a year now. She is such a lovely person and in case you don't know her, I highly recommend visiting her blog as she truly is an illustrator extraordinaire!

I promised you I'd be posting some more of my greeting cards artwork, so here you go. And as mentioned before they all differ a little in style. The ones below are mixed media with traditional ink and digital colouring. I really like the kind of clean and delicate look it gives the illustrations. And in case you wonder what a stork has to do with Christmas, not much really, I am afraid. But I thought it kind of funny to let a stork bring the birds presents for Christmas because they surely would have no clue what to do with a human baby ;-).  Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Mouse and Squirrel - Christmas Greeting Cards

I thought it'd be nice to post some Christmas themed greeting card illustrations I recently did for my agency. For the following seasonal weekends, I'll be posting those cards for you and hope they add to your festive mood. They surely do so for me, but I love Christmas anyway.
When joining the my new agency I told them, that I also wanted to do some licensed art, and as they have a whole "unit" just dealing with this, I got a brief and then was very free to take my chance. After some thinking about which characters to go for, I ended up with the idea of a mouse and a squirrel. I wanted them to be cute and set in a white wintery scenery with some birds and snow to add more movement.
The illustrations are digital but I have some traditional and mixed media ones up my sleeve. So stay tuned and I hope you enjoy!

A new Promocard

It is about time I send out some promo mailers. Due to my workload and family life I haven't done one since my first mailer, which was successful and landed me a few commissions. But since sending the first cards a lot has happened also to my art. Nearly a year ago, when I started going after my illustration dream, I only had one style to offer my potential clients - my digital artwork. Now I also offer watercolour and ink with mixed media. Both styles already have been used in books published or to be released next shhhh ;-).
I also have an agency representing me now and helping me to get commissions. My Agency advised me to broaden my portfolio in order to get more commissions, which is the reason for my new black & white illustration below. I will have to do a few more pieces to be marketable in that area, but I enjoy it very much and think it is a nice addition to my other styles. The mock-up cover illustration also is part of portfolio work and will go into my next promo mailer (but with different text), along with some other pieces I will show you soon. So these two illustrations will be featured on one card for my next promo mailer, with the full colour illustration for the front and the b&w for the back of the card along with my contact details. I will reveal a little more about what will go into my next promo mailer as soon as the cards arrive from the printers :-)!

Etsy Shop Opening - Illustration for Print Poll & Giveaway

I wanted to do this for quite a while now, but never found the time to open my own Etsy shop. Today, however, I just did it! For now there are four original watercolor illustrations listed and two sets of cards. One being a collection of four cards of my illustrations and the a other a set of 5 Christmas greeting cards with a German text inside.
I hope to create more art and items soon to fill my shop with lots of goodies. In order to make items you would want to buy, I decided to do a kind of poll and ask you which of my illustration you would love to buy as a print. So please have a look around and leave a comment below to help me sort this. The illustration named the most will be made into a high quality art print and I will give away one signed print to one person chosen randomly, who commented either here or on facebook. So what would be your choice?

Winner Announcement of the "Wee Granny's Magic Bag" - Giveaway

Time again to announce another winner of another giveaway. The winner of the "Wee Granny's Magic Bag" giveaway is .... Michaela Heimlich!
I will get in touch with you right away Michaela, so I can ship your little parcel as soon as possible. Thanks to everyone else who participated! Unfortunately the next giveaway will probably have to wait til my next book is released in January 2012. Currently I am doing roughs for a new book and working away on some Christmas Cards. I will tell you more about it, as soon as I can reveal bits and pieces of it.

A little bit about "Schlafplatz gesucht!" over on SSP

The lovely people from Sunshine Smile Publications made a wonderful announcement for my soon to be released book "Schlafplatz gesucht!" (published by Bohem Press). Stop by their site to read and enjoy it!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway of a signed copy of "Wee Granny's Magic Bag" ending 1st November 2011!!

"Wee Granny's Magic Bag" - Giveaway

In all the fuzz about the Frankfurt Book Fair I nearly forgot announcing a new giveaway. This time it is a signed copy of "Wee Granny's Magic Bag" along with some postcards you are able to win, if you are lucky ;-)!
To win this giveaway you can either leave a comment on this blog post or like my facebook page! Doing both will of course double your chances! The winner will be randomly chosen and announced on the 1st of November 2011.

"Wee Granny's Magic Bag" is a lovely story written by Elizabeth McKay. It tells a story about Emily and Harry and their Granny. Granny's bag is magic and contains the most astonishing things like a red old-fashioned telephone box.
I illustrated this book traditionally in watercolour and ink. I already posted about how I got commissioned with this book earlier here on the blog. In the process of making the illustrations I completely forgot to take process pictures, so sorry for having not much to share on this end. I did manage to get this done for a book I recently finished, so there will be more insightful posts on how I create my art soon.

Another wonderful thing arrived the other day... my copy of the "They Draw & Cook" book. My "Monsters favourite Pumkin Soup" illustration is in it among great art from wonderful artists such as Silvia Sponza, Jannie Ho and many many others. It's a fantastic book and I will try to cook all the recipes in there. One of my favourite recipes from the book is Jennifer A. Bells Vegetarian Meatballs but honestly all of them are amazing and it is an honour to be part of this great book! (note: This book will not be included in the giveaway!)

Jennifer A. Bells illustrated recipe

My own illustration among 107 other artits

So good luck with the giveaway of "Wee Granny's Magic Bag" everyone!

Back from the Frankfurt Book Fair 2011

The Frankfurt Book Fair was busy as every year but this time around, it was my second time attending the fair, I felt not as overwhelmed and swamped by all the impressions. It was exhausting though nonetheless and in the midst of all the busy running around and meeting people I nearly forgot to take pictures, so I don't have as many as I wished I had to share with you.

Apart from meeting the editors I worked with during this year, I also met some new ones and even took the chance of showing my portfolio in open hours some of the publishers held. It was all worth it as I landed a new book deal for next year and some other projects are in the making but it's just too early to talk about that now. I can only recommend taking the time and waiting in the cue to talk to the editors. Even if they feel your art might not fit the profile of their publishing house, they give you great feedback and somtimes hints who might just be your client. It is also a good way to make a nice and professional impression. Some of them even recognized my logo, so they got a face to the work they had already seen somewhere.

This year I even found the time to stop by the illustrators café and I saw my illustration up on the wall in the illustrators exhibition held this year for the very first time.

But the most amazing thing to happen at this Frankfurt Book Fair was getting my advance copy of the book I wrote, illustrated and even designed "Schlafplatz gesucht!". The print turned out so lovely and I am very pleased with the result. I don't know how many times I had to walk past the stand of my publisher and peek at "my book". It will be released in January 2012 by Bohem Press but the copies arrived just in time for the fair so my publisher had the chance to already present it there. Wooohoo, so exciting!

Getting Dressed Winner Announcement

Thanks to everyone who participated in my giveaway here on my blog and over on facebook! The winner has been chosen randomly and it is......... Sandra Dieckmann! I will be in touch with you Sandra about your mail address.

There will be another giveaway here very very soon, so don`t be too dissappointed!

Book Giveaway Getting Dressed

In order to celebrate the release of Getting Dressed I thought a giveaway would be nice. I've already told you about the little educational book I illustrated for Harper Collins and in order not to repeat myself thought I share some sort of work in progress with you.

Apart from the initial sketches done with pencil this is an all digitally illustrated book. As I have no real progress pictures of how I paint it to share with you, I thought it might be nice to show some sketches and let you see the way some illustrations of the book changed in the course of creating it.
For instance the illustration when the girl is dressed and jumps outside in the rain had do be revised. The editors wanted to show her more from the front and to have a connection to the house she just came out of. So I redid the sketch and voilá! I think it is much better and connects far better to the previous illustrations in the book.

Another illustration I had to revise was the cover. Although the editors loved the energy in the first rough they felt it needed more background and she wasn't supposed to wear things the wrong way. I did another one, but in the meantime had started illustrating the first pages of the book, as the deadline was pretty tight. The editors loved the illustration of her room so much they wanted to have it for the cover aswell. Also the girl shouldn't have put on too many clothes. So the final cover ended up being her room with the girl dancing in her tights and vest.

Back to the giveaway. In order to win a copy you can either leave a comment here and follow my blog or like my facebook page. If you do both you double your chances of winning ;-). If you would like to by your own copy, you can get it right here! Please do not forget to leave an email adress, so I can get in touch in case you win! The winner will be announced 5th October 2011.

Illustration for the Frankfurt Book Fair Illustrators Exhibition 2011 (if "boundaries)

As promised earlier today here comes the illustration I did for the exhibition at the Frankfurt Book Fair this October. I heard about the exhibition quite last minute and as all artwork has to be handed in 15th September I used the weekend to get it done.
The exhibition is organized by the illustration foundation and is held during the whole time of the fair at the "Illustrators Corner" in hall 4.0. All the illustrations showcased will be for sale and half of the money will go to the illustration foundation. It is the first exhibition of that sort at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
The theme of the exhibition is "childhood" and the organizers gave around 60 or something quotes and aphorism to go with the theme one could create an illustration to.
I chose a Marcel Proust quote stating (sorry for my lack of giving a proper translation): "Maybe the days lived most intense of all days of our childhood, are the ones we thought we wasted: the ones we spend reading our favourite book".
As I am a great fan of books this had to be my quote. I also had the idea for the girl reading secretly at night under her blanket straight away. She obviously enjoys her book very much and so do her companions. It is again a watercolour painting which I enjoyed doing a lot after just finishing my book, which was illustrated all digital (I will tell you more about this when it is released early next year).

HarperCollins "Getting Dressed" - New Book Released

I have some new work to share with you all. The book I illustrated earlier this year for HarperCollins educational series Big Cat "Getting Dressed" has been released.
It is a small book that shows children how to dress according to the changing wheather outside.
I illustrated this book in my digital style. As the deadline was pretty tight I only had three weeks to do all of the final illustrations. I really had to work out a schedule in order to meet the deadline and also deliver high quality artwork. I met the deadline and the client was very happy with the results. So all good in the end!

I had lots of artistc freedom with this project, which I enjoyed very much. The brief was very open and they sort of handed the manuscript to me telling me to just leap ahead. The character I designed for the book was approved straight away. I had to revise some of my roughs, mostly because another background was wanted in one of the illustrations and they wanted to have a few more frontal views of the girl.
The colour scheme is rather girlish especially in her room, which I don't do so much but had lots of fun playing around with. So here are some illustrations from the book, I hope you enjoy it!

Advance Copy of "Wee Granny's Magic Bag" arrived

It's been a bit quiet around here lately, as I am ploughing away on two new picture books. As always, I can not share with you what I am currently working on but yesterday I received my advance copy of "Wee Granny's Magic Bag" and I want to share some pictures of it with you. It is such a rewarding feeling to finally hold a copy of the book you've been working on in your very own hands.

These are some of my favourite spreads. I will do a give away as soon as the rest of my copies arrive which will be sometime September! I hope you enjoy!

Featured Illustrator on That's My Folio

I am currently the featured illustrator over on the new portfolio site That's My Folio. I did a little post on their blog telling a bit about my work process. So if you are interested just stop by their blog.

First Impressions of That's My Folio

There is a brand new portfolio site around called That's My Folio. Some of you might have already heard of it but for those who havent't, I'd like to give you my first impressions of it.

The first thing that really speaks for it is the more than reasonable price ($125/$145 per year) and the option for a monthly payment. But the thing that really got my eye is the dimension your work is shown in. A lot of the other sites only allow really small images, which is ok. But if you want people to see more detail of your work, it surely is helpful if your images show up a little bigger than that.
The second thing I really love about this site is the overall design. I think it is subtle and very nicely done not distracting from the illustrations it's supposed to focus on. It looks like a little book with a nice gallery of thumbnails to navigate through your work. You can also link to your other social media accounts and LinkedIn, aswell as to your Website, which I think is really important.
I uploaded some brand new work to my protfolio on That's My Folio, so if you are curious and want to see it a little bigger than down bellow make sure to drop by!

Beach Holiday with a Cat (IF "remedy")

The remedy against the heat
seemed to be a bath in the open sea.
Little Kitty couldn't  quite agree.
It just was so very wet and fidgety!

Not the best rhyme, I know. This is another new portfolio watercolour piece. I got myself some new colours and will take more care of my colour scheme from now on when working in watercolours. This is something that is more easy when working digitally but I think it is important to take care of the colours as the illustrations just get a more clear "design". I only used seven colours in this illustration and I really like the outcome.

Picture Kelpies Catalogue

The other day I received mail from my publisher Picture Kelpies, an imprint of Floris Books, with their brand new catalogue containing all their new books. And of course "Wee Granny's Magic Bag", the book I illustrated for them, was in there too. It is such a rewarding feeling to see these few bits of the book printed. Somehow it makes it seem more real to hold some kind of proof in your very own hands. I will have to keep it for memory, I guess.
A wonderful weekend to you all!

Interview on "THE ARTFULS"

I've recntly been interviewd by Tony, the person behind "The Artfuls". The Artfuls is a site packed with lots of talented illustrators from various fields. My interview is now up. I hope you enjoy it!

Jumping Around

These two little fellows just launched a new game - blossom hopping. It is obviously simply fun, only thing is, you have to be extremely tiny to be able to play it, otherwise it isn't funny at all.

I did this watercolour illustration for Gallery Nucleus and their charity project "Power In Numbers". It is available on their site for little money and part of it will go to Unicef. This is kind of a launch for me too, as this is the very first piece I am selling through a gallery.

"Wee Granny's Magic Bag" - Picture Book Commission

Beside "Getting Dressed" I illustrated another picture book recently for Picture Kelpies an imprint of Floris Books titled "Wee Granny's Magic Bag". The story is written by Elizabeth McKay and is really cute and entertaining. The book will be released 22nd September 2011, so it is again only the cover and the sample I can show you.

I do have a little story for you though about this very project. You surely remember my participation in the Sketchbook Project 2010. Well, this very project helped me land this commission. Amazing, I know!
I met with the editor at the Bologna Book Fair for lunch. It was so nice to meet her in person and give the name a face.
As we sat there in the itailan sunshine she told me that she had received my promomailer and as she liked the illustrations she went to my website, to have a look at what else I had to offer, as they were not interested in digitally created art. At the time I sent my first mailers out I only had a digital portfolio but also had a sketchbook section. When looking at my sketchbook pages she thought I might just be the right illustrator for the book. She asked me to do a sample illustration of a certain part of the story.
I did the sample and got the job!
I never would have thought that my sketchbook could land me a job, but it sure did.
It was a wonderful project and I will tell you and show you a little more about it, as soon as possible!
Until then I hope you enjoy the two pieces I can already share with you!

Land of Big, Land of Small ("asleep" IF)

Seeing the prompt for this week I couldn't help but post this illustration to go with it. It is not exactly new, but I haven't shown it on this blog yet, so I guess it is ok and might even be new to some of you.

"Land Of Big, Land of Small" is a book project I am collaborating on with my friend Jennifer Poulter. It is one of my side projects, which I've been working on for quite a while now.
This illustration is one of the first spreads I had finished for this project. I hope to have some more spare time in the coming weeks to finally complete it.

"Getting Dressed" - Picture Book Commission

Sorry about the lack of posts recently. Finally I can share a little bit of the work I've recently been commissioned with by HarperCollins Big Cat for their Collins Educational series. I am very excited about this, as you might guess, as this is the very first picture book of me that will be out there!
"Getting Dressed"  will be published in September 2011. So for now it is only the cover I can show you, but I think it gives a nice hint of what to expect in the book. And once it is in the stores I will certainly share some more illustrations of "Getting Dressed" with you.

They Draw & Cook - The Book

It is time to finally announce the book of  "They Draw & Cook" is available for pre-order with a really nice discount on Amazon. You will find my illustration "Monsters Favourite Pumpkin Soup" along with 106 other illustrated recipies in it. So please help spread the word and also don't forget to treat yourself!

Nate and Sally also put together a little video. So you can have a little peak at all the wonderful art that will come to you with this book!

They Draw and Cook: 107 Recipes Illustrated by Artists from Around the World

"If I Was You" submission

I recently  participated in an illutration project organized and run by Sandra Dieckmann, a London based illustrator doing wonderful art herself. The great idea of her project "IF I WAS YOU" is, that every artist gets to draw an illustration that is somehow connected to his/her predecessor. Mine was Murray Somerville and I drew something that was connected to what he told in the three questions every artist has to answer. You also have to give a statement 'If I was....".
All the artists up on the project site are a very fun mix and sure worth checking out. So here is my illustration but in order to see what I would do if I was Murray you have to stop by the IF I WAS YOU -site. I cannot give everything away here, right?

Wish you all a Happy Easter!
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