Over the last year I have created a series of over 20 illustrations of cities in Germany working in collaboration with national book retailer Thalia, celebrating the unique cultural heritage and architectural landmarks of each location. Before I embarked on my German series I didn’t know a great deal about Germany’s culture or its iconic cities other than what a tourist novice would pick up … but I certainly do now!
We agreed on a colour palette of red, blue and green with black outline for the collection. I felt this reflected the cultural heritage that is found in their Bavarian wooden houses, wooden toys and traditional costumes. As such the designs look jolly, strong and pay homage to Germany’s appreciation of bright, bold colour. Some of the designs are available to buy as art prints on my website. More will follow throughout the year as the collection builds. I don’t have a favourite but like different aspects of each one.
My illustration of Hamburg was created before I visited the city earlier this year. I didn’t get to see much as I was strapped to my drawing board at a trade show but did get the chance to wander down to the historic harbour and cross the infamous Reeperbahn. I love the city’s symbol of an anchor and saw it decorating buildings throughout my short time in Hamburg.
I loved including the festivities that are exclusive to each city, most of which have been happening for centuries. Thousands of people join in the fun and they are major attractions. I love the carnival atmosphere of Koln (Cologne) where people celebrate the occasion with a good, long glass of German beer … Kolsch!
Munster appears to be a very pretty, ancient city and is resplendent in Germanic Gothic architecture such as the stunning St Paul’s Cathedral and quaint Prinzipalmarkt Square. The tower on the top right of the illustration looks like somewhere that Rapunzel used to hang out. Indeed when I draw the Gingerbread type houses, and fairy like towers that dot the landscape of ancient Germany, it reminds me of the buildings I used to see in the story books of my childhood.
German’s local heroes feature throughout the collection and so we find Albrecht Durer overseeing things in my illustration of Nurnberg. A Christmas Market is in full swing and one little girl can barely contain her excitement, which is hardly surprising. Guten Tag Germany and I look forward to getting to know more of your beautiful country.