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Christoph Kleinstück, freelance illustrator

Christoph Kleinstück, freelance illustrator

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Who are you:

I`m Christoph Kleinstück, a freelance illustrator, and printmaker living and working in Hamburg Germany.

Your current job:

I illustrate mostly for magazines and sometimes for agencies that cooperate with clients based in advertising. The time in between the jobs I make a living from, I use to push my skills as a printmaker.

In which city are you located?

In Hamburg, Germany.

A word to define what kind of worker you are

Hmm maybe a little bit manic? I try to invest as much time as possible in my work to get forward.

What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)

Essential tools for my illustrative work are definitely my beloved Cintiq 21ux, Eddings of all kinds, a sketchbook of course and the Fuji XE1 to document all of my output.

For printmaking, i use mostly Caran d`Ache crayons, Asian plywood, a set square, a circle template, a calculator and a lot of different woodcut tools from Japanese ones to Pfeil- and Dastra tools.

What does your office space look like?

What kind of music do you listen when you are working?

We are two people here in our studio and have the luck to share the same musical taste. The range of music is wide so it can be everything between audio book, radio play, folk, bluegrass, hardcore and punk stuff, black metal and rap. There are also moments when we celebrate silence.

What tips would you give to improve productivity?

I have a daily routine and that helps me. But it can happen, that in that routine I jump from Photoshop to plywood to the sketchbook and back in half an hour. Sometimes the workflow is weird, sometimes it`s straight, but it`s not that I change it itself a lot, like Oh, today I’m going to work in the middle of the night.

I think the best way to improve productivity is work life balance. Do not hang in front of the screen for twelve hours every day. Do some exercises, cycle to the studio and back, go for a walk, go fishing, enjoy nature, do cool things, grab a beer with friends, try to stay laid-back and catch enough zs. We all know it`s hard and stress can`t be avoided, but it`s good to keep a distance from time to time. But I also have to admonish myself sometimes to do so.

You’re better than your colleagues to:

Oh, we have a lot of talented people of all creative kinds here in Hamburg and the level of what they do is really high. But I guess the fewest of them are able to catch some nice zander or perch haha.

What is the best advice anyone has given you?

Do your own thing and don`t bend yourself to fit in somewhere. It`s no advice that I can backtrack to a special person, but I think it`s useful.

What is your best tip for saving time?

If there are a lot of things to do, may they be work related or private, a good plan, or let`s say a simple to do list is the thing that can help save some time.

What is your routine start and end of the day?

The start is almost always the same and begins around nine in the morning when I arrive at our studio. The end of the day is variable and depends on deadlines and the verve I have. In autumn and winter, the days are usually longer.

Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without?

I always carry a decent pocket knife with me and I use it for nearly everything.