Cindy trained via Germany’s IBKK distance learning programme while simultaneously working full-time for an animation studio, gaining experience on projects like the animated series Little Amadeus. Her work in illustration has fulfilled her childhood dream of being able to create worlds like the magic chalk drawing scenes in Mary Poppins. Today she takes inspiration from nature – long walks in the forest, birds, flowers and insects.
Cindy’s first step is to understand the feeling an image is meant to convey. She sketches lots of wild roughs until she’s established a strong composition and this draft will be sent to the client for feedback. Once approved, she’ll colour it up and apply the finishing touches. Sometimes she varies her approach, beginning with light and shadow to set the mood of the piece.
Often Cindy’s style is described as cheerful and cosy. With clean, graphical forms it’s easy to read and everything – composition, colour, body language – is subtly crafted to evoke an emotional response.
Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Cindy: Initially I wanted to become a street painter and paint pictures on the streets with chalk, because I thought that one can jump into the images and experience great adventures. I had watched Mary Poppins, where exactly this happens. As a child I strongly believed that to be real and started drawing in order to jump into my drawings one day. Well eventually I had to learn painfully that that won´t work. So I thought I should turn into an illustrator which is pretty close. Question: Do you have any formal design training? Cindy: I studied illustration and computer graphics with a distance education program of the IBKK, during which I also worked for animation studios. Later I went to the animation school in Hamburg which sadly does not exist anymore. I am very happy that I was still able to attend the school and had a wonderful year. Question: Where do you live? Cindy: In Hamburg. Question: Can you describe your studio for me? Cindy: A very nice room, just for me and my dog. It´s in an old building with a vaulted ceiling and a nice view. The walls are painted in a light, almost white green. There is a large wooden table, where I can spread out lots of things. A light table from the animation school and a chesterfield which I can´t use because my dog has occupied it. Some bookcases and a large pin board as well as my Mac with a graphics tablet. Also ther is a really nice old apothecary cabinet. Question: How do you get the best ideas? Cindy: Simply by starting to draw. Question: Who or what is your biggest inspiration? Cindy: I am mostly inspired by my dog and nature. Also by my friends and family and the work with my students. Question: What technique do you use? Cindy: I work mainly digital and like Adobe Photoshop the best. However I always draw the first sketches with pencil on paper. I need the contact to the analog materials to reach a liveliness in my drawings. Afterwards I scan the sketches to color them digitally. Question: Tell us about a favorite project you have recently completed. Cindy: I illustrated for the brochure of the Osnabrueck Cathedral for which I went there personally and got a tour of the church. That was quite exciting, also the fact that I finished this job almost completely analog with fineliner on paper, which was a new challenge for me. Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Cindy: I am always happy, when I can act out my style. Question: Who are your illustration heroes? Cindy: I love the atmosphere of Pascal Campion work and the wit of Bobby Chiu. Question: Do you keep a sketch book? Cindy: One? Question: What are your hobbies? Cindy: Besides my illustrations, I love to be creative in other ways too. With soapstone f.e. Also I go to train my dog and do yoga. Question: If you were not an illustrator, what would you be? Cindy: I think there never was an alternative. But I could imagine to have become an actress in formats like „Ladykracher“ or „Knallerfrauen“. Question: Who would you like to meet? Cindy: Heinz Strunk. Question: If you could travel back in time, where would you go to? Cindy: To the right time at the right place for once. Question: What kind of music do you listen to? Cindy: I like listening to soundtracks. Question: What is the funniest thing you have ever done?Cindy: Homemade videos with my siblings. I think we should do that again! Question: If you won the lottery, would you still work as illustrator? Cindy: Definitely! Question: Do you collect anything? Cindy: No. Question: Do you have a favorite game? Cindy: Yahtzee.