Biography

“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” ~Thoreau

Date of Birth: 11th November 1985
Location: North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Education: Bachelor of Arts (Literary, Cultural and Media Studies)
Freelance Artist: since 2011
Media: Pencil & digital art

Hello, my name is Anja and I’m addicted to fantasy. (Hello Anja.) I’ve been into fantasy since 1998, when my parents introduced my 13-year-old self to Das Schwarze Auge, which is Germany’s biggest pen-and-paper roleplay game. Someone should've warned me about the subsequent psychological damage caused by believing your mother is an Amazon, your dad a wizard, and your brother a dwarf. I was destined to become a maniac or at least an author or illustrator, which are pretty much the same thing.

Unlike most of my fellow illustrators, I didn’t major in Art but in Literary, Cultural, and Media Studies. Art has always been a vital part of my life; however, to me it is but one of the many elements involved in the process of creating fantasy. Back then I didn’t know that I wanted to become an artist; all I knew was that I wanted to become a creator.

During my time as a student of literature I realized why my 13-year-old self was so impressed by Das Schwarze Auge and fantasy in general. I might call it the fairy tale effect: though fantastic stories do have a lot of entertainment value, they also perfectly mirror human behavior and, by doing so, playfully deliver rules of morality and messages about how people should treat each other in social interactions. They work as symbols and allegories for complex ideas that children could otherwise not grasp and shed light on the unknown, making said unknown easier to face. From this point of view my parents did everything right when they decided to fill our family evenings with zombie slaying.

But then, how did I become an illustrator? I had just finished my studies and was working in a bookstore, thinking about the next step, when one day Ulisses Spiele, publisher of Das Schwarze Auge, asked me whether I wanted to do art for them. That was the most magical moment in my entire life. Speaking in the words of American mythologist Joseph Campbell: it was my Call to Adventure! I accepted the Call and here we are. I've worked as a freelance illustrator for almost a year now and have contributed art to Schattenlande, Aventurischer Bote, Im Griff der Schwarzen Eiche, Auf gemeinsamen Pfaden and Krieger, Krämer und Kultisten. It’s an honor and a pleasure. I’m very excited about the future!

Much love,
Anja