As a Wimmelbook-illustrator, I sometimes have to invent small, credible tales for my picture stories. In my book 'Heidelberg wimmelt' there are many little stories that are just waiting to be discovered by the reader. Actually, there are so many that I can barely count them.
When my youngest sister read the book for the first time, she told me that the referee made her laugh out loud. I admit, I was quite puzzled. I had to ask what she was talking about which was – quite clearly – about the kudus going for a knock-out. I had forgotten that I had drawn them and the referee.
The raven is a combination of an American boxing match referee and a figure that has been fluttering through my head for years – Wolfenbüttel in the far north, my home in Germany, is very popular with the black feathered birds. The real referee calls at the beginning of each boxing or wrestling match "Let's get ready to rummmmmmbllllllllllllle!!!!" It's his trademark and the voice I hear when I look at my raven in the picture.
When I drew the people for 'Heidelberg wimmelt' in the zoo, a zoo keeper told me that a new lion enclosure was going to be built. It's finally happening! Only a few days ago, on January 30th, 2018 the groundbreaking ceremony for the new lion enclosure was held in the zoo.
The Berber lions, Binde and Chalid, are certainly looking forward to the larger areal, which will be six times the size of the present one. The lions are getting places to hide, areas that they can be held separately and opportunities to play and get some excercise. The Heidelberg Zoo has planned the areal with the hope of potential offspring of these rare predatory creatures and hopes that soon a small pride of lions will be roaming through it. (I cannot help but wonder if they like to play and hide in boxes, like house cats)
The zoo visitors benefit from the new lion enclosure, too. The Heidelberg Zoo always tries to give its visitors a close up view of the lives of the animals. From the observation deck, which is accessible via a suspension bridge, zoo visitors get a panoramic view of the new facility and can observe the animals from a completely different and unusual perspective.
Of course, the areal will be bigger than I drew it in my wimmelbook. By the way, the zoo is building more than just an areal for the lions. Look at the zoo in 'Heidelberg wimmelt' and see that I have already illustrated the project as a picture story, the porcupines and meerkats also are getting a new enclosure that they will share with each other.
As I mentioned in past blog posts, illustrating these stories is mixing fantasy with truth like fine colors on a palette. Sometimes the transitions are fluent, sometimes a part fictitious, but it is always a fun challenge.
Of course you can take a look at the lions right away, provided you already have my book, 'Heidelberg wimmelt'. You can buy the popular search and find book from your favorite bookstore, from the Silberburg-Verlag Publishing House and of course from any online bookseller of your choice. At the moment it is totally sold out at the zoo Visitor Center, but I am sure that you can get the popular wimmelbook there again soon. Just ask.
I plan to show my readers different drawing techniques that they can use to create wimmel-images and also how to develop picture stories starting in the latter half of February.
That's why I'm looking for participants willing to have themselves and their young families drawn as wimmel-figures to provide me with photos that can appear in the blog and social media for my 'Wimmel mit!' Online Wimmelpicture Project. It would be nice-but it is not necessary - if you come from the greater area of Wolfenbüttel. There are no costs for the chosen participants. If you would like to participate, please apply through this contact form.
You will then get mail with link to the application form from me, which you must sign and email back to me. (I need your explicit permission to present you on the internet)
See you next week!