Featured Artist: Katja Spitzer
Berlin based illustrator and children’s book author Katja Spitzer has an eye for all things odd and uses her illustrative talents to celebrate them.
From books entirely about the letter “Q” and those which teach children to count with the help of unicorns and monsters to illustration projects featuring yet more monsters as well as a cast of regal characters – Katja’s portfolio of work is filled with eccentric ideas and bizarre detail.
Katja’s work is traditional in the sense that drawing is the most prominent part of her process. The impression that the odd detail such as a floppy hat on top of a spider’s head and elongated beak of a gawking bird are added in the spur of the moment without any forethought gives a feeling of spontaneity and freedom to Katja’s creations. An injection of fun is then added with a bold and excitable colour palette and a tendency to opt for dark shades rather than black both lifts and intensifies the colour palette.
One of Katja’s most recent projects is a series of books created in collaboration with children’s publisher Flying Eye Books. So far in the series of mini-hardbacks Katja has helped children learn to count from 1 to 10 and taken them outside to discover the many hidden wonders of nature and two new titles featuring adventures at the beach and fun with shapes are set to be released in Spring 2016.
Katja’s lends itself perfectly to children’s illustration as it’s vibrant colour scheme will grab kids’ attention and slightly weird nature will surprise the audience and keep them from getting tired of the simple tale.
Overall, there is a carefree curiosity to everything which Katja creates. After seeing one of the Katja’s illustrations or reading one of her books the world can be seen through slightly different eyes. Lesser used letters of the alphabet now seem endlessly entertaining and you are eager to go outside, explore and find something new and wondrous in nature. Through these eyes the world seems a little less predicable and much more interesting, curiosity is now key and mundane is now magical.