Creativity in my life is as important as eating and drinking.
Judith Loske is a talented illustrator from the city of Herne in Germany. Her work, which she describes as a mixed technique of watercolors, pencils, collages, and photoshop, features whimsical animals, children, and settings that evoke classic fairytales. We spoke with Judith about her techniques, inspiration, and her devotion to everybody’s favorite artistic subject: cats.
Be sure to visit Judith’s shop to find a product featuring her wonderful work.
Why did you become an illustrator?
Since my childhood I always drew and painted. It was the only hobby that I remained true to. I simply kept going, during kindergarten, school, in painting classes, and eventually in university. I deliberately selected the course “Illustration,” because I wanted to paint stories. First it was just a hobby that didn’t let me go, and now it’s my profession!
What inspires you?
There are so many inspiring things: plants, animals, books, movies, a walk through the forest, a chat, people on the street or in a cafe. All of a sudden it hits you, and there’s the idea. I try to write it down as soon as possible because ideas disappear as fast as they appear. I think you can find inspiration everywhere, you just need to keep your eyes open and look at the ordinary things mindfully.
Animals are often part of your illustrations, especially cats. The work ‘Orange Cat Pattern’ seems to be inspired by your own cat. What fascinates you about animals so much?
The diversity of species is unbelievable and it’s exciting for me to watch how animals interact with their environments. I like to watch animal documentaries or watch animals in the forest. But it doesn’t always need to be wild animals. I can watch my cat for hours — how she moves, sleeps, or cleans herself. To understand animals you need to be very attentive and sensitive. And it’s just nice when my cat lays in my arm and purrs.
What do you like the most about illustrating and designing?
The path from the picture in my head to the picture on paper and the time that falls into oblivion.
What is your creative process?
Initially every picture starts with a draft. Sometimes it’s already very elaborate, and sometimes it’s just a wild doodle. Then I create a more detailed draft and transfer it with a layout table on watercolor paper. From there it gets colored with pencils and watercolors. At the end I scan the image and add background and textures in Photoshop.
Can you tell us more about the work “Thumbelina III“?
I read Hans Christian Andersen’s “Thumbelina” after a long time again. As a child this was one of my favorite tales. It was fascinating how the pictures in my head changed over the years. So I selected four scenes that appealed to me. “Thumbelina III” shows how the fish bite off the lily stem, so that Thumbelina can escape the toad.
How long do you need to finish a work?
It really differs. Mostly between 3-8 hours.
Don't do what's hip. Be honest in your art. It all already exists? But surely not in your style!
A lot of Redbubble artists are at the beginnings of their artistic careers. Do you have any advice for them?
Don’t get insecure by the millions of pictures in the internet and in books. Find your style, your theme, your picture language. Don’t do what’s hip. Be honest in your art. It all already exists? But surely not in your style!