new projects ahead

Theodor Storm Book Cover by Zettl

first the books

The summer break is over, and I’ll try to post regularly again. Many good things have happened since the last post and I want to single out one thing today.

I said that because of my little youtube-video about my calligraphy, I was invited to write Chinese characters for a book that will be published in China. The client, sonatabook, subsequently asked me to illustrate a book of poems that will be published in German and Chinese. Furthermore, shortly thereafter, someone ordered a calligraphy that was shown in the video and that is such a fine story that I would like to pick it up separately.

book with Theodor Storm poems

Actually, there are 3 requests for book projects, but I’m not sure yet if I want to pursue that further, as it’s a relatively time-consuming thing – and time is a precious commodity for me.

I tackled the first book project and finished a few drafts for the cover. Actually, 8 and the 6 that I like the most are these. I have tried out some of my work from different areas and styles. For the time being these are only rough drafts.

I’m not so sure if the designs are any good as my tastes aren’t always mainstream. But as it seems so far all parties involved like it.

book inside pages

I’ve also made some sketches for master pages and it looks like the publisher is quite enthusiastic.

The project is also close to my heart because the book will be published in two languages, Chinese and German, and is aimed at a Chinese-speaking audience that has an affinity for German.

book for Theodor Storm poems by Friedrich Zettl

design Theodor Storm poems with bookmarks

In addition, the book is to be presented at a major German book fair this year as the last few days have shown that the bacopa publishing house wants to publish the book together with the sonatabook. This is a particular pleasure for me since a very fruitful and friendly relationship has now developed between Walter Fehlinger, “Mr. Bacopa” and myself.

walter fehlinger und friedrich zettl
selfie with mr. bacopa and a cigarette

Speaking of China: Chinese television wanted to broadcast a report about my exhibition in Chongqing – television recordings on-site and a conversation with me via zoom. Everything was arranged and then nothing came of it because COVID-19 is raging in Chongqing and there is a lockdown. But we will surely find something else.

I haven’t painted as much as usual lately, but I may have made some progress with some of the work. With some pictures, which I will present separately, I have advanced into new areas of the ethereal, but I have also continued to work in the area of my surrealism.

towards the light ink painting
one painting of my “toward the light” – series

Zettl Fine Arts

paintings graphics calligraphy

53 comments on “new projects ahead

Thumbs up! Definitely! 🙂

Thanks a lot! Seems meanwhile the others involved like it too.

Grand! Loved them all, especially number 3. Congratulations 👏👏👏

Thank you very much! That helps a lot.

Definitely thumbs up – each of the book covers is very appealing, but I like number 5 best. The book layout is lovely too. Congratulations!

Thank you so much! I showed it to 2 other fellow painters, they all say #5.


Congratulations! I look forward to seeing more of your new projects! 😎

Thank you very much! I have started with the next one and like the drafts so far.

Congratulations on the collaboration and publicity. The illustrations are brilliant.

Thank you very much! Sometimes I am just not sure myself….

Beeindruckende Arbeiten!!😍

Da ist ja ganz schön was los bei dir.😀 Alles Gute für den weiteren Verlauf deiner Projekte und lieben Gruß, Beate

Danke vielmals! Mein Ego ist wieder gestaerkt 🙂 Und meine Zweifel schwinden….Ein schoenes Wochenende mit Kaiserwetter wuensche ich Dir!

Fascinating read and lovely graphics. A winning combination! 👍🏼

You are very kind! Thank you so much!


Thanks a lot for your kind words!

You’re more than welcome

Wonderful! It’s No.3 (in blue) for me as it’s so like an impressionist painting (that was my immediate reaction when I watched the video). The inside pages are just amazing, perfect presentations! Good luck! 🤞🙋‍♂️

Thank you so much! Your comment helps a lot. I probably will stick to floral design, eventually some leaves.

I have come to calligraphy very late in life, beginning only this year! At times it feels like I’m on a cliff edge with only a little time to make my mark before the ground gives way; that fear makes me hesitate!

For me, calligraphy is of paramount importance. It’s not just a form of meditation, it goes way beyond that. When you calligraph you are in the here and now and when you are good you become one with the character you are writing and therefore with the universe.

Thank you, Friedrich. Enjoy what’s left of the weekend. Here it is raining ☂


Thanks a lot! Have a great weekend!

Great! I want a copy of the book as soon as it comes out!

Thanks a lot! This we can do. Wait a bit, there are 2 more books to come….All the best!

First of all, congratulations on your successes! I (Kellye) like the first book cover design. I am wondering if you could use the “toward the light” painting you’ve shown here as the cover design. I find it intriguing.

Thank you very much for your kind words and your helpful input! As mentioned I am working on illustrating another book and I think this one could work well as an illustration. I hadn’t even thought about using this picture for a cover. It would be an exciting try for sure.

Congratulations on the book project(s), Friedrich! The sample covers are sublime and I can’t pick a favorite among them–they’re all beautiful–although if I absolutely had to choose, I’d select the first one. The translucency of the flower petals is so dream-like. The painting you included from your “Toward the Light” series is stunning. And the illustrations on the book’s inside pages are simply gorgeous. Honestly, I wish I were fluent in Chinese and German so I could appreciate your work in those languages. I’m happy for you that you continue to be recognized internationally as an esteemed artist. You know of my love of Asian culture and art, so your work has always intrigued me. Well done, my friend, and may many more successes come your way! 🙂

Mike, you are too kind! Many thanks for your helpful answer. Yes, since you yourself take great photos with a penchant for Asian thoughts and also write profound haiku, you can certainly do something with the lyrical or Asian aspect in my modest drafts. Enjoy your day!

Numbers 3 and 6 (definitely not 2 and 5) are my favorites. Have fun with your finalization.

Thank you so much for your helpful comment!

Congratulations!! This is all wonderful.

Thanks Martha, let’s see what comes of it. The other project is more challenging. And then there is talk of a book about Li Bai. Hard to resist….

That would be a wonderful project, Friedrich!

Congrats on the new projects! Your draft designs for the book cover are all eye-catching. My favorite design is on the top left, but the poet would know best which one is most fitting for his collection. The illustrated sample pages are beautiful. Sorry to learn about the setback with your exhibition in Chongqing due to the latest Covid lockdown. I look forward to seeing more of your latest paintings 🙂

Thank you, Rosaliene Bacchus, for your kind and helpful reply. Now that I’m getting so much positive feedback, I feel better. In both book projects I basically can make my own decisions, but others see things differently…. As far as my new pictures are concerned, I will show something soon – in this case too I am very unsure whether they can/should be shown.

Absolutely lovely!

Thank you so much! All the best!

Zu Storm – Gedichte – würde mir das zweite Cover unbedingt gefallen. Aber Geschmack ist bekanntlich realiv.
Sehr gut, ALLES !
Liebe Grüße,

Vielen herzlichen Dank! Sehe ich genau so. Es gab aber Bedenken, dass es zu düster sei. Schöne Sonntagsgruesse aus Wien! f

Das würde ich auf keinen Fall sagen, es verkörpert seine Gedichte. Selbst seine Novellen stiegen aus seinen Gedichten empor – mal hell, mal düster…
Aber das entscheiden andere…

Ich bin ganz bei Ihnen! Das Sie eine gute Lyrikerin sind, erkennen Sie das sehr gut.

Lächel, ich war eine noch viel bessere Bibliothekarin ❤

Also eine Bibliothedith, nicht-karin 🙂 Aber die Lyrikerin mischt auf Ihrem blog trotzdem kräftig mit.

Lächel, Sie malen, ich schreibe – kreativ sind wir beide… uns wird nie langweilig… Ihnen noch feine Sonnensonntagsstunden…

I’m adding my congratulations to the list!

Thanks a lot! This means much to me!

3, 4 and 5 are my favourites. You will probably end up with them all picked by somebody!

Thank you very much! Yes, you are right 🙂 But it helped a lot.

It is always so gratifying to produce something out of love and to be appreciated and rewarded for it. Happy for you. Best of luck with everything ❤️

Thank you very much! You are very kind. Yes, indeed, And now we are talking about a couple of more overs and illustration. All the best!

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