Theodor Storm Book Cover by Zettl

new projects ahead

cover for a book first

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.

new projects ahead: book for Theodor Storm poems by Friedrich Zettl

new projects ahead 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.

new projects ahead: walter fehlinger and 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.

new projects ahead: towards the light ink painting
one painting of my “toward the light” – series

related: newspaper article on my projects | an old sketchbook | Jean Michel Basquiat Exhibition in Vienna | minor, major and a video | etudes




55 responses to “new projects ahead”

  1. gsmanx avatar

    Thumbs up! Definitely! 🙂

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

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

  2. Lov Verma avatar

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

  3. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

    Thank you very much! That helps a lot.

  4. Sue Grey-Smith avatar

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

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

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

  5. mic avatar



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

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

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

  7. swabby429 avatar

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

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

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

  8. linienspiel avatar

    Beeindruckende Arbeiten!!😍

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

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

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

  9. Nancy Richy avatar

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

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      You are very kind! Thank you so much!

  10. luisa zambrotta avatar


    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thanks a lot for your kind words!

      1. luisa zambrotta avatar

        You’re more than welcome

  11. Ashley avatar

    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! 🤞🙋‍♂️

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

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

      1. Ashley avatar

        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!

      2. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

        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.

      3. Ashley avatar

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

  12. Monkey's Tale avatar


    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thanks a lot! Have a great weekend!

  13. zipgong avatar

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

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

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

  14. Mike and Kellye Hefner avatar

    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.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      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.

  15. Mike U. avatar

    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! 🙂

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      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!

  16. loujen haxm'Yor avatar

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

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you so much for your helpful comment!

  17. Martha Kennedy avatar

    Congratulations!! This is all wonderful.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      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….

      1. Martha Kennedy avatar

        That would be a wonderful project, Friedrich!

  18. Rosaliene Bacchus avatar

    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 🙂

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      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.

  19. linhah avatar

    Absolutely lovely!

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you so much! All the best!

  20. Edith avatar

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

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

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

      1. Edith avatar

        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…

      2. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

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

      3. Edith avatar

        Lächel, ich war eine noch viel bessere Bibliothekarin ❤

      4. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

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

      5. Edith avatar

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

  21. artsofmay avatar

    I’m adding my congratulations to the list!

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thanks a lot! This means much to me!

  22. outsideauthority avatar

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

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

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

  23. emmblu avatar

    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 ❤️

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      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!

  24. Adelheid avatar

    Beautiful ‘toward the light’ series!

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you so much! I am glad you like it!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: