I often call myself culturally confused. :o) I was born in Dacchau, Germany, which is not far from Munich in Bavaria (you know, Heidi country). We often would go hiking in the Alps and look for wild mushrooms in the forests. It was a great place to live as a child. In the Winter I would take my sled to school. Simply splendid! All that snow was a dream come true when you are little. I loved drawing ever since I was able to hold a pencil.

I grew up speaking German. My mum is German and my dad is American whose mum is Australian. I didn’t speak English but could understand some because of my dad. At the time I always associated speaking English with being in trouble. My dad could scold better in his native tongue.

When I was eleven, my English was suddenly put to the test because we moved to Australia. What a scary time that was! Australia was a great place but when you don’t speak the language, especially in sixth grade, it can be quite challenging. Being a German child trying to learn a language that had sounds like “Th” wasn’t easy. I sounded rather strange and was often reminded of it. It builds character, right? I loved Australia. A beautiful country with amazing animals. I loved going to the beach and spending time with my horse, but most of all I still loved drawing. When you draw you speak a universal language that anyone can understand. Drawing became my security blanket.

After High School I went to Art School and LOVE it. I knew that I wanted to be an illustrator but really didn’t know how to go about it. I ended up focusing on Graphic Design.

When I was twenty I moved to America, Arizona to be precise. Luckily, I didn’t have the language barrier this time around. Well, I almost didn’t. I spoke Australian English with a German accent. Bottom line: I still sounded strange. I still loved to draw.

Posted in: Questions About Tanja