Christoph Niemann is an artist, author and animator. His work appears regularly on the covers of The New Yorker, National Geographic and The New York Times Magazine. Christoph Niemann’s art has been subject to numerous museum retrospectives. He has drawn live from the Venice Art Biennale, the Olympic Games in London, and he has sketched the New York City Marathon — while actually running it. He created The New Yorker’s first Augmented Reality Cover as well as a hand drawn 360 degree VR animation for the magazine’s US Open issue. Clients include Hermés, Google, LAMY, and The Museum of Modern Art. (* 1970)
He is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale. In 2010, he was inducted into the Art Directors Club Hall Of Fame. He is the author of many books, including the monograph “Sunday Sketching” (2016), “WORDS” (2016) and “Souvenir” (2017). His most recent book is “Hopes and Dreams” about a trip to meet an artistic hero in Los Angeles. With Jon Huang he created the kids’ apps PETTING ZOO and CHOMP. His work is subject of an episode of Abstract, an original Netflix series.
Since July 2008, Niemann has been writing and illustrating The New York Times blog Abstract City, renamed Abstract Sunday in 2011, when the blog moved to The New York Times Magazine. He studied at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart under Heinz Edelmann. After finishing his studies in Germany in 1997, he moved to New York City. After 11 years in New York City, he moved to Berlin with his wife, Lisa, and their three sons.
For years, Christoph Niemann spent every Sunday conducting a drawing experiment. The artist, whose illustrations have appeared in dozens of publications, including WIRED, would sit down with a blank piece of paper and a random, everyday object. He never knew what he was going to draw—only that his drawing would include whatever object was in front of him. And so he would turn pennies into scoops of ice cream. Or bananas into horse legs. Or highlighters into light sabers.
Niemann devised hundreds of these visual puns, and now he’s collected them—along with more work from his career—in his new monograph, Sunday Sketching. Published by Abrams, it’s a retrospective of Niemann’s work, but it’s also a meditation on the creative process. Throughout Sunday Sketching, Niemann uses clever drawings and his charming breed of humor to tackle tricky subjects like insecurity, money, and changing course while things are going well. The book, and the excerpt below, are a reminder that even the brightest creative minds face challenges when making consistently great work.