My name is Kathrin Jebsen-Marwedel (Follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Flickr!). 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.
Since I was young I’ve always loved to draw. 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 motifs 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 a while. 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.
After that I didn’t draw for about 4 or 5 years. In 2001, I discovered a Moleskine pocket diary, and at first I used it as a journal. But there wasn’t enough space for all my thoughts, so I began to draw the most important happenings of every day and wrote down only some words.
For me, it was a nice way to start drawing again – nobody could see my drawings, because 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 on that day. One day, I discovered other people who loved to draw in their calendar books on Flickr, and I joined several corresponding groups.
A few years, I was only an onlooker, but in 2005, I began to also post some drawings. The exchange with other drawing people motivates me, and it gives me so much inspiration. For the last few years, I’ve also been an active member on instagram. (@illustratedjournal, feel free to follow me). I also created an account on snapchat, but for some reason I’m unable to appreciate it. Perhaps I’m too mad or too old (or both).
My endurance isn’t as high as it was 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. Unfortunately I’m drawing very slowly – which is hard for me, because I love the urban sketching community so much!
So there are always more ideas in my head than time to draw them. My most beloved medium are fineliners and watercolors, but I also love pencils, colored pencils and markers. (Attention, they bleed through!). I love to buy art materials, and I’ve got enough watercolors to last until I’m 250 years old. But that’s no reason to stop buying more watercolors! I don’t like to draw with oil colors, oil crayon or pastels.
I use to draw very early in the morning before I had to go to work. I try to draw every day, because I hate blank pages in my calendar book. But sometimes there’s not enough time. I always begin with a pencil line, after that I’m using a fineliner (I’m admiring artists who are able to draw directly with a brush or a fineliner without doing a preliminary sketch).
After that, I color my drawings. Sometimes I add some stickers, washitape or stamps (I love letters and stamps!) and add headlines with my old rubber alphabet stamps. The Moleskine’s paper is somewhat less than perfect for watercoloring, treating with markers or colored pencils, but I’m not good at drawing on expensive paper. Obviously, I also need this calendar thing. There are so many nice sketchbooks with more suitable paper, but I love the lines and the date in my book. It reminds me when I didn’t draw for a few days.
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!