London Female Artits


Sandra Dieckmann / E5

Incredibly Talented illustrator Sandra Dieckmann welcomed us into her home and studio in Clapton E5. Here there is our very first London Female Artists interview! Enjoy!

Can you to tell us a bit about yourself ?
I’m Sandra, I’m female, currently 6 month into my 29th year on this planet.
I’m from Germany. From a tiny Moo-town full of cows, fields and trees.
I was born in a tree house in fact. My mother was dangling by one arm when she gave birth and I flopped out and landed on the back of a hawk who brought me home to his nest.
There I leaned to fly. That’s how I made my way to Great Britain in 2002. Since then I have tried to act like a human.
One day I found some pens and pencils on someone’s table and tried them out. I liked what they did.
I liked that I could capture all the beautiful things that I saw in my own way on paper.

In which area of London do you live in?
I live in East London, Hackney, Clapton to be precise.
I have been here for seven odd years now and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in London.
I love the area, the people, the feeling.
Saying that I’m definitely interested in exploring life in other places in the world.

Tell us a bit about your work!
I have two jobs. Part time manager for the RSPCA and of course the Freelance illustration.
I bet you want to hear about that one ;-)

It’s time consuming. It’s detailed. It’s colourful.
A furry mixed media collage full of pattern work.
Traditional draftmanship meets what some consider ‘magical, folky or even edgy’ contemporary image making and story telling.

Natsuki Otani of Illustration Rally wrote this about my illustrations: “The wonderful illustrations that Sandra creates have all the hallmarks of a first class illustrator and a force to be reckoned with. Her animals are not just superbly crafted and observed but the style and aplomb with which she gifts us these images is undeniable. Her work conjures up the deep stirrings of childhood stories and half remembered fairy tales giving an earthy deep-rooted feeling of forests and mystery. Her work screams at as to look with its combination of aching beauty and elegant composition. Her work is strong and subtle and this allows her to introduce humour and light-hearted fun whilst preserving beauty and artistry. A real treat, and an illustrator’s illustrator!”

Do you think that the area in which you live has influenced your practice?
Of course.
If I looked at it in very practical sense then I would say it is a cheap area and living here I didn’t have to strive so much for money.
That gave me a lot of freedom to dream and create and also celebrate. Meet people and enjoy my life.
On another note I also believe that this area has a certain vibe. It’s open, multi cultured, not quite established … things still happen just like that. We had a free shop you needed no money in.
I just feel at home here and I guess that feeling has been a motor in a way to concentrate on what I love and grow.
The city has also enhanced my longing for space and nature extremel which is expressed in my work. I dream and crave green and space and quiet moments and the beautiful creatures that live in the world. I’m not someone that is in love with London. I love what I have here and I’m drawn back to it whenever I try and escape.

Is there an inspiring spot in your neighborhood that you would like to tell us about?
Clapton Pond and it’s weeping willow. I illustrated and wrote a little piece on it quite a while back now.

What about your work space? By the way, we absolutely Love it!
Oh I love it! It’s large. It’s tall. It’s full of things I have collected over the years. I don’t really hang up other peoples work that much.
At the moment there is some but those have all been gifts by other illustrators. I have a lot of animal images around and piles of books and fabrics and and and.
It’s a big shared Victorian house in East London with my boyfriend, my cat Little Crumb and more friends. My studio is a beautiful room with loads of light. I really regard it as a luxury. I’ve only been in here a few months and am over the moon. It’s so quite here and leafy and it’s such a difference to the flat that I lived in previously.
A patterned, colourful mess at times but as long as there is space on the table I’m happy!

If you weren’t living in London, were else would you like to live?
Skandinavia ;-)

What advice would you give to a young artist who is about to relocate to London?
Don’t be disillusioned it takes a lot of work and commitment. Be strong. Do it for yourself and no one else. Don’t think about the money. That will never work. London is expensive. If you want and need to draw just because it is that way you are doing something right.
If it’s a performance from your site keep in mind that in time you’ll be exhausted.
Fashion comes and goes. Be yourself, speak your mind, have an opinion and for your own sake be honest to yourself and others! Create what you find aesthetically pleasing! No matter if in London or anywhere else in the world your voice will shine through ;-)

You can find out more about Sandra here:


blog :

shop :

twitter: @sandradieckmann

One Comment

  1. Michelle
    May 10, 2012

    Sandra is a great illustrator to begin this feature with. I adore her work and, you’re right, she’s incredibly talented. I could stare at her illustrations for hours and still spot some lovely little feature I hadn’t before noticed. I’m looking forward to seeing more creative ladies!