I am a German South African girl, an illustrator and find myself saving bees from drowning in swimming pools.

I grew up the third of four children, daughter to a quite eccentric medical practitioner and beautiful physiotherapist. I completed my Masters Degree in Information Design at the University of Pretoria, and enjoy working with the students every now and then as part-time lecturer.  In the mid 1800’s German missionaries and prospective cotton farmers settled in Kwa-Zulu Natal, east of South Africa. I am part of the descendants of these settlers who form a unique community which is still present in a multicultural South Africa.

The name Heidekind means meadow child and is born from my name and surname, Heidel Dedekind. I prefer to and predominantly work with traditional media. I love the feel of a pen, pencil, brush or nib between my fingers; the jet-black fluidity of ink, the creaminess of gouache, the smell of pencil shavings and watching a colour develope as I mix the different pigments together. I often catch myself observing people’s face-structures when I talk to them. I tend to be detail orientated and seem to remember the shape and anatomy of things I regularly see around me. It’s as if the gentle curves of bodies, objects and actions get burned into my mind only to be tapped into when I draw from memory – this doesn’t mean I don’t ever find myself struggling though! I feel observational drawing is important in aiding the ability to draw from memory.

When visualising and planning new illustrations I often have some sort of narrative playing out in my mind to guide the process. Sometimes poems and songs are also great inspiration or springboard. I have recently developed a soft spot for drawing animals as characters, because, as Joan Rankin explains: “they are non-racist and don’t get offended when drawn doing silly things”.

I currently live with my husband along the east coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal enjoying the refreshing, while sometimes steaming hot, seascape view. It’s summer here and I think it’s time for lemonade…