We have already introduced you to our new colleague Stefanija, with her label Damaja Handmade she decorates sustainable clothing and textiles with wonderful, individually handmade embroidery. The next addition to the team, with whom we are expanding our concept and range in the store, is Denise Zimmer, who goes by the name Kunstzimmer creates delicate, true-to-life watercolor illustrations. These are now available in our shop at Reuterstraße 62! Denise has been living in Berlin for eight years, but still keeps her homeland, beautiful southern Hesse, in her heart. And on paper – because the closeness to nature that she was able to enjoy at home, surrounded by fields and paddocks, is also reflected in her artistic work. In an interview, she tells us what inspires her today for her work and what she particularly likes about illustrating.

What are you doing?

I currently work as an art therapist with children and as an educator with people with support needs. Drawing has always been a passion of mine and has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. That's how it happened that I first studied art to become a teacher and then art therapy, it definitely had to be something related to art. I have been sharing inspiration, impressions and work on my Instagram account @kunstzimmer for two years, with a focus on my illustrations and interior. For the first time I'm selling my work in the shop!

Interior and living by Kunstzimmer by HETTI.Drawing, watercolor illustrations art room

How did you come up with the idea for your illustrations?

In autumn 2017 I got the opportunity to illustrate the children's book "Elokin and the Green Star", by then I had been experimenting with watercolors for a while and created some more abstract works. But all of a sudden I wanted to work more figuratively again. So I illustrated animals around Christmas time - polar bears, sea lions, a whale and an Eskimo girl in the ice, in keeping with winter. At the beginning of 2018, the idea for the “Animals of Berlin” series came to me because I kept encountering foxes in the city at night! After some research I realized how many wild animals are reclaiming the big city and these secret roommates became the protagonists of my new illustrations. For me, this is part of the mindfulness with which I walk through Berlin and with which I want to be more aware of what is happening around me. I definitely inherited my love of nature and plants from my grandfather, which is why I not only like being in nature, there is also a very large plant corner in my apartment. I am currently also working on a tree leaf series from the trees that surround us in Berlin.

Art room, illustrations by Denise Zimmer, sale at HETTI. Fox, art room, watercolor illustrationAuarell box, art room, illustrations for sale at HETTI. in Berlin

Where do you get your inspiration from and what are your favorite motifs?

I draw inspiration from my life and everything that surrounds me. Even when I'm on vacation, the paint box is always with me. At the moment I mainly draw with watercolors and I am far from getting tired of it. When I'm traveling in Arizona and California like last year, then of course my motifs adapt accordingly - for example, the drawing of a watchtower on the beach and a palm tree were created, which I found simply beautiful. A whale motif and a puffin accompanied me from Iceland and I really enjoy drawing spontaneously on site and in the respective environment. The respective season also influences my work - in summer fruit appears again and again as motifs and currently it is, for example, the play of colors in the falling leaves. So my favorite motifs tend to be seasonal, but designing animals in particular always gives me great pleasure.

Art room, inspiration, illustrations in watercolor techniqueWhale, art room illustrations as postcards to buy from HETTI. at Reuterstrasse 62 in Berlin-Neukölln

What do you like best about your work and what would you like to learn more about? 

I love how calm and focused I get when I'm illustrating. It means to me absolute switching off from everything else that goes through my head in everyday life. I would also take on the task of illustrating a children's book again straight away - I really enjoyed making the images that arise in my mind's eye while reading come true. I'm absolutely not tech-savvy, but now I have to master the basics on the scanner and Photoshop in order to convert my illustrations into postcards and prints, I'm learning that right now. Here I would like to break down my fears of contact, improve myself and thereby speed up processes. It stays the same – what I enjoy most is simply working on paper.

October 24, 2018 — Kristina Hellhake