How I decided to be a children's book illustrator
At the age of 6 I decided to become a children's book illustrator. Inspired by my my parent's daily picture book reading sessions and a tendency of mine to spend hours and days on my desk drawing, I started my illustration career with countless images of princesses and horses.
After 10 years of kid's art school, 5 years of university education in Weimar, Minneapolis and Hamburg and tons of sketchbooks and painted paper later, I landed my first well-respected job at the big weekly news magazine Der Spiegel. One day in the cover design department, I presented some ideas for the next cover story, when my head of department asked:
"Constanze, you DO know that we are a new's magazine and not a children's book publisher, do you?"
Frankly, he was right, so after one year of not really fitting in, I decided to dedicate my time entirely to picture book illustration, working hard on creating beautiful stories and images that inspire, entertain and make kids feel understood and loved. I also enjoy working my vision of the oneness of mankind and the beauty of diversitiy in human beings and children especially into my books.
Today, my books have been awarded and published in many different countries, like Australia, China, Germany, Greece, France, Mexico, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Turkey, UK, USA and I enjoy teaching illustration techniques at WAM media academy in Dortmund. I live in Cologne with my husband and our two small kids, who are providing me with tons of new ideas, so stay tuned!
I'd like to stay in touch with you, having you peek behind the curtains of my life as an illustrator, letting you know about new books of mine, sharing exercises about enhancing creativity in children, offering free coloring images and DIY tutorials. I'm writing a joint newsletter with two friends, of whom one is a creative cultural scientist and the other a tasteful foodblogger, so you'll be getting 3 in 1! Read more about our German monthly Ideenbrief here or just sign up!
#illustratorenfuerfluechtinge // Coloring images on different topics for volunteers, social workers and teachers that work with refugee kids.
Neues aus der Bücherwelt // An interview campaign I do with author Cally Stronk that gives insight into the publishing industry.
Lua's Welt // Drawings of funny things my daughter says, that I frequently feature on my Facebook page.
NEW!! Ihre Bilder strahlen eine Ruhe und Freude und Vielstimmigkeit aus, die ihrem Wesen entsprechen. Sie zeichnet detailreich und doch aufs Wesentliche wie Gesichter und deren Ausdruck konzentriert, farbkräftig, aber nicht schreiend, wiedererkennbar und nicht mittelmäßig. Immer geht es um Kinder mit allen Hautfarben, sie lässt Mädchen Fußball spielen und Jungs Blumen pflücken, leise unterläuft sie Klischees, ohne Rebellin zu sein.
Uli Kreikebaum, Kölner Stadzanzeiger
Constanze's work exudes an attainable playfulness, necessary in children's illustration, while also encompassing a sophistication that appeals and speaks to viewers of all ages. She has managed to find that balance; and to keep her work uniquely "her" while still challenging, experimenting and growing within her craft. Her enthusiasm for and understanding of the artwork she creates is truly special; and something that comes through in the pieces themselves. Constanze and her unique talent have made my job very easy!
Christy Ewers, agent, CATugeau Agency
We do particularly appreciate the warm-colored paintings of Constanze and her humor. Collaborating with her is a pleasure, she is very open to discussion and always available to accompany her books.
Carina Solari-Diez, Editor, La Joie de Lire
Die Illustration steckt voller satter Farben, ungewöhnlicher Figuren, überraschender und oft skurriler Details. Ihre Jungs und Mädchen, Königinnen und Ratten haben Ecken und Kanten und sprühen voller Charme. Poster, Buttons und Aufkleber mit dem Illustrationen von Constanze von Kitzing zieren jedes Theaterfest, sind bei den jungen Besuchern sehr beliebt und schnell vergriffen.
Alina Reznik, Art-Director, Nordisk Büro
Aga World (KR)
Babybug/ Ladybug Magazine (USA)
Beltz & Gelberg (G)
EEN Art (KR)
Fischer Sauerländer (G)
Hongfei Cultures (F)
La Joie de Lire (CH)
Lingen Verlag (G)
Oetinger Media (G)
Oxford University Press (UK)
PJ Library (USA)
Source Books (USA)
Teacher Created Materials (AU)
3x3 Picture Book Show 2016, Merit Award, USA
White Raven 2015 for Mélimélanimo, IJB, Germany
3x3 Children's Show 2014, Honorable Mention, USA
3x3 Children's Show 2013, Merit Award, USA
3x3 Children‘s Show 2012, USA
Cyprus National Book Award 2011 for „Semeli‘s Smile“, Cyprus
3x3 Children‘s Show 2011, Gold and Bronze medal, USA
CJ Picture Book Award 2010, exhibition, South Korea
Bologna Illustrator‘s Exhibition 2010, Italy