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Lea Berndorfer (DEU)


1. Can you tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, where you studied, and where you are at now? I am an illustrator based in Hamburg, Germany. In 2017 I graduated in illustration at the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg. For three years now I‘ve been working as a full-time illustrator specialized on colorful editorials and infographics, preferably with relevant content and added value. Topics concerning our environment, politics and science are particularly interesting to me. 

2. Why did you become an illustrator?

I know it‘s a cliche, but I‘ve always loved to paint and create. Rather by chance than following a conscious decision, I ended up studying illustration without exactly knowing what to expect. Lucky me, for it can be a wonderfully versatile and exciting profession.

3. What artists/things do you most admire and how did they influence your work?

There are a lot of artists I admire and who influence my work. But depending on where I see a gap in my work, the influences often change. At the moment I am in love with the work of Celia Jacobs, Paul Blow and Jason Holley.


4. How did you find your style? Has it changed since you started?

In the beginning I tried out differant styles, techniques and focal points. It was clear pretty quickly that painting would be my way of expression, but it took me some time to realize I wanted to work in the informative field: I enjoy familiarizing myself with new topics and then solving the puzzle of how to best explain the subject matter with visual aids. 

5. Can you briefly describe your creative process?

Every comission starts with a detailed research process. Parallel analogue sketching helps extract the main message. Then I play with different ideas and options in a digital sketch. After consulting the client I create the final illustration with a mix of analogue  acrylic painting and digital post-editing.



6. How did you get the ideas for the piece that won the Gold Medal?

Theme of the issue was „ health for all”: The corona virus vaccine is in short supply. But also regarding other diseases medicine is scarce and very expensive in many parts of the world - much like an unattainable luxury product. It was my goal that the illustrations make these injustices visible.

7. Best and worst part of your job: The best part is being immersed in a painting while listening to a good book. The worst part is having to work late evenings when a lot of work accumulates.


8. Quick answers: Favorite movies: The Fifth Element, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Lady Bird, ... Favorite musics to work: No music when I think, audiobooks when I paint Favorite Hobbies: yoga, crochet, movies, hiking Magic wish: three more, please


8. What is the best piece of advice you’ve had, in regards to comics/illustration or otherwise?

As you research and think about a topic, sketch the information and thoughts. This speeds up the process and lets you come up with new and interesting visual connections and ideas 

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 Health for all.Cover and editorial illustrations for the german “Amnesty Journal”, published March 2021. The corona virus vaccine is in short supply, and western countries are arguing about it. This doesn‘t bode well for most african, asian and american countries, who will likely have to wait years for vaccinations. But also regarding other diseases medicine is scarce and very expensive in many parts of the world - everyone’s health is at risk. (AD Heiko von Schrenk)


The element Water and a magician working with it along with symbolic animals, plants, shapes and colours.

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