Freistil – The Book Of Illustration # 7, 2021

Edited & designed by Raban Ruddigkeit. With over 600 color illustrations by more than 150 illustrators from ten countries. Plus a portrait of Art Spiegelman, interviews with Mahdi Karimzâde from Iran, Edel Rodríguez Molano from Cuba and Victoria Lomasko from Russia, and recollections of Honoré Daumier, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Käthe Kollwitz, Georg Grosz and John Heartfield.

Texts in German & English, 376 pages, format 17 x 24 cm, hardcover with two bookmarks and a cover of stone paper, printed in eight special colors, Verlag Hermann Schmidt, ISBN 978-3-87439-952-4, Order now at

Foreword by Raban Ruddigkeit, editor Freistil – The Book Of Illustration # 7

“Disaster is my muse” This quote by Art Spiegelman, whom we portray in detail in this “Freistil”-Issue, leaves room for various interpretations. For me, it’s also the reminder that creativity does not arise despite adverse circumstances—but precisely because of them. Good communication is never just an illustration of reality, but always also a questioning of familiar patterns, cherished certainties and immovable truths.

Thus, illustration can be more than just the fluffy decoration of product recommendations and popular propaganda. It can become part of a societal debate, as proofed by the veterans of drawing we feature in this issue. Honoré Daumier, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Käthe Kollwitz, Georg Grosz and John Heartfield are role models in the art of messing with daily life and being a small thorn in the welltempered flesh of comfort.

Such an attitude can be difficult and risky, as three illustrators tell us in our questionnaire. Mahdi Karimzâde, Edel Rodríguez Molano and Victoria Lomasko live and work in Iran, Cuba and Russia and have something more to lose with each illustration than just the next job. Thank you (and respect) for the openness and honesty with which you answered our questions.

Of course, we are once again presenting more than 150 illustrators whose work convinced the jury. Among them are well-known names and common visual languages, but also many artists of a new generation. As always, we were not impressed by style, but by the quality of an idea and/or the power of its implementation. I would like to thank all the illustrators who took part, the members of our jury and, last but not least, the publishers Karin and Bertram Schmidt-Friderichs.