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Under Cover Artist: Andreas Schlechtriemen

2 June 20

Sieburg-based artist and regular Notts visitor Andreas Schlechtriemen fills us in on what inspired his robin-themed cover artwork…

Tell us a bit about yourself…
I'm a freelance graphic designer and illustrator from Siegburg in Germany. A few years ago my best friend moved to Nottingham and since then I’ve been visiting him regularly. The city and the people really grew on me and I always enjoyed reading LeftLion when I was in town. 

What was the inspiration behind the cover?
Literally the view from my kitchen window. There’s a bird feeder placed outside and even though I live in the city centre, all sorts of birds visit me every day, the robin being my favourite one. Birdwatching may sound middle-class, but to me the local wildlife is a constant source of inspiration.
Over the years I’ve made a series of illustrations of these birds – it’s like keeping a diary. That’s why I often include little things I find on my journeys, such as tickets or receipts. For the LeftLion cover I used pieces of a paper bag I got from a coffee shop in Istanbul.

What was the biggest challenge that you faced in creating the piece?
The biggest challenge was giving the drawing a casual appearance. Often when I’m being too pedantic, drawings can end up looking stiff. I want to illustrate the bird as authentically as possible and scientifically correct, but in a way that it doesn’t look like it’s been copied from a biology book.

Tell us about some projects you’ve worked on in the past…
Some of my pictures have been displayed at exhibitions specialised in ornithology in Germany and internationally. I have worked a lot in graphics over the past twenty years, from classical graphic design to editorial design and online content. An ongoing project that I enjoy is giving lectures in calligraphy at a local School of Design. Calligraphy is one of my passions.

What have you got planned for the future?
I´ve been saying this now for some time, but I finally need a proper online presence and get my social media account sorted. So watch out, Instagram!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the LeftLion readers?
The past few weeks have been very difficult and challenging for all of us and it looks like it will take some time before our lives will be back to normal. The robin is a symbol of new beginnings, of hope and joy which I wish to all of you. Never give up and enjoy the beauty of nature. Hopefully I will return to Nottingham very soon.
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