Location: Lustenau, Austria.
Duration: Although I feel like a spring chicken, I’m 52 years old. I suppose that’s not what you call “fresh,” but as an illustrator I’m quite young. I received my first paid commission in 2010. Before then, I worked many years as a graphic designer for ad agencies and was quite busy raising twin girls.
Influences: I was born in the sixties, in a small Austrian village. I still hear the ringing of cowbells, school bells, Catholic church bells.
Artistic Influences: Even as a child, I was fascinated by the paintings and drawings of Hans Holbein der Jüngere [Hans Holbein the Younger]. In my teenage years, I loved Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt and the Viennese Jugendstil [art nouveau] in general. Artists I’m inspired by now include Frida Kahlo, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Vilhelm Hammershøi, Edward Hopper and Norbert Schwontkowski.
First big break: Being self-taught, I had no idea how to start my illustration career. No experience, no references, nobody to ask—just a ridiculous website. Looking back, I was very naïve and cheeky: I sent some personal work to Der Spiegel cover art director Stefan Kiefer and, unbelievably, landed a commission!
Work environment: My kitchen table.
Technique: Pencils, acrylics, ink.
Philosophy: Persistence pays.