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CLAUDIA BERGSDORF // ILLUSTRATOR An enthusiastic illustrator with agency and freelance experience. Happily accepts criticism and is passionate about the prospect of learning as much as possible. Likes the challenge of adapting to new or unconventional media. Hard working and reliable with the ability to get the best out of team work. Feels that coming up with a concept that fits the bill is what makes design and illustration worth any effort.



Contracting for ‘Malarky Brand and Media’

About Me


Illustration work for Te Papa’s ‘The Colossal Squid’ Exhibition

Over the last six years of university study and professional experience I have gained a good understanding of graphic computer programmes such as Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash, Dream Weaver, Final Cut Pro and InDesign. I have experience in offset printing processes, file preparation and print management.


Junior designer at Moxie Design Group


Work for ‘The Church Design’ on a logo for the brand ‘Leisure Active’


Comprehensive promotional design for the ‘Young and Hungry’ theatre trust, including posters, T-shirts, flyers, programmes and newspaper ads

Due to my illustration skills and a good understanding of the digital media I am experienced in creating strong analogue imagery and using it in a digital context. I am skilled in the analysis and interpretation of literature and have learned to make thorough research part of my work strategy. Very good presentation and public speaking skills, experience with client briefings.

Team Player I have been a valued member in team based design, hospitality and retail jobs. I enjoy brainstorming ideas with fellow designers, illustrators and friends and find it extremely beneficial to give and receive constructive criticism in order to improve my own work or a shared project.


Bachelor of Design at Massey University Wellington completed with an A+ and first class honours Graduated as a Massey scholar


University Entrance Qualification at Louise Henriette Gymnasium; Oranienburg, Germany

Employment History

2006/7: Multimedia work for Massey University, designing a presentation for the AGIdeas conference in Melbourne 2006:

Layout work for the magazine ‘Off the Menu’


2 by 3 metre mural for the Museum of Wellington City and Sea, Queens Wharf, as part of the exhibition ‘Innocents Abroad’

Additional Information

Contact Details

Date of birth: 20/05/1984

Claudia Bergsdorf

German nationality

021 1429 631

Languages: German and English French – intermediate level

Personal Referees Jess Molloy (Moxie Design Group designer), 04 802 4033, 021 121 7585

Work Ethic

Lucy Cant (WETA Workshop) 021519229

I have a strong attention to detail while keeping an eye on the whole work.

Paul Tobin (WETA Digital, teacher for the course ‘Digital Illustration’ at Massey University) 021397756

I have excellent time management, work well under pressure and to given deadlines.

Caroll Simcox (Malarky Brand and Media), 04 385 0166



FLYING TREE CREATURE ACORN SUPER HERO As part of an illustration collective we play a game where we draw different words from a hat and illustrate a creature according to the phrase. In this case I decided to take the quick sketch and turn it into a more complex piece of work. The words were, flying, tree-creature and acorn. My take on this was a sort of super hero whose mission is to safe acorns from squirrel attacks. My main focus here was the tone, I wanted this to be a fun piece with some sinister undertones, but an overall friendly appearance. opposite page: full illustration left: detail of squirrel and the initial sketch

ARIADNE: THE TROY GAME ‘The Troy Game’ is a novel by Sara Douglas, which is based on the Greek myth surrounding Theseus and the betrayal of and by Ariadne, half sister to the Minotaur. I decided to explore costumes and props as well as one scene. Ariadne betrayed her half brother by aiding her lover Theseus to slay him in the labyrinth. Afterwards Theseus in turn betrays Ariadne and leaves her behind on an island, in ‘The Troy Game’ Ariadne was also carrying Theseus’ child. My dress design and her hair are based on descriptions and old illustrations of ancient Greek fashion. In ‘The Troy Game’ as well as most descriptions of Ariadne, she wore one breast exposed. The Tiara has betrayal as its main theme. The dagger, universal symbol for betrayal, pierces a version of the palmette / anthemion ornament, which in ancient Greece had many meanings, predominantly fertility, victory, energy and optimism. Red rubies refer to the bloody slaughter of the Minotaur. The jewel is reflective of both betrayals. opposite page: full costume, details of faces, hair and head dress left: detail of tiara

SHIELD: THE TROY GAME In preparation for a larger painting I decided to create an intricate design for the shield of a Greek soldier. My research showed that the Medusa was a common motif used on armour in ancient Greek. I tried to incorporate the snake motif in the actual face of the Medusa, in order to create a very smooth transition between face and surrounding snake ornaments. The actual shape of the shield is based on Greek artefacts judged close to the time in which ‘The Troy Game’ is set. opposite page: full shield left: detail of face

WITHIN THE LABYRINTH: THE TROY GAME This scene depicts Greek soldiers in battle with the Minotaur within the labyrinth. The soldiers have reached the centre of the labyrinth where they engage in battle. The floor of the labyrinth is based on examples of ancient architecture. The Minotaur is based on multiple descriptions and illustrations as well as actual photography of charging bulls. His axe as well as the other pieces of armour are based on original Greek artefacts, the decoration on the axe handle refers to the mention of a horned weapon in the book. opposite page: full illustration left: detail of the Minotaur

MISSED THE PLANE ‘Missed the Plane’ was a competition entry for the AGIdeas ‘New Star’ competition 2008. The topic was: The mind is like a parachute, it works better when open. This was probably too negative a response to the theme, at the time I was trying to steer away from an overly cheesy response. The result was a rather critical illustration, which dealt with the shortcomings of those who have a sharp mind but are restriced though their circumstances to go and use it to its full capacity. The style of this illustration makes use of the digital media as well as analogue drawing and the use of scanned textures. opposite page: full illustration left: detail of character

PETER PAN This was a university project for the course Digital Illustration. The brief was to create an environment for the book Peter Pan. The project was my first chance to try myself in digital painting, using photoshop. Despite the fact that some time has passed since I painted this scene, I am still quite fond of it. My take on Peter Pan was to show the magical atmosphere of the laguna. The main source of inspiration was work by romantic artists such as Caspar David Friedrich. I tried to express the childish innocence of Neverland through colour and light. opposite page: lost boy discovers the pirate ship in the distance left: detail of laguna

HALLOWEEN Halloween 2008 was approaching and gave me yet another chance to dress up. I love old dolls, both for their intricacies but also their eeriness. Therefore I decided to be a scary Victorian doll. After some initial research I sketched the illustration on the left and realised it to the best of my abilities with the help of the Wellington Costume Cave. Poor teddy. opposite page: Illustration and final result left: costume extended

SELF PORTRAIT IN PHOTOSHOP This was another university project. The idea was to create a self portrait in a chosen artistic style, which expresses a certain mood. My chosen style was looking at the 19th century work of Manet and Lautrec. I wanted to express a calm satisfaction with life, which is mainly to do with my choice to live in Wellington and my engagement with the towns’ culture and its people. I tried to imitate the look of pastels rather than oils while maintaining a certain sense of realism. opposite page: full illustration left: detail of face

CHARACTER DESIGN AND EXPLORATION In this project I was trying to create the miller’s daughter and the king from the fairytale Rumpelstilsken. I placed the tale in 1920’s Germany. The miller’s daughter is a rather sorry creature, sold off by her greedy father to offer her services to ‘The King’: a royalist war veteran and supporter of the monarchy. With the Emperor in exile, ‘The King’ has moved underground and runs a very profitable cocktail of corruption, blackmail and prostitution. In the beginning stages I also explored the possibility of setting the story in an American Mafia scenario. opposite and current page: character studies



LIFEDRAWING NEXT STEPS Life Drawing is a great source of inspiration to me. Often I take studies from classes and develop them further as can be seen here. My objective was to relate the drawings to the style of Lautrec, one of my favorite artists.



METSERVICE ANNUAL REPORT During my time at Moxie Design Group in Wellington, NZ, I had major involvement in the concept development and design of the Metservice Annual Report for the year 2007/08. The brief required that the design concept take a strong focus on the weather and its impact on people and their environments. Our solution was the use of photography in combination with line-drawings to illustrate certain weather scenarios and peoples reactions to the according weather forecast. The scenarios were based on stories and case studies that had been provided to us by the Metservice team. The result was a beautiful and intimate document, using matt paper stock and metallic ink for the line art, which powerfully illustrated the importance of weather forecasting to our life. opposite page: cover and inside cover left: examples of layout and illustrations

58"45)&1*3"5&4405)&:4"*% )"5-"*%5)"57&3:(0-%50#&% THE MONEY TREE The Money Tree is an ongoing illustration project for an Australian author of childrens’ books. The book is aimed at children between approximately 5-10. The illustration style is a combination of digital and analogue media. Imagery is aimed to be intricate and layered in order to allow the children to explore and discover new things every time they look at the book opposite page: detail of a full-page illustration left: pirate (to be used as graphic element)

Illustration portfolio  

here is some of my most recent illustration work