USkj Interview Special Edition, Let’s ask Felix Scheinberger what he thinks. USkjインタビュー特別編、フェリックス・シャインバーガーに聞いてみよう


USkj Interview Special Edition, Let’s ask Felix Scheinberger what he thinks.


Oh my goodness! I have never dreamed that I would one day be able to interview Felix Shceinberger, the magnificent illustrator way up there in the unattainable heights...interview him? Me? Asking what I want to know? Really?!


This is my honest feeling. Even after I sent him the questions and I actually received the answers, I am still in a state of mild disbelief.


And just like his drawings, his words are also mysterious and wonderful. They are answers that probably we can, (at least I can!) cherish for a long time, something you can chew on for quite a while like dried calamari (which is a quite common delicacy in Japan). 


I have a lot more I’d like to say, but I don’t want to ruin the fun by saying too much so I will stop my chatting around here. I hope you will enjoy the pearls of wisdom the master illustrator so generously and frankly shared for the USkj community and beyond.

Felix, 30 years ago.

 1.    So when and how did you start drawing? 1. いつから絵を描き始めたのですか。

All children enjoy drawing. That's why everyone will probably answer to the question „ when they started drawing“ with "when I was a child". 

Unfortunately, most of us stop drawing sparingly when we start comparing ourselves to others. I think I was able to keep the joy of drawing because, at least until I was around 20, I never took it particularly seriously, but always just drawing on the side and having fun.I actually wanted to become a musician and maybe that led to my becoming an illustrator.




Illustration for the German Magazine “MARE”

A beautiful watercolor urban sketch by Felix

2.What is your routine(if you have one)? When do you usually draw?

2. あなたのルーティンは何ですか?普段いつ絵を描いていますか?

I usually work during the day, for example when I'm composing a book or drawing for a magazine. However, I also draw for myself for example in a sketchbook. 

That is actually what I enjoy the most I always have a book with me and when I see something interesting on the way and find the time I make a drawing that is in the book enables you to experience moments in a completely different way when you take the time to really look at them they become more intense and that leads to a greater quality in life.



3. What kind of books do you like to read? I know from your book that you take inspiration from movies for your composition, but do books sometimes also inspire your art in some way?

3. どんな本が好きですか?本からもインスピレーションを受けることがありますか?

In fact, I got a lot of inspiration from books.

 On the one hand, of course, there are comics and mangas, mainly by French and German artists. (For example Anke Feuchtenberger, Moebius or the italien artist Gipi) So I love to immerse myself in fascinating and strange worlds and I think that this is actually indispensable for an artist.

Illustration by Jean Giraud who is said to have also influenced Hayao Miyazaki.

実際、本からは多くのインスピレーションを受けています。一方でもちろん、フランスやドイツのコミックや漫画にも影響を受けています。例えばAnke Feuchtenbergerジャン・ジロー(メビウス)、あるいはイタリアのGipiです。私はこのような魅惑的で奇妙な世界に浸るのが大好きで、それは実際アーティストにとって必要不可欠なことだと思います。

 In reality, illustration is something like applied fantasy. We not only put things there that we can see and touch, but also things that only exist in our head. (In reality you can't photograph ideas but you can draw them very well)



My favorite novels are by the German Nobel Prize winner Heinrich Böll and by the Russian science fiction authors Arkadi and Boris Strugaztki ( Do you Know their wonderful Book „Roadsside Picknick“ ist great !)


4. Do you listen to music when you draw? If Yes, What kind of music do you like?


When i was younger i loved Punk Music ( i played drumms in a german Punk band)

But now i like all differnet music including classical, for example mozart & Bach



5. What do you take when you go out to sketch these days? Do you have a favorite color if you had to choose one?

5. 外へスケッチに行くとき、どのような道具を持って行きますか?一番好きな色は何ですか? 

His sketching kit.

Felix’s watercolor palette.

Colors of Schmincke watercolor he uses. The color chart is here for those of you interested.

I do not take so much with me if i go out because if ist take to much wight so in generall i descide not to take it with me.

For example if i draw in a techno club or a bar ist just a sketchbook and one or to fineliners...maybe a supersmall watercolor case but in generell: less is more !



6. When did you start sketching like you do now? Was there a pivotal point or an influential person that shifted your approach toward your art?

6. 今のスタイルでスケッチを始めたのはいつからですか?あなたのアートに対するアプローチに変化をもたらす出来事や、影響を及ぼした人物などはいましたか?

A black and white drawing from when he used to only use ink.

I think it's normal for the way we stand to change with us. We see new things and have new influences that change over the years. When I was younger I was a big fan of the French draftsman Thomi Ungerer or the English one Illustrators Ralph Steadman. Now I prefer more authentic and personal drawings. I no longer worry so much about how it affects others, but whether I like it.

 Oh, that has an impact on your own personal style . Of course, there is also the choice of technology. I used to draw a lot more in ink and that's why my drawings were mostly black and white. I have done the watercolor a lot more in the last few years, it is a wonderful technique.





7. What do you think is the definition of “illustration”?


As i said...Ilustration is some kind of like applied fantasy. Illustro is Latin for “enlighten” or “illuminate.”During the act of illustrating, we reflect not only reality, but create something new, givingthe world a new, personal point of view. Illustration is able to explain or to demonstrate,it can add, convey and immerse. It can develop aspects of the content or art or just look good.

“Illustration is...applied fantasy”


8. Your artwork is very convincing, and also very wild and free at the same time. Chaotic in a way but beautifully harmonious. What would you say is the one element that holds it all together?

8. あなたのアートはとても説得力がありながら、同時にとてもワイルドで自由です。カオスのような側面もありながら、美しいバランスがあります。何がその要となっているのでしょうか。

I think the most important thing about my art is that it tries to not only look at things superficially.

 When I draw people I don't try to show what they look like anymore. 

I try to draw a piece of the soul. When I was younger I paid more attention to the surface, to texture, and to accuracy. 

Today I also draw precisely, but I no longer try to hit the surface exactly, I should try to grasp the soul. As a result, my drawing may appear superficial and more precisely what connects it is the content and the components of what lies deeper below.

“When I draw people...I try to draw a piece of the soul.”





I hope you enjoyed the interview. For me, one thing I was surprised at is that Felix used to be a drummer in a punk band! But on the other hand, I also kind of felt like I can understand his paintings better now, especially why they are so cool.


Also, I learned about many other illustrators and novelists I did not know about. This got me thinking about how there is always a genealogy to any kind of art, and this gives us the opportunity to wonder about what our genealogies might be. Interesting food for thought.


Lastly, getting to know the colors he uses in his watercolor palette is another exciting thing. For me, his red and green selections were fresh, since I have gotten into the habit of almost always relying on alizarin crimson and sap green. He had written in one of his books that it is interesting to swap pallets with an artist friend, but this might be a fun thing to try once the situation allows us to go out sketching as a group again!



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Urban Sketchers Japan: USkj Interview Special Edition, Let’s ask Felix Scheinberger what he thinks. USkjインタビュー特別編、フェリックス・シャインバーガーに聞いてみよう
USkj Interview Special Edition, Let’s ask Felix Scheinberger what he thinks. USkjインタビュー特別編、フェリックス・シャインバーガーに聞いてみよう
Urban Sketchers Japan
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