Christoph Niemann Turned it Up to Eleven in Our Recent Book Club

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Register here to watch this episode of PRINT Book Club

Recently, Debbie Millman and Steven Heller interviewed the grand master of the deceptively simple, Christoph Niemann, about his new artist book, IDEA DIARY. This self-published work from the author and designer’s artist-centric business Abstractometer Press features 240 pages of his wry visual observations. During PRINT Book Club, Niemann shared insights and told stories about the images he created and the processes he used to get ideas out of his head and onto the page.

While Niemann is known for his witty illustrative style, IDEA DIARY proves that it extends to the written word as well. You can see this immediately in his list of the ten rules that shape his idea drawings:

  1. If the reader doesn’t think it’s funny, it’s not funny.
  2. If I can act out the drawing on a stage with people and props, it’s usually not good enough.
  3. If I can adequately explain the drawing over the phone, it’s usually not good enough.
  4. An idea drawing is like solving a problem that I just invented. If the solution doesn’t, the problem might be the problem (and not the solution).
  5. Start by getting the easy ones out of the system.
  6. Any idea that pops into my head without drawing probably has popped into somebody else’s head.
  7. It usually gets interesting when the drawing on paper doesn’t work as I had imagined in my head.
  8. Feeling a little angry is bad for thinking but good for drawing.
  9. I need 30 so I can kill 20 and end up with 10.
  10. There’s always another idea.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg— you can learn all about Niemann’s process by registering for the on-demand Book Club here. If you wish to purchase this book (it comes signed and with a letterpress print) it can only be found on Niemann’s website here.