texasmonthly.com: How did you get started illustrating?

Christoph Niemann: Like most things I did when I was three and a half, I don’t remember.

texasmonthly.com: What inspires your work?

CN: Pretty much anything—politics, art, pop culture.

texasmonthly.com: Do you do your work by hand or by computer? If by computer, how do you go about creating these images on a computer?

CN: Most illustrations start by hand and end up in the computer, which gives me more control, especially when it comes to color. The icons I did for this issue were created from scratch in Illustrator though.

texasmonthly.com: Does illustrating on the computer require a lot of precision and hand-eye coordination (to get all the details in)?

CN: Much less so than with hand drawing, since you can work with 1,600 percent magnification and have an unlimited amount of undos. A brush is much less forgiving.

texasmonthly.com: Do you prefer one over the other?

CN: It totally depends on the assignment and what I want to achieve.

texasmonthly.com: Did you go to school and get formal training for this?

CN: I went to art school, but I am pretty much self-taught in regards to the Mac.

texasmonthly.com: When you doodle, what do you usually end up drawing?

CN: Faces.

texasmonthly.com: How do you start the creative process of thinking up ideas? Where do your ideas come from?

CN: Staring at a blank piece of paper, being desperate.

texasmonthly.com: How did you start collaborating with Texas Monthly?

CN: I guess [creative director] Scott Dadich saw my work somewhere and gave me a call, and then it was love at first sight.

texasmonthly.com: What advice do you have for those hoping to become illustrators?

CN: Work, work, work, and work.