Duration: I decided to become an illustrator in early 2007 and had my first-ever published illustration in June of the same year. It was a spot for The New Yorker. Please do not ask how things like that happen. I am a lucky child sometimes.
Staff: I work alone.
Education: I studied industrial design in Germany and Finland and graduated in 2006. But then I discovered that I am much more interested in illustration. I am happy with my decision and grateful that I can make a living from a job I enjoy.
Cultural Influences: I was born in East Germany and got to know the well illustrated East German and Czech children's books; illustrators like Werner Klemke, Dobroslav Foll and Eberhard Binder are a few who come to mind. It's interesting how they managed to create such abundance in style and shape with very limited means, a few colors and sometimes very rough paper.
Environment: I live in Finland for most of the year. The somewhat bland atmosphere and the long winters keep me focused on what I want. This year, I spent the summer in Berlin. It is something I could also get used to. Maybe I will go back next summer.
Philosophy: Qualität kommt von Qual, which translates to quality comes from torment—a journalist's philosophy. I am not totally serious about that, but I think you have to be very generous with what you put in to get something good out.