Lives of the Artists: Kathrin Jebsen-Marwedel


I was born in 1965 in Wolfsburg, Germany. After school I did an apprenticeship as a photographer. In 1989 I moved to Kiel in the north of Germany near the Baltic sea, where I studied graphic design. I‘m working as a graphic designer in the marketing and PR department of a medium-sized company in Kiel.

In my youth I loved to draw animals and landscapes with watercolors or pencil. I spent much time with drawing, and my endurance in drawing very detailed animal studies and other motives was very high. I worked with watercolors and very fine brushes so I could draw every fine hair or feather.

When I began to study graphic-design I didn’t have much time, so I stopped drawing for awhile. In my diploma work I did some illustrations, but my professor didn’t like them. She told me: “If you are not able to make illustrations you should let it be.” Nevertheless I got my leaving certificate.

I didn’t draw for about 4 or 5 years, until I bought my first Moleskine pocket diary in 2001. I used it as a journal, but there wasn’t enough room to write down all my thoughts and everyday occurrences, so I began to draw the most important happenings of every day and wrote down only some words.

I noticed that this was a nice way to start drawing again – nobody could see my drawings, so I did the drawings only for myself. And I noticed that an illustrated journal is better than a written journal, because when I browse through my Moleskines I can see on nearly every page at a glance what I did at that day.

My endurance isn’t so high like in earlier times – often I get ants in my pants when I want to draw very detailed things. So I like to do quick drawings – at first I’m chalking out with a pencil, after that I like to use fine copic multiliners (0,05 mm, 0,1 mm and 0,25 mm) or an Pilot G-Tech C4. For coloring I love copic markers.

I love the brillant colors and the smell of them. A disadvantage of markers is that they bleed through. I put a blotting paper behind the page where I’m drawing on, but the back side is always also colored. To cover this, I make a collage on the back side or I use the colored areas that have bled through for a new drawing.

I also like watercolors and crayons, and sometimes I use some rubber stamps for headlines. Drawing in my Moleskine is a relaxing ritual for me, and I recommend the practice to all who enjoy creativity and art.

Kathrin Jebsen-Marwedel’s Flickr Stream

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This autobiography is part of the Escape into Life Lives of the Artists project.