What is there to say about me? Actually, I prefer to let my artwork speak for itself, but a little information about the person behind it might be of interest to some. So, here we go:
Back in school I was one of those who had an agreement with most teachers that allowed me to draw in class as long as I payed attention and now and again stuck up my hand to contribute. It was a good deal. I have retained my passion for drawing until now and usually carry a sketchbook about with me.
After graduating from school in 1996 I decided to pursue art more seriously by studying visual communication at Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. There, very soon my chief medium became video. On the course I experimented with narrative short-film, documentary, and animation, the latter fascinating me most. In the conceptualisation of these short films, the storyboarding-process, I realised that the traditional drawing skills I applied in order to quickly visualise and communicate abstract ideas to other members of the team were extremely useful, and rather uncommon.
The unconventional, individualised structure of the course in Weimar provided me with the time and freedom to develop as an artist and to follow my personal interests. Parallel to the course I worked on a self-motivated project: the illustration of the works of JRR Tolkien. His books have had an enormous impact on me and my life ever since I first encountered them in 1991. They have also influenced my career as an artist. By publishing my Tolkien-inspired artwork on the internet I gained recognition from fellow artists and fans worldwide. Eventually this led to invitations to exhibit the paintings at meetings of international Tolkien Societies and in galleries. It moreover encouraged me to consider a career as a freelance book illustrator.
After graduating from Bauhaus University I decided to enroll in the final year of the BA (Hons) Art & Design course at Colchester Institute, Colchester, UK, where I had already spent an exchange-semester, not so much for aquiring another degree, but rather to hone my skills as a graphic designer and to deepen my understanding of typography, which I felt I had neglected during my time in Weimar. In my final project on the course, the illustration of the Old English epic poem Beowulf, I was able to combine typography and illustration on a topic thematically related to my previous illustrative work. In 2009, this project was published by Walking Tree Publishers, with a foreword by eminent Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey.
Upon returning to Germany, I took up work as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator, working on a variety of projects and commissions, such as creating illustrations for a book of poems and a series of Ghoststories about Herborn, publications about Troy and Alexander the Great, as well as postcards, posters and portraits. Also, I designed some of the publications of the German Tolkien Society, as well as layouting their magazine Flammifer von Westernis.
Looking forward to and accepting every new challenge, in 2004 I started teaching drawing and painting at evening school, moving on from there to a teaching position at my old 6th-form college. Since 2005 I have been teaching art there, enjoying it greatly. So much, in fact, that I am currently working on acquiring a teaching degree.
Also, I continue at the illustration-front. In the past years I completed commissions for several international publishers like Subterranean Press (USA), Walking Tree Publishers (CHE), Portal Editions (ESP) and G&G Verlag (AUT).
I carry on to regularly exhibit my Tolkien-inspired artwork at meetings of the British and German Tolkien Societies. I felt especially honoured by the invitation to attend the International Conference "Tolkien 2005" in Birmingham, UK as a guest-artist, to there exhibit and speak at panels alongside famed Tolkien-artists Alan Lee and Ted Nasmith. Also, a number of my Tolkien-inspired paintings are featured in the documentary "Ringers Lord of the Fans", released by Sony Pictures in 2005. Illustrating the works of JRR Tolkien remains my passion, therefore I regularly hone my drawing and paintings skills by creating new artwork, in the hope of seeing it published one day.