Passed my Exam on Shakespeare, Peanut Butter and Bananas

In 1995, while attending Design School Kolding, we were given two texts by Kim Fupz Aakeson from the publishing company Gyldendal for a course in illustration. One was called “The Princess Who Was Always Right,” the other one “And Now It’s Good Night!” about a monster baby who won’t go to sleep. First I tried the princess story. I believed that rococo dresses and copper spires were the most obvious choice. But it wasn’t. When we had three days left on the project I jumped on to the monster story. It was published! Don’t underestimate the positive effect of panic and performance anxiety on monsters!

Although the path was laid out for the picture book I chose to make scenography and posters for my graduation project – for no less than four Shakespeare tragedies, King Lear, Othello, Macbeth and Hamlet. I survived by eating bread with peanut butter and bananas – and passed. Nonetheless it was illustrations for picture books that became my main occupation, although I have also created decorations, posters and texts as well as been teaching. The writer I have illustrated for the most is Kim Fupz Aakeson. I love to work on his stories. He always makes sure that there is a scrumptious treat for the illustrator, e.g. two red stags playing ludo in an air balloon.

I have written the books “Gerda, the Fly’s Terrible Kitchen”, “Bette in the Grass Forest”, “A Home with a Gun” and “Kanuld on the Mammoth Plains”, about a Neanderthal boy and his family. I just finished writing the sequence, Kanuld and Onk in the Prehistoric Time of Miracles, which I am going to illustrate.