Dieter Braun is a German Illustrator who specialises in creating various pieces of art, with a large focus around the natural world. We have been lucky enough to be in touch with Dieter to ask him a few questions about both his illustrations and his love for the natural world.
When did illustration become such a large part of your life?
I was interested in illustration long before I knew that it was called. I was drawing and painting since I was a child and it was the obvious step for me to make it my profession one day.
I studied communication design in a town called Essen and moved to Hamburg later to break into the illustration market.
Who (or what) has been your biggest inspiration?
As an artist I was inspired by so many different things. Mid-century illustration and design, comic books, movies and wildlife documentaries.
I also get very much inspired by travelling. Not only in the wild; I also love to visit big cities all over the world, exploring their culture, museums, shops and galleries.
The natural world is included in the majority of the your illustrations, why do you choose this as a subject?
I love to illustrate all aspects of modern lifestyle, economy, cityscapes or traveling etc, but I always come back to nature. Nature is and remains the best role model for my art. If I make it to break down a complex natural element – is it a plant or an animal or a landscape – to a simple geometric form, it just makes me happy.
You mainly work within the realms of digital illustration. Can you explain the process from beginning sketches to final piece? Do you use any special techniques to bring the piece to life?
Sometimes I do simple sketches of new illustrations, but most of the time I go directly to the computer as my illustrations are very graphic and geometric. It is easier for me to play around with geometric vector forms until I am happy with the composition. (I use adobe illustrator at this stage).
When I am happy with the composition I finish the illustration and add colours and handmade textures via photoshop.
How long does one piece of work take to complete?
It depends. Some illustrations just need a couple of hours, some more complex pieces can take a few days. It can happen that I start with an illustration, go on with another and finish the first one a few days later.
You have created and written many children’s educational books that celebrate the natural world, books that we are sure will inspire many to protect our earth. What first inspired you to create these and how much of an impact do you think this will have on the people that read your books?
I remember that I was working on a wildlife book when I was about 10 years old. I loved wildlife documentaries on the TV and the animal books that I owned at this age and wanted to make my own book. Of course I never finished this project, but respectively more than 35 years later… I did! It was my big dream to travel to Africa or Australia one day to see all these animals in the wild. That dream luckily became true over the years. These travels have been a big inspiration for the books. I wanted to share all of the beauty of nature that I saw with people. Of course it would be a great gift for me if I could inspire as many people as possible to protect our earth.
And finally, in all of the places in nature, where is your favourite place and why?
This is hard to say. But I remember one early morning on top of a hill in the midst of the steppe that belongs to the dry and dusty Amboseli Ecosystem in Tanzania with its shrubs, Acacia trees and old Amboseli tuskers, facing the “Seven Sisters” and Mount Kilimanjaro. The view was so amazing, I saw herds of Zebras and Giraffes and just felt very happy in this unique moment.
For more information on Dieters latest projects visit his website at http://www.brauntown.com/