Hey, I’m Svenja, and I draw things. I live in Ireland, but I’m originally from Germany, hence the name. I don’t really like talking about myself because I never know what to say, but I guess I better make some kind of effort.
So, born in Germany, dragged to Ireland when I was ten, sat in school sketching Han Solo in my notebooks to pass the time until they let me go to college. I went to NUIM for five years and got an MA in anthropology, the primary use of which, as far as I can tell, seems to be to get people to ask me what the hell anthropology is. Was it worth it? Hell yes. I loved every moment. (And it turns out that lecture halls are even better for sketching Han Solo than classrooms.)
Now I draw things professionally, and sell prints and originals at conventions. I’ve worked on book covers, games, and a lot of portraits. I also write stories; occasionally I even finish one. That’s about it, I think. If you want to know more, just get in touch and ask, I love hearing from people!
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a few questions I get asked a lot, so here are the answers all together in one place for your convenience!
Did you really draw/paint all these pictures?
Of course not, I just throw a Photoshop filter over the reference and hope no one notices Yes. Yes I did.
When did you start drawing?
When I was old enough to hold a pencil, about one year old. I drew a lot as a kid, and never stopped. I started drawing portraits when I was thirteen or fourteen, which was the age when I started taking an interest in other people and also the age when I watched Star Wars for the first time and became obsessed with Han Solo.
Where did you learn to draw?
Informally. I got, and still get, a lot of tips and feedback from my mother, a former art teacher. I’ve also learned quite a bit from tutorials online, and just looking at other artists’ work. I did do art in school, but our lessons mostly involved our teacher saying “okay lads, draw a picture.” I did a one-year course in Art, Craft and Design before I went to college, but I did it very half-heartedly. (And to this day, I still don’t know if I ever passed or got whatever qualification we were meant to get. I don’t think so, but who knows.) Most of all, I learn by doing — it’s all practice, practice, patience, careful observation, and more practice.
What media do you use?
It varies. I do a lot of pencil drawings, both graphite and colour. In terms of colour pencils, I use Polychromos pencils almost exclusively. For the really detailed stuff, I usually use Bristol paper, which is super smooth, and pastel paper for the rougher colour pieces.
I also work digitally with Photoshop or GIMP and a Wacom tablet. I have two, an Intuos 5 and a Cintiq 13HD – most of my work so far has been with the Intuos.
Do you do commissions?
Not at the moment. The only exceptions are my pendants, which are custom-made and available to order.
Do you take requests?
No promises, but if you have an idea you think would be cool, you can always get in touch. I’m always looking for references to use in my art as well, so if you’d like to see my take on your photo and want to give me permission to use it, please go ahead!
Will you draw [insert character/celebrity name here]?
It doesn’t hurt to ask, but chances are that if I don’t know them or watch whatever show they’re in, I would do a terrible job. If I’m a fan myself, I’ll probably get around to it sooner or later; if I’m not, I probably won’t do it justice.
Do you still speak German?
Yep. I’m fluent in German and English. So yes, you can speak German with me, ask me how to insult your friend in German, or even get me to translate something useful for you. Not that insults can’t be useful.
Why don’t you have a German accent?
Because it’s really hard to get an accent across via text, end ze usual vay off trenscribing it is jast too hard to read. Also because I learned English in Ireland, not in Germany.
If you have a question that isn’t answered here, go ahead and ask! Curiosity may kill the cat, but cats have nine lives, and you’re probably not a cat anyway, so no worries there.