Carsten has been a fulltime freelance illustrator since 1995 - his clients range from McDonalds, Warner Brothers, BMW to magazines like Financial Times, FHM, Men's Health and many more but also include much smaller scale and lower profile budgets, because for him, illustrating is not just his profession, but more like his passion. He has a very broad range of subjects from children's motives up to adult and erotic themes. In addition to this he's far from being a diva - clients admire his no-nonsense approach and his high pain threshold.
Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Carsten: To draw and work creative has always been my passion. Asterix and Garfield made me draw my own stories. Question: Do you have any formal design training? Carsten: Illustrator is not a classic teaching profession, but I have a diploma in graphic design from the technical college in Dusseldorf. But studying anatomy, perspectives, composition and the most important software programs will most probably always go on. That´s what you get when you turn your passion into your job. Question: Where do you live? Carsten: In Roesrath, close to Cologne. 20 minutes from the Cologne Dome at the edge of a nature reserve. Question: Can you describe your studio for me? Carsten: In the middle of bookshelves, surrounded by modern technics and one floor away from my family. Question: What is your biggest inspiration? Carsten: Music that matches my project. Mostly film music. Question: How do you get the best ideas?
Carsten: The ideas keep coming to me. Usually already during the briefing. Question: What technique do you use? Carsten: In the meantime I work completely digital in 2D and 3D with Photoshop. Illustrator, Cinema 4D and ZBrush. Question: Tell us about a favorite project you have recently completed Carsten: Every project has its charm. The range goes from Icons for the "Deutsche Bank" to animations for an erotic website. I have ongoing nightmares about interchanged emails "Thank you Mr. Mell for the halfnaked girls but were is our 25% yield return? Question: What would be your dream job/Commission? Carsten: Developing a character for Coca Cola. Question: Who are your illustration heroes? Carsten: Uderzo, Stephen Silver, J. Scott Campbell, Pixar Question: Do you keep a sketchbook? Carsten: Several! Question: What are your hobbies? Carsten: My two kids, kickboxing, Krav Maga (Israeli self defense) Question: If you were not an illustrator, what would you be? Carsten: Unhappy. Question: Who would you like to meet? Carsten: Uderzo. And George W. Bush (Going where it hurts) Question: If you could travel back in time, where would you go to? Carsten: English Middle Ages Question: What kind of music do you listen to? Carsten: Soundtracks, music of the 80s, Coldplay and Amy McDonald Question: What is the funniest thing you have ever done? Carsten: A baggage-coach- race on the Cologne airport, unfortunately stopped by the police. Question: If you won the lottery, would you still work as illustrator? Carsten: In any case, yes! Money is only one part to being happy. My passion for design is yet another. Question: Do you collect anything? Carsten: Illustration books. Question: Do you have a favorite game? Carsten: Taming my little daughter.