Biography

I make things that encourage and facilitate creativity, courage, thoughtfulness and glee.

thenI was born in Germany and grew up in a small town which had a great button museum. There was also a lot of forest nearby, and a very large motorway.

I spent a lot of my time inventing and making things with my family – sculptures, machines, puppets, theatres, super-8 animations… we’d often go to museums and find new ideas for things to make, and go straight to the hardware store to pick up more materials and tools. I always had a strong interest in science and technology as well as traditional methods and crafts.

As a baby I liked books so much that I ate them, and when I found out that there were people making them I decided to make my own, to taste. My parents helped me copy and distribute them, and I got my first paid regular writing gig at age 13 from a national children’s magazine.

After finishing school I considered that English sentences are on average a quarter shorter than German ones, and decided that it would be preferable to communicate in English.

I read American Literature and Linguistics at University while writing Fantasy stories. Then I moved to Cornwall, England, to study. I now hold a Master’s degree in Authorial Illustration from Falmouth College of Arts.

Whisper Down the Lane, photo by Laurel Turton

Since then I have written and illustrated several picture books and a graphic novel, and made a number of other things.

My books have been translated internationally and I’ve won awards, but I am not wedded to the format.

I create interactive experiences and narratives in many different ways, be it books, games, songs, installations or performances.

I often collaborate with other artists and enjoy unexpected results as well as careful planning.

I sometimes design games and interactive installations for festivals, most of them based on natural systems.

I give lectures, workshops and drawing demonstrations, and am associate lecturer on the Illustration BA of Plymouth Uni,

Here is a list of some of my past clients.

I like to write ghost stories, and when I’ve got time to spare I’m working on an epic adventure series, drawing maps and inventing languages.

I mostly write on the sofa in the morning, with an extra strong cup of coffee, then I get up and draw during the rest of the day when I’m not out of doors researching or at some festival covering everyone in cardboard.

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