Where Pen Meets Press: The Paper Craft Dreams of Rita Fürstenau

To   tell the story of Rita Fürstenau as only an illustrator would leave out half the tale. For Rita, publishing and illustrating are integrally linked. At a time when independent publishing was a relatively new idea and the online communities dedicated to those pursuits didn’t exist, Rita took her vision into her own hands and opened a publishing house, Rotopol. Today, she’s an illustrator, a children’s book author, an independent publisher, and a teacher. With emotionally satisfying narratives and individual pages that feel like poems, Rita’s blithe, thought-provoking illustrations leap off their pages.

I love Rita’s work, not only for its evocative and universally relatable themes, but also for the way she’s paved the way for indie operations like this very magazine. It was an honor to learn more about her journey and to be inspired by her belief in the power of her creative vision.

First off, can you tell us more about your personal background? What is your story?

I’m an illustrator, author, and publisher living in Germany and Sweden. Besides working on commission works, I’m spending as much time as possible working on personal projects such as books, foldouts, paper crafting, and stationary goods. Most of them are published at Rotopol, the publishing house I run. 

Rotopol is a publishing house for graphic storytelling focusing on comics, graphic novels, picture books, and stationary. It’s a home for books written by comic artists and illustrators themselves or in close collaboration with an author, exploring ways of bringing text and imagery together and touching upon the borders of what comic art and illustration can accomplish. In addition to working as an artist and publisher,  I’m running a bookstore for graphic literature and teach in various contexts–at a children’s art school as well as at different Universities...

Read on in I, Enheduanna Issue 3: In Our Hands, available here.

This article can be found in I, Enheduanna "Issue 3: In Our Hands"

In Our Hands features thirteen articles with work by seventeen feminine and non-binary creatives ranging in medium from prose to photography, poetry to pottery. In Our Hands centers around the way we create and share our creations through the sensation of touch, exploring the creative practices of each artist through in-depth interviews. Issue 3 is […]

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Rita Fürstenau
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