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Meet the Author

Hey there, can you introduce yourself?

Medium profil lena

Hey, my Name is Lena and I'm an japanese-german illustrator and surface pattern designer based in Germany. During my parental leave I rediscovered my love for watercolor and couldn't stop creating since then. I spent every free minute (mainly in the late evenings) working hard for my two watercolor books (Watercolour with Love and Handlettering & Watercolor) as well as for some other projects for the homedecor and greeting card industry which will launch this year. It is also the year when I turned my passion into a job and set my focus on surface pattern design and licensing.

Tell us a bit about the book?

The book Watercolour with Love contains 50 modern watercolour projects which are explained in 5 steps each. Some are easier as the others but all are doable even when you are a beginner. The projects are florals, cactuses, fruits, sweets and animals.

What was the inspiration behind it?

The concept for the book Watercolour with Love was an idea of the German publisher EMF-Verlag. They approached me some months after I decided to concentrate my creative career on watercolour. Together with my editor I developed the motives for the book. As florals and greenery are always a good idea it was clear that they would take a big part of the book. For the animal motives like the flamingo and the lama we have been inspired by current trends.

Which is your favourite project?

That's a tricky question. I think I like the flamingo, the gingko leaves and one of the cactuses most.

What is your craft space like?

One of the best things concerning my job is that I can work from anywhere and whenever I want to. As long as I have my watercolor materials, my technical equipment and my inspiration I am free which I love.
At home I share my light-flooded creative space with my 3 year old daughter. We love sitting together at our table creating different things with different materials.

Have you always been creative?

YES. As long as I can remember my bags were packed with paper and colored pencils. Furthermore I always loved doing Origami. Before I concentrated on watercolors I also had a DIY-Blog where I worked with different materials on different projects. I think keeping my hands still would drive me crazy ;)

When did you first start crafting?

Unfortunately I cannot exactly remember the first thing I created - probably my mum can :) But I do remember a funny clay figure I created which is standing on my parents table at home...

Who are your crafty heroes?

Oh there are so many talented people which is wonderful. Altough I prefer wearing simple clothes, I've always been fascinated by Anna Sui's style. Since I immersed into the World of Illustration and Design I love the work of Emma Block, Yao Cheng, Cécile Metzger and Victoria Johnson, just to name a few - I could continue endlessly. To see that everyone can develop an own style is very fascinating and encouraging.

Where do you find inspiration?

I can find inspiration anywhere I am. The internet of course is a big source of inspiration. But sometimes it's best and most inspirational when you just sit around, visit another city, walk down the streets or talk to other people. Then a sweet little flower, a beautifully painted or decorated house or a memory can be the beginning of something new.

What's next for you?

Currently I am working on my portfolio, creating different collections so that I can send them out into the world and hopefully make other people happy when they look at my designs.
Thank you so much for this interview - it was very interesting thinking about and answering the questions.
Love, Lena

Publisher's Description

Paint 50 beautiful, iconic motifs in bright watercolours in this vibrant book by illustrator Lena Yokota-Barth. Learn the basics of watercolour painting - how to make the brushstrokes and mix colours effectively. Build up your skills quickly and simply by following the five simple instructions for each design.Trendy watercolours for beginners! For those new to watercolour painting, this book offers an easy introduction. All 50 motifs can be painted in five steps which are all detailed clearly so success is guaranteed! Among the motifs are trendy animals, popular plants and fun-to-paint fruits, such as a flamingo, llama, cacti, succulents and watermelons. The basics of watercolour painting are presented in an easily understandable fashion, and the fifty motifs will give rise to limitless possibilities for designing posters, greetings cards, journal covers or simply as thoughtful, framed gifts.