Christoph Hitz is an illustrator and designer who was born and raised in Zurich, Switzerland. He studied graphic design at Kunstgewerbeschule, Zurich and was the winner of 2 out of 3 national student awards. When he graduated with a BA in Graphic Design in 1990, he finished at the top of his class.
He started out working for a small ad agency where he designed billboards and created short commercials for television. Christoph then teamed up with a copywriter and the two of them freelanced; creating ads for various ad agencies. Soon he was doing illustrations for magazines and newspapers in Switzerland and eventually had a two year run on a monthly comic strip called ‘Fish & Partner’ for Media Daten Magazine.
When Christoph moved to the United States in the mid 80's, his first clients were, The Village Voice, RCA Records and The Washington Post. Now his editorial illustrations can be seen in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, PC World, Barron's, Mother Jones, The Huffington Post, Forbes and many others.
In addition to illustrations for newspaper and periodicals, Christoph has designed CD covers, posters, logos, websites, snowboards and even a streetcar.
Christoph lives in the Catskills in upstate New York with his wife Deborah and son Emmett. See much more of his work here on his Christoph Hitz Illustration website and also on his blog at drawger.
What is your favorite pen to use?
My Wacom digital pen.
Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I usually use a ball pen for all the sketches.
Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
By now I'll do all the coloring in the computer.
If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Guache, watercolor, colored pencils, ruby lith, zipatone...
What type of paper do you use?
Regular copy paper from Staples.
What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Hands, it's always work to get it right.
Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
It depends, I patronize a local art supplier and I shop at places like Office Depot / Staples.
Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Have a coffee, walk the dogs Buster and Zuzu, turn the radio on.
Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yup, my grandmother used to work in a news stand and I got to sit on the floor and read all the newest comic magazines and eat candy.
What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Tintin and Asterix & Obelix.
What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
ZottelZick und Zwerg by the Swiss illustrator Alois Carigiet. My mom gave me an English edition a few years back to pass on to my son Emmett.
Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
4 years of Kunstgewerbeschule Zürich, Switzerland.
Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
A killer blessing.
Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Do you keep a sketchbook?
I used to carry a sketch book, I use regular copy paper for my sketches that I bind into sketch books at the end of the year. I'm currently testing digital sketchbooks in my iPad.
Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Nobody has ever asked me to do so. This spring I'll have my first keynote presentation at my son’s high school.
Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
I think one needs both to succeed.
Do you collect anything and if so what?
As a kid I had a formidable rock collection... today its rusty industrial objects.
If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
A cook, carpenter, inventor, potter, gardener.
In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
A converted two car garage full of computers, tools, toys, paper, paint , etc.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
As a student emulate a lot of illustrators and try to get the best teachers possible, practice every day.
Who is your favorite artist?
Thanks again for your time Christoph!
Don't forget, there is still plenty of time for kids ages 13 to 16 to enter the David Wasting Paper Young Cartoonist Contest! Click here for details.