My name is Anatolij Pickmann, I was born in Odessa, Ukraine, and currently live in Berlin. I am a professional freelance illustrator since 2009; usually do various illustrations and drawings for German and international PR companies. I came to Germany when I was 14 years, actually I did not have a say at that point, my parents just brought me here with them.

So do you like Germany?

Yes, I do. I am used to it. I don’t actually think whether I like it or not, I just live here. I can just say that there are places in Germany that I like more than others. Let’s say I prefer Berlin to Trier, where I studied.

Do you consider yourself German or Ukrainian?

I have two passports: German and Ukrainian…. I’d say I consider myself an “Odessit” (a person who comes from Odessa) – a completely different nation (laughing – ed.). A little bit of everything as well: a bit Jewish, a bit Ukrainian, a bit German, and a bit Russian too because my mother tongue is Russian.

Can you recall what was the most striking thing when you first came to Germany?

I think the roads seemed very smooth…..

Have you always wanted to draw and do illustrations for living?

I have always been drawing and studying illustrations. I’ve actually never planned to become an illustrator, I was not thinking about it much as a teenager….but things just worked out this way and I am happy about it.

A question to a professional illustrator regarding what happened at Charlie Hebdo. Do you think it is OK to draw caricature on religious topics?

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I actually think it is ok to draw caricature on everything. You know, one of my favourite caricatures dates back to the Soviet Times and it is on a religious topic. Imagine a small room with a very important hockey match on the national TV. God says to his angel-looking secretary: “If somebody looks for me, please tell him that God is not there.” I simply find it witty and funny…. So yes you can make caricatures on various topics, but you can’t kill people for those drawings. Putin

Is there a limit to certain sensitive topics? Ethics behind?

A lot depends on the sense of taste and it is also a question of personal education. You can also say that those people who attacked Charlie Hebdo were badly educated…

My last question to you, Anatolij! Where do you get your inspiration?

Unfortunately, nowadays I draw very little for myself, I have been a bit busy working for various clients and on interesting projects… but inspiration for me just means achieving a goal… if I have a goal, I just follow it!!!


Thanks to Igor Sytnik for the cover picture.


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