Exhibition in Hattingen

The day of the exhibition has come and I’m feeling nervous like hell!

The night before Nadine and I did a short practice and run through our show, and I framed the last prints, sorted the postcards and did the last chores on the list. My workshop looked robbed and ransacked.

The day before that I went to Hattingen with the whole exhibition stuffed in my car and put the prints on the walls and piled the small ones o a tower. With a lot of help from Ulis family and neighbours we managed to hangall prints in time and I went home, exhausted but happy about the outcome of our work.

Now I was just nervous! It was not my first exhibition of course, but I had no idea who will show up, or if anybody would show up at all. And I’ve never played the Ukulele in front of an audience.

Half an hour before the opening, Nadine and I went up a hill to a lovely vista point to go once more through the songs. It went well, and I suddenly felt quite confident. When we arrived back at the gallery there were around 80 people already and the owners of the gallery had already started their speeches. And then they were let in. I heard some “wow” and “ooh”, and my mood rose constantly. All went well, had nice chats and at about half past eight we decided to start the musical act. “free” was our first song and was meant to gather the people around and make them shut up. The first part worked perfectly, the second didn’t. And the nervousness was back.

Also we weren’t clever enough to set up a monitor box, so there was no chance for us to hear ourselves singing or playing. At one point I tried to play the Ukulele a bit louder, because I was afraid that nobody would hear and my fingers grabbed the strings quite strongly. My nervousness had changed to fatalism. I guess the sound wasn’t that great, but everyone told us it was good. Such nice people;)

We had a big gyros pita afterwards and I kept on chatting with different people who had come to see the exhibition. It was a lovely night, and I roughly estimated 200 visitors. So for me, it felt like a total success.

Solo Exhibition Preview

Friday 14th of September: Vernissage and opening of the new Gallery “Kleine Affäre” in Blankenstein, Hattingen.

A couple of weeks ago I got a call from Uli Wilkes, whom I worked for a couple of years ago and who also placed some of my woodprints in a TV production, telling me about his plans to  rent a small shop right across his house in the historic center of Blankenstein. He had been a couple of times at exhibitions in our “Gallery Revolver” back then, and had some questions about running a gallery. One day after our talk he called again to tell me, that he is going for it, and asked if I could do the first show there. What a question? Of course!

In just a couple of weeks he (and his handy neighbours) managed to fully renovate the shop, including refurbishing the art-deco windows. And set up a website. And plan the following exhibitions…

For my exhibition I’m planning to set up a new tower of prints, but a bit higher than the one before. Also I have plenty of walls to show a lot of large prints, and probably some surfboards too.
I asked Nadine Beneke if she would be willing to join in that evening, and she happily agreed! I’m so happy that she will be singing some of her own songs, and perhaps some cover songs related to my prints.

Even though I have printed quite some prints in the last year, I wanted to do some new ones specially for this exhibition. Further down there’s a preview of what’s to come. All unfinished, mostly after printing the second colour.


Update: over the weekend I printed the last color and started to build new frames. For this show I will need around 30 additional frames, and with parts of other projects standing around it got quite “cozy” in my workshop…


Here are the facts:

14th September 2018
19:00 h

Kleine Affäre
Marktplatz 19
45227 Hattingen












Lou – a BAD story

I was asked by Zone in Bristol to do an animated film about a delicate topic: Bile Acid Diarrhoea!

The film tells the story of Lou, who tries to live her life but is constantly held back by her condition. But when Lou is diagnosed with Bile Acid Diarrhoea (also known as Bile Acid Malabsorption), she gains the power and knowledge to cut the chain of her condition and increase the quality of her life.

Fiona Allens voice was a perfect choice to deal with this sensible topic, delivered with a good sense of humour. The illustration are all vector based, as is the animation. Structures, brushes and effects were added late in the animation process.


Agency: Zone
Creative Director: Matthew Pink
Client: GE Healthcare



Becher leer – Teller voll

Animationsfilm für die Becherpfand-Spendenaktion von “Children for a better world e.V.”

Zusammen mit Saint Elmo’s aus München, die die Idee und den wunderbaren Rülpssong geliefert haben, habe ich in wenigen Tagen einen kleinen illustrierten Animationsfilm erstellt.

Der Film wird rund um die WM 2018 und auch danach als Spendenaufruf bei public-viewings und lokalen Fussballspielen eingesetzt.

Animationstechnisch war es eine ordentliche Herausforderung einen geeigneten Head-rig zu basteln, der es ermöglichte den Kopf sowohl zur Seite zu drehen, wobei sich hier der Mund auch komplett öffnen lassen musste, und in der Seitenansicht somit “ausgeschnitten” ist (damit das Getränk hineingekippt werden kann) als auch den Kopf ganz in den Nacken zu legen, damit wir bis unter die Nase schauen können und sich der Mund (jetzt in der Frontalansicht) vollständig zu einem Rülpser öffnen kann. Ganz schön knifflig, aber mit dem großartigen Script “Joysticks ‘n Sliders” von Mike Overbeck hat es funktioniert. Für alle, die in After Effects animieren, kann ich dieses Plugin nur wärmstens empfehlen, ist in jedem Falle sein Geld wert und bietet tausend Anwendungsmöglichkeiten.




Client: Children for a better world e. V.

Agency: Saint Elmo’s, Munich
Art Direction: Arwed Berendts

Sounddesign: Space Enterprises, Munich


Printing for Illu 18

Illu 18 is coming, and I have just a few days left!

Illu 18 is a biennial group exhibition in Cologne, Germany. This year again, it will be hold in “Michael Horbach Stiftung“, lovely spacious and renovated former industrial halls. In the recent years I was happy to be selected, and it was always great fun to meet and exhibit with my colleagues from the region.
This year I was selected by the jury again and the organizers gave me the most prominent place, right across the entrance. So I really had to produce some new stuff…

Oh, my wife Dasha got selected too! And they gave her the spot right next to mine, so we share a corner.
I aimed for printing five new plates, four of them being single motifs and one plate with eight small illustration. It took me nearly three weeks of cutting, printing and watching paint drying, but I managed to finalize and frame them all – two days before setting up the exhibition…

I wanted to show some big prints, the two newest wooden surfboards and as many small prints as possible. So I decided, I needed to build a base for stacking the small prints to a tower. As I always wanted to include the printing plates in one of my exhibitions, that was a good opportunity to use them for the walls of the base.
I also needed some sideboard to present my catalogue, portfolios and my brand new “dinosaur – friendship – book”, so I sketched it and did an simple build out of leftover beechwood.

Tomorrow the setting up of the exhibition starts, still a lot left to do, but I’m really looking forward to see the other illustrators again. And probably couple of new faces too.




Illu 18 / illustratoren-festival


Interview with Anna Goodson

My canadian represantative Anna Goodson interviewed me on illustration, influences and the artistic life in general.
Here’s a small excerpt:


Can you recall the first time you realized you were going to be an artist? What were your earliest impressions?
I must have realized I was going to be an artist when I was a kid. My image of working in any profession was, for me, the thought of doing the same thing every day for the rest of my life. That thought was frightening. I always loved to draw, craft, create, and make films. It was clear to me, that I would need to work as an artist.

Who or what influenced your art when you were young?
I was influenced by books, comic books, films, music, cartoons, and my big brother.

Do you remember what your first artwork looked like? Do you still have it?
It depends how you define “first” and “artwork.” There were a lot of drawings, collages, and clay figures I was proud of, but the first time someone, outside of my family, asked to have a drawing of a cat I scribbled was during class. I was twelve years old and a girl I fancied…

Read it in full here


Opioid crisis

We all heard about the terrible impact, the opioid crisis is taking on U.S. society.  The Health Departement of Vermont asked for artwork for a health campaign around pain management and avoiding opioid prescriptions where possible.

The assignment was to create three characters, representing different types of pain. The artwork is shown on posters in doctors offices and other health provider all over the state of Vermont.




Client: State of Vermont, Health Departements
Agency: HMC Advertising



The Rock Trust Christmas Card

Rock Trust asked me to provide a Christmas card for their annual mailing.

Rock Trust is an Edinburgh based organization providing help to homeless youth. For a couple of years now I participate in their actions and was happy to help again.
They wanted something no “too christmassy”, to transports their message of helping out together, so I thought some animals cooking a soup together might fit.


Client: The Rock Trust, Edinburgh

A Tower of woodprints

I was invited to participate in the annual Xmas exhibition at the Design Post in Cologne. Only problem was: I couldn’t hang my prints on the walls!

The Design Post is a huge showroom for exhibiting Furniture, Vases, Clothes etc. and I was given a corner close to my fellow illustrators Katrin Stangl, Heike Herold and Ulrike Viola Henrich. The corner was equipped with a big and heavy table, some chairs and some shelves. Everything was extremely expensive and we had to put some cloth between everything, not to leave any scratches. Same was with the walls: no nails, no screws, just hanging something with a nylon thread was okay.

For me it became clear that there was now way that I would hang all my prints with thin threads so I decided to present them in a new way: I stacked them on top of each other, clipping them together on the backside, building a round tower. It worked fine and looked really nice and after putting up my surfboards, some more prints on the shelves and a big one with nylon threads on the wall, it suddenly felt quite comfortely there.

The show found a big audience, even though it was not the audience I’m used to. As illustrators (all doing prints) we felt a bit like the outsiders in a crowd of fashion, furniture and jewellry designers. But in the afternoon some more of my colleagues from cologne appeared and it became a nice meeting.

My kids visited the show as well, and I was quite happy when my daughter pointed at each picture and enthusiastically yelled: “Papa, we have the same picture. And this too. and this too….”
So my biggest fans were happy and that was the main goal;)

new Coaster for 2018

Every year my canadian representative, Anna Goodson Illustration Management sends out a set of coasters.

The topic was a bit vague: loveisloveisart, but I understood it to be as a counterposition against the recent divides in society, upcoming racism nationalism etc.

There are so many things we share as humans, and I wanted my illu to be a very quiet, peaceful one. So I came up with the idea of cloudwatching people.

Anna Goodson Illustration Agency