Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 16, 2021

Illustrator Saturday – Andrea Stegmaier

Andrea Stegmaier was born in 1979 in Freiburg, Germany. When she was a kid, she wanted to become an alligator-catcher in Alaska. This lasted for a few months until her parents told her that there are no alligators in Alaska. Trying to find a new profession, she later went to university to study German, history of art and architecture. She had worked as an architect for ten years when she turned her passion for children’s books into her new career. Since 2018 she has illustrated several books for different publishers and loves every day filled with drawing and painting. Andrea lives with her two kids and her husband in Stuttgart, a busy town in the south of Germany.

Andrea Stegmaier is an illustrator and architect. She lives with her family in a tiny town-house in Stuttgart, a busy city in Germany. She draws a lot. She draws digital and traditional, straight lines and wonky lines, serious and funny things, animals and people, houses and plants, anything and everything.

When she is not drawing, Andrea can be found in her little garden or exploring the world with her family. There is so much to see and learn when you look close enough.

Awards:

2022 – Georgia Children`s Book Awards, University of Georgia, Finalist

2021 – Shining Willow Award, SYRCA, Short-listed

2021 – Funniest Children`s Book Award, Joan Betty Stuchner — Oy Vey!, Winner

2021 – CCBC Choices List, Cooperative Children’s Book Center, Winner

Andrea sent three movies showing her process. I could not get them to show in the post, so I have given you three links. If you get a chance to watch them, they are really cool and doesn’t take much time to watch.

HERE IS ANDREA DISCUSSING HER PROCESS:

I look through my sketchbook if I get inspired from one of my little drawings or I sketch for something I already have in my mind. Then I take a picture with my phone and import it to Procreate on my tablet.

https://kathytemean.files.wordpress.com/2021/10/hello2021-video-1-sketch.mov 

Sometimes if I combine different sketches like in this picture I draw a new digital sketch.

https://kathytemean.files.wordpress.com/2021/10/hello2021-video-2-linework.mov

On top of this sketch I draw the line art.

Then I add the colors. For this picture I started with the background color using a big brush size. I try to treat the colors like I would paint with traditional media. So I add many layers and leave the colors underneath.

https://kathytemean.files.wordpress.com/2021/10/hello2021-video-3-addingcolor.mov

FINISHED ILLUSTRATION:

2021 Interview Questions with Andrea Stegmaier

How long have you been illustrating?

I started illustrating in summer 2017.

What and when was the first piece of art you created for money?

The first piece I illustrated for money was a page for Bravery Magazine’s second issue. I think I did the illustration in December 2017.

What University did you attend in Germany?

I first studied Psychology at the University of Mannheim for one year, then I studied German and History of Art at the University of Stuttgart for three years and finally switched to Architecture which I finished with a Diploma in 2009.

Did you study German because you want to be a writer?

I studied German because I love books and I wanted to become a teacher. I planned to visit an Art School, so I could become a teacher for German and Art, but I didn’t get a place at the State Academy of Fine Arts.

Why inspired you to study architecture?

I think Architecture combines many of my interests. Studying Architecture was exciting and inspiring. you could have classes in drawing, building history, structural engineering, architectural theory, building physics and I even once visited a class where we explored the room through dancing.

Have you ever taken any illustrating courses?

When I first started illustrating in 2017 I visited an online class at “Make Art that Sells” it was called “Illustrating children’s books”. I took this class three times. I think it really helped me to gain some confidence which I needed, because I was self taught and wanted to know how publishing and kidlit worked.

Did your university help find you a job in architecture?

No, not directly, but I got my first job through a recommendation from a scientific staff.

What kind of architectural things did you do during your 10 years in that industry?

I worked in offices where we did a lot of public buildings, for example Universities, Schools and Museums. I often did design the facades and the interiors.

During those ten years did you illustrated any books for European publishers?

For the last two years I reduced my working hours in the architectural office so I could also illustrate books.

When did you decide you want to illustrate for children?

I read a lot of children’s books during my life and I knew I wanted to be part of that world.

Was Ella May Does It Her Way, published in June 2019, the first book your USA illustrated?

Yes it was the first book I ever illustrated. It was published in UK and in the USA.

How did you get that job?

I got this job through my agent Nicole Tugeau from Tugeau2 Art and Literary Agency.

How did you connect with Nicole Tegeau at Tugeau2 and how long have you been with her?

Nicole contacted me through Instagram, where I had posted my work for the picture book online class.

Is Nicole responsible for your contract to illustrate, If You See a Lion by Karl Newson and published in Aug, 2020?

Yes. It was for the same publisher as “Ella May does it her way”, they wanted to work with me again.

Then you followed that up two months later with AAAlligator!by Judith Henderson in Oct 2020. How hectic was it to illustrate two books at the same time?

When I started with “If You See a Lion” I already had finished all the drawings for “AAAlligator!”. The publishers have very different amounts of time between the date they set for the final illustrations and the publication day.

Working on two books at the same time works pretty well, when they are in different stages of the process.

Then you followed that up this year with We Are All Under One Wide Skyby Deborah Wiles in June 2021, published by Sounds True. I am not familiar with them. Did they just start doing picture books?

I think they already had a few picture books in their catalogue. It’s a publisher concentrating on themes like Mindfulness, Yoga, Meditation, … for grown ups. Just a few months ago they started Sounds True Kids, so I think there will be more picture books in the future.

I noticed you have another book titled, Home by Tonya Lippert coming out in February, but there is no cover shown on Amazon, yet. Are you still working on the book?

I think that’s just a problem with Amazon. On the German and the UK page there is a cover visible. I finished the whole project in June and can’t wait to see it printed.

You are the illustrator for Children of the World by Nicola Edwards coming out next May. There is a cover on Amazon for this book. Does that mean you are finished with all the illustration?

Oh yes, these illustrations were all finished last year. The book will be published in Italian, German and Portuguese before it is published in English in May. Illustrators need to have a lot of patience and Authors need even more 🙂

Do you sell your artwork online?

No, not yet.

You have a large amount of illustrations on the Internet and you have an agent. Do you still work on your portfolio?

No, not regularly. I mostly use the work from the books to keep my portfolio up to date.

What do you feel helped develop your style?

I’m not sure. It was never a conscious decision to have a certain style. I just draw all the time and this is what happens.

Do you have any desire to write and illustrate a picture book?

Yes, someday in the future I want to do that.

Have you ever tried to illustrate a wordless picture book? 

No, not yet but I think it’s great.

Have you illustrated anything for children’s magazines? 

Yes, for Bravery Magazine, Ladybug and a whole story for a German picture book magazine called Gecko.

Do you have studio in your house? 

Yes, I have a whole room.

I see you are a finalist for the Georgia Children`s Book Awards, University of Georgia. How did you get considered with this award? Does the award involve them buying and distributing the book to school?

You can’t apply for that award. The books are nominated for the awards by teachers, media specialists, and other children’s literature enthusiasts from the state of Georgia.

Is working with a self-published author to illustrate their book something you would still consider?

I would consider working with a self-publisher if it would be in a professional way, with a contract and with an advance.

I know you will have many successes in your future, but what do you think is your biggest success so far?

Thank you very much! My biggest success is that I could quit my job in an architectural office to fully concentrate on illustrating and still can contribute my part to the family income.

What is your favorite medium to use?

I love sketching with my expensive pencils in cheap notebooks and then taking the drawings to color with my Ipad.

Has that changed over time?

No.

What type of Graphic Drawing Tablet do you use when illustrating?

I draw on an Ipad.

Do you try to spend a specific amount of time working on your craft?

I try to do daily warm-up sketches in my sketchbook.

Do you take pictures or research a project before you start?

Sure. I love that part.

Do you think the Internet has opened doors for you?

Definitely! It accelerated every step a lot. I’m even not sure if I would have been brave enough to send out my work to agents or even would have found out how and where to start as an illustrator.

Do you have any career dreams that you want to fulfill?

Write and illustrate a book which fosters the love for books in kids.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a series of middle grade books and on exciting new picture books which I can’t wait to share with the world.

Do you have any material type tips you can share with us? Example: Paint or paper that you love – the best place to buy – a new product that you’ve tried – A how to tip, etc.

I’m really in love with the pencils from Blackwing. They are expensive but it’s so much fun to sketch with them and I like the dark strokes they are making. I’m using the black Palominos.

For me, using cheap notebooks instead of sketchbooks, really helped me to make a mess and don’t take sketching too seriously or even be afraid to ruin a wonderful sketchbook page.

Any words of wisdom for new illustrators?

Draw, draw, draw as much as you can, there is no shortcut. Draw what you love. Don’t overthink it, have fun.

Andrea, thank you for taking the time to answer the interview questions and showing us your process. Please let me know about your future books and successes so I can share them with everyone.

You can visit Andrea using the following links:

WEBSITE: https://www.andreastegmaier.com/
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/andrea_stegmaier/
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/sinuleeillustration/
TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/andreastegmaier?lang=en
AGENCY: https://tugeau2.com/andrea-stegmaier

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Great interview! I’ve bend a fan of Andrea’s work since MATS. Also I’m so happy for her she found Nicole! 😃

    Like

  2. Beautiful illustrations!

    Like

  3. Wow, such gorgeous work that evokes emotion! Good job, Andrea!

    Like

  4. Stunning illustrations. I’m in love ❤️

    Like

  5. This is all so cute. I love it. Thanks for an interesting interview and a pretty post.

    Like

  6. Love your interview! I especially like the Meet the Maker! That’s a fun way to tell about yourself. Best wishes!

    Like

  7. Wow! So much beautiful art here, but the one with the moon and the baby takes my breath away.

    Like


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