Hi from Leipzig, Germany
MimiHecher last edited by MimiHecher
My greetings to all of the fabulous rabbits in this forum!
I forgot to take the opportunity to tell who I am, but as I have some free minutes, I will do this now.
My "real" name is Maria Hecher, but because I do the illustration stuff together with my sister Bibi, I am "Mimi" in the world of illustration. "Bibi and Mimi" is easier to remember than "Bibi and Maria".
I'm an illustrator living in the lovely city of Leipzig (worth a visit if you like the art nouveau architecture). I have no artistic educational background but first studied sociology and after that production management.
I loved drawing from my early childhood on but it took a long time until I realized which area of illustration fits best for me. My first attempts were comic, then manga, and 2017 I found out I want to become a children's book illustrator (I was 34 then).
So I took small steps into that direction from that time on.
Long story short:
2020 I had some luck on Upwork and could test my self discipline and whether I REALLY like children's book illustration on some projects with self publishers.
Until today I illustrated 13 picture books and 5 books for early readers, all with selfpublishers.
I'm very lazy when it comes to intrinsic motivation, that's why I needed those projects to make progress and to learn in which direction I want to head stylistically. So although I'm not proud of all of them, I NEEDED them to come to the point where I am now.
At the moment I get regular work from two clients: a handcraft book publisher and a pen&paper rpg publisher.
As I also do layouting and typesetting, these are additional services I can offer, which is of great help.
I quit my "making a living but not art related" job im September 2022 and since then try to get my selfdiscipline work. XD
I did Children's Book Pro in October 2022 and mainly learned that I need to learn MUCH more about drawing, that's why I'm doing svs courses now regularly. The worst of my flaws are colors and lightning.
I found out in which styles I really want to work just some weeks ago, which was a great relief. I was looking for those styles since 2017, so it was a long road.
Now I have to make some art pieces in those styles, as in my portfolio there is nothing I can show to publishers. Only stuff I don't want to replicate.
Hopefully I will get some illustrations done until May. Would be cool to maybe maybe maybe get an opportunity to work on Middle Grade book covers, as this is what I like best.
Edit: And I love cats. I'm living with 6 Main Coon.
Geoffrey Mégardon last edited by Geoffrey Mégardon
Can't wait to see your next pieces and how you develop the new style you are after!
18 books in less than 3 years, that's very impressive! I thought it was taking a year to make one I really need to draw faster!
MimiHecher last edited by MimiHecher
@Geoffrey-Mégardon Not if you don't put much effort into the "visual storytelling" aspect and let go of expectations regarding well rounded coloring...
That's why I can't put those work into my portfolio, as everything is quite amateurish.
F.e. those few books. Very crappy watercoloring.
ArtistErin last edited by
@MimiHecher We always had Maine Coons when I was raising my kids! LOL They're the best of a dog, a cat, a ferret, all wrapped up in cat. They are so cool!
Welcome to SVS! Love meeting new members. I totally get that, recognizing how much you need to learn. I too, see myself as the constant student and I suppose for me, I realize my shortcomings and it's mainly around just getting out there. Slowly but surely. I am going to hopefully do the next Children's book Pro if I can swing that along with the upcoming Pro Critique, plus all the SVS courses, AND learn Rebelle. So much happening.
Looking forward to seeing your work
ksfabian last edited by
@MimiHecher My dad lived in Germany when he was in his early twenties. He often traveled there for business when he was working because he's fluent in the language. I'm the only one in my family that hasn't been to Germany. That's so cool that you live there. I have seen pictures and hears stories of how beautiful it is. Also every German person I have met has been so nice (and funny). I'm glad you're here!
Asyas_illos last edited by
Welcome to the forum! Looking forward to seeing your work, also I love cats too!
von_Nimmermehr last edited by
ich sage wilkommen
@ArtistErin Nice to meet someone who knows the pros of that cat breed! They are also more demanding than the cats I had before them (which weren't Maine Coons), but it also means more funny situations! They are all SO different characters.
Wow, it sounds like you have a very full schedule regarding learning! Do you have a specific amount of time set aside daily/weekly for learning new things?
@ksfabian That's pretty cool! There are a lot of beautiful cities here, but also ugly ones. Maybe like in every country.
Regarding the humour and friendlyness of Germans, I can only compare them to my own nationality, as I'm an Austrian. - It was easy to move to Germany because in Austria we are also speaking German as native language.
I found that the "German character" is different in the North, the East, the South and the West:
In the North they have a fantastic dry humor but aren't extraverted, so it's hard to get "closer" friends.
In the West (and in Berlin) they have a very unfriendly, sarcastic humour (if you know they don't "mean" it, it's funny, but if you are not used to it, you aways feel offended) and as this is not for me, I never really TRIED to make friends there.
In the South they are "like us Austrians", mabye because we are talking the same German dialect. So there it is very easy for me to connect. The humour is very black and people like to make fun of "the rest of Germany that is noch South Germany" and ... yes... they think they are the "better" Germans ... kind of a soft "interracial racism"...
The East (here is Leipzig) is the part of which the rest of Germany makes fun because they have a dialect which sounds "dumb" to most people. Not to me, I really like tha soft way people talk here. The humour is kind of ironic and self ironic. People make fun of each other but in a way you immediately feel that they just want you to laugh WITH them.
But of course that's only my own experiences.
ArtistErin last edited by
@MimiHecher I wouldn't say I have a specific amount of time I set aside, it's more like I bleed for my art and it wakes me up at 3 am to get started, usually every morning. I work full time and so that means getting up this early to pack in a good few hours before going to work, and on my days off, I cherish those days so I can take the time to focus.
My struggle lately has been feeling "not ready"... so in response to my anxiety is to throw myself into learning. I was one of those art students on scholarship who thought I knew everything, and upon finding a classified ad in the paper (ha ha this dates me! No internet back then) from a local design studio... I went in for an interview, and he laughed me out of his office. I showed my very rough sketches thinking he would be so impressed but I looked like a fool! Yeah, had to humble myself and accept I did have alot to learn, so 30 years later here I am, still carrying that around. Trying to not "be there" in that same mindset but it's so hard to change it.
Sorry for the long diatribe I hope to share my real self and let others know to keep going, even if it means showing up when you aren't sure of yourself!
@ArtistErin Wow, it sounds so cool that you love doing art so much! I'm not as intrinsically motivated as you. I would also be fine with not illustrating stuff myself, if I could make a living with f.e. dancing or petting cats.
To me drawing IS a lot of fun but far not the only thing that I like to do.
It's a pity to hear how this one big setback of your early years still is haunting you. So are you (subconsciously) afraid to get laughed at instead of getting offered a contract, when showing your portfolio to agents, ADs and editors?
Is this holding you back from sending out stuff, or are you promoting yourself nonetheless?
ArtistErin last edited by ArtistErin
@MimiHecher I made it sound like this is the only thing I love to do however it's sort of the part of me that I shelved for a long time because I made choices in my life to support other's life dreams instead of my own. I suppose I feel like I am trying to make up for the lost years which I know, cannot be recaptured, so I am going about this in a serious way, not wasting anymore time.
The haunting feeling drives me to learn and do things that are out of my comfort zone (learning marketing, digital software, and administrative stuff that bores the crap out of me), and as far as the practice, I love to draw and that will never change. I am worried about looking amateurish and maybe that's the heavy feeling I should let go of. It does no good to focus that way and honestly I am not where I was then so it's really irrelevant!