The wonderful illustrations of Kerstin Hiestermann
Kerstin Hiestermann lives and works close to Hannover, Germany. She’s married, a mother to three children and works as a teacher with children who have learning difficulties. Besides all that Kerstin is a wonderful illustrator. On Instagram she’s well known for her work in which she incorporates everyday objects like flowers or a simple piece of bread accompanied by some well chosen black lines. Her illustrations instantly put a smile on your face. They look almost accidental and effortless but it certainly isn’t. Like any good illustration, it needs a lot of work. I’m a big fan of her illustrations and asked her a view questions about it.
Why did you start illustrating?
I’ve learned that the way I am, how I see a world around me that’s not really there, started when I was a child. I see things that are not really there, but very real in my head. I have learned that I can create these tiny fantasy worlds by utilizing my inner eye. Within my pictures I can make those worlds visible.
How did you come up with the name Spielkkind?
I play with things that surround me. That’s how my label “spielkkind” came about. Spielkkind is wordplay containing the German word “Spielkind” which means playing child, and I just added an extra “k” for my first name Kerstin. Through posting my pictures on Instagram and now exchanging with many different people I have realized that most of us have an inner child that wants to have fun, something I find amazing.
Could you describe your creative process for us?
The pictures I take are not all created in the same way. Sometimes I see something and straight away I have an association, which I can put down on paper there and then. Other times, I see something and know that I want to incorporate it in a picture but I need more time to ‘play’ to create the shot. Several times it can be a strenuous process until the finished picture. I have very high expectations for myself and I’m missing the proper training when it comes to drawing. I usually take a test shot of a picture. Is the idea good? Is it doable? Can I manage the drawing? Is there something I need to change? As soon as the test shot is done I get to work on the final picture. I take a new sheet of white paper, draw according to my test shot, and take as many photos with my iPhone until everything is exactly to my liking. Most of the time I ask my husband to take a final look at the shot – he’s my final quality check.
Which tools do you frequently work with?
I work with simple white paper; a black fine liner and I exclusively use my iPhone 4S with some Apps. I really like the handmade character it adds to my shots. With my iPhone I have everything I need. I adore mobile photography, simply because its authentic and non-perfect but is giving me endless opportunities at the same time.
Do you have any tips for fellow illustrators or Instagrammers?
Less is often more. A great object, enriched with a few smart placed sketched lines has, in my opinion, a lot more to say than a picture that’s overloaded with drawings and objects alike. I also make sure that my work is clean. It is very important for me that every object, every line is exactly where I want it to be. If I’m not a 100% happy, I will rearrange it until its perfect, or sometimes I start all over again. A high usage of white paper is inevitable. And another tip: be brave and try. I still say that I haven’t got a clue about photography and/or drawing, but I still do it. I have met so many wonderful people through Instagram, through mine and through their own work. That for me is really the magic about Instagram and mobile photography, the people, the contacts and the communication. That’s really what I love about it.
Do you have any future projects you would like to share with us? Is a book about ‘little monster’ on the way perhaps?
The last project was my online shop on Dawanda where I sell small magnets of my illustrations. In the future I want to expand the spielkkind products, like postcards or framed pictures. But I do all these things step by step because my life is also full with other great stuff. A little book is one of my biggest dreams but at this moment is seems to be far, far away.
Spielkkind is graciously offering Whiteboxliving readers a discount on all products on her Dawanda shop until 30.09.2014. Type in whiteboxliving at checkout to save 10% off all purchases.