Lev Kaplan  
Cube Restaurant Stuttgart
Kunst Historisches Museum Wien
Art Equipment/Tool
Schmincke Watercolors, Arches Paper
Red Wine
Second Hand Records Stuttgart
What led you to become an illustrator? It was a coincidence. My friend asked me if I would like to illustrate a fairy tale book. And I agreed. Did you study illustration at college? No, I am a studied architect. Where did you grow up? In Lugansk, in the ex USSR, now Ukraine. Do you have a childhood memory relating to drawing/art that you hold dear? Yes, the mysterious smell of paper and color in the children's art school. Where do you live now and what drew you there? I live in Stuttgart since 1992. I emigrated from the Ukraine to the FRG and came straight to Stuttgart. Describe your studio for us It is a small room in my apartment where I have everything to work on. Also my LP collection and turntable are here - it's my habitat. Describe the view from your window It is a sleeping quarter: many houses, but also many trees and forest-covered hills on the horizon. Nearby is a kindergarten and I keep hearing children's voices outside. Who or What is your biggest inspiration? North Renaissance, especially Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Andrew Wyeth is also my great role model. How do you get your ideas? With the pencil in my hand. I start to scribble, to etch right away and it starts immediately to assemble something in my head. I never wait for inspiration, it comes during work.
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What are your interests outside of illustration? Free painting, music, literature. What is the first record you bought? Pink Floyd 'Wish you were here'. Tell us about a favourite project you’ve recently completed An illustration for the PETA-Animals print ad. Why is illustration such a powerful medium? Because we live in a world full of visual attractions and the visual information is accepted faster and better. What is the best use of illustration you have ever seen? Norman Rockwell Illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post. What makes a really good client brief? If he does not accept you as a supplier, but as a team member. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? The four-part cure (Tetrapharmakos) by Philodemos, 1. Don’t fear god, 2. Don’t worry about death, 3. What is good is easy to get, 4. What is terrible is easy to endure. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? Maybe Kyoto in Japan. Have you any hidden talents? I can write well. I can cook well. And I can learn quickly. If money were no object, would you continue to illustrate? Yes, exclusive and very interesting commissions. If you could travel back in time, who would be the one person you would want to meet and why? Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The most mysterious and the most interesting artist I know.
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