Bernd Schifferdecker Paints Your Pictures

Bernd Schifferdecker Paints Your Pictures

At the front of each issue of Seed Magazine is your typical list of contributors, however, instead of using tiny headshots like most magazines, Seed commissions Bernd Shifferdecker to paint a portrait. They are so fabulous as to make you stop and pause and appreciate the craftsmanship of a true artist. And while his output isn’t a photograph, there certainly is a photorealistic quality to the images.

He speaks good English too. Danke, Bernd!


Illustrations by Bernd Schifferdecker


Illustrations by Bernd Schifferdecker


Photo by Noah Kalina

You live in Germany. How did Seed magazine find you?

Sagmeister Inc. made the redesign for Seed magazine. They suggested this style for the contributors section.

How do you create a portrait for the magazine?

They send me photos of very different quality and then I try to convert portraits into this style. Sometimes I have to make the illustrations in 2-3 days. I use acrylics to paint them.

The lighting for each portrait looks very similar. how closely do your portraits match the photo?

I use as many details as I can get. The lighting is sometimes too extreme and then I would try to adjust it for the series.

What type of clients do you have? Is most of your work for commercial use, or do you do personal and fine art as well?

Most of my clients are magazines in Germany. More and more I have the opportunity to work together with magazines in New York.

Who are your artistic influences?

Early influences came from comic books artists. My favourite one from America was Bill Sienkiewicz.

There’s a big rumor in the USA that germans love david hasselhoff and the tv show “CSI: Miami” with David Caruso. Any truth to this?

No. But I remember him being popular when I was a child. I never saw “CSI: Miami”. I don`t know if it is loved.

Mccain or Obama?

I expect a close decison (and I think it is high time for a new one).

On the street in new york city, they will draw my portrait for $20. How much would you charge me to draw my portrait?

I haven`t been in New York yet and didn`t have to work on the streets yet. In this case I would try to get more than $20.


Self-Portrait. Bernd Schifferdecker.

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This article was written by

Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter.

There is 1 comment for this article
  1. GeorgeKaplan at 3:11 pm

    wow, Bill Sienkiewicz, there’s a name i aint heard of for years. His work for Big Numbers comics in early 90s was and still is incredible. cheers for the tangental but most appreciated link.

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