Christoph Niemann is a German born illustrator, artist and author. His work has appeared on the covers of the New Yorker , Time Magazine, The New York Times Magazine and American Illustration. He has won many awards and his corporate clients include Google and the Museum of Modern Art.
Niemann is also an author of many books. He has two new books coming out in September 2016 called Sunday Sketching and Words. His latest project is an animated app called CHOMP.’
He considers himself an urbanite, and even though he moved away from New York to live in Berlin, it has a very big place in his heart. Travelling there five or six times a years means he can never really leave it.
Among his many projects he runs a visual blog for the New York Times about city life, family life and other general observations.
He chooses his concept or story first and then he works out how he can tell the story. The internet and blogs he writes promote his other work.
Referring to Quentin Blake’s quote
As an illustrator you need to understand the human body – but having looked at and understood nature, you must develop an ability to look away and capture the balance between what you’ve seen and what you imagine.
I look at Christoph Niemann and notice this amazing balance between these two things. He has a superb understanding of the human body and an extremely vivid imagination and he blends them together to create intelligent, superb, quirky and often humorous designs.
He loves to squeeze as many animals as he can into business illustrations. He thinks animals are always, whether for kids or grown ups a fantastic tool for telling stories.
He explains that animals are helpful illustration tools.
On the one hand, they’re like humans — they have hands and feet, they can touch things, they can look in a certain way and have expressions, but on the other hand, animals can communicate the illustrator’s message more simply than the illustration of a human can. Animals are not like us, we can just give them one certain characteristic.When I draw a big and strong person, immediately it’s a man or a woman, or he or she is being dressed this way or that way.But take, for example, the elephant. The elephant is just big and strong and nothing else, so it really helps you establish a story and make a very simple point by cutting out all these other things that you would have to give as an attribution to a human being.
He cares so much about magazines and newspapers and books — this is the world he lives in as a consumer, and that’s why he really cares about contributing to this world. He gets a much bigger kick out of having his image seen a million times for twenty seconds with it ending up in a trash bin, rather than having an image over somebody’s sofa for twenty years.