About Meike Schneider
Hi, I’m Meike, a 3D Artist & Illustrator with a strong focus on Characters based in Germany. I'm working for publishers, advertising agencies and art studios. My work includes projects such as Children’s Book Illustration, Character Design, Visual Development, Product/Packaging Design, 3D Character & Environment Modeling as well as Look Development. I have worked with various clients such as Adobe, Disney, Logitech, LIDL, DELL, My Best Book, 3D Total and many more!
Apart from the freelance work, I've also gained 5+ years experience as a 3D Modeling and Character Design lecturer and art department supervisor. I've successfully taught students on-site the campus at PIXL VISN and SCHOOL OF GAMES in Cologne until today.
Behind the creative mind
As an artist I'm constantly striving to learn new techniques and further develop my skills. My art style is full of joy, happiness and vibrant colors and gets influenced by everything I enjoy! Traveling is one of my main inspiration resources as I love discovering new places and cultures!
Apart from all the art I enjoy spending my free-time with my 3 rescued chickens Abigail, Drizella and Ursula, which I named after Disney Characters, since I'm a huge Disney Animation fan. I spent my time with all things creative and aesthetic such as interior design, fashion, gardening and sports such as roller skating, snowboarding, latin ballroom dancing and horseback riding.
(Children's) Book Illustration
Visual & Look Development
3D Character & Environment Modeling
Texturing, Shading, Lighting, Compositing
Traditional/Digital Painting & Sculpting
Instructor & Lecturer for more than 5 years
I've been very fortunate to work on beautiful book and magazine projects for clients and various publishers from around the world. Here are some of the books I've created, illustrated or contributed to during the last couple of years.
Click on the little arrows to swipe left and right through the gallery:
Journey & influence
Growing up in the 90s, it becomes apparent that my work was highly influenced by some of my favorite Walt Disney’s feature classics such as Aladdin or Pocahontas. Watching movies always made me curious about the process of creating an actual “animation” and I’ve always been fascinated about the amount of work that goes into these projects. Even today I’m more excited about watching the ‘making of’ than the actual movie. I was fortunate enough to get my hands on my all-time favorite book “cartoon animation” by Preston Blair when I was little. I studied his animation work for years and recreated many of his animations, which made me wish to become an animator one day.
I’ve always been creating - while other kinds were playing with their dolls, I’d rather draw my own comic books and stories or even craft my own toys from paper, salt dough and even toilet paper rolls. I’ve always had a thing for creating characters and worlds that don’t exist in real life, which is mostly one of the reasons why I went from portraying people and painting landscapes to stylized Characters and Environments.
Career & education
Watching Disney’s CG movie TANGLED inspired me to pursue a career in 3D Animation. TANGLED was the first cgi movie I fell in love with in terms of its look and aesthetic. So right after finishing school (ABITUR) I started my studies at PIXL VISN media arts academy in 2012 and graduated with a diploma in 3D Animation & VFX. My student Demo Reel made me a finalist in The Rookie Awards 2014, which then led to my first job at DOOBLEX, a Studio for product visualization in Cologne.
While still working full-time at DOOBLEX, I started taking commissions and slowly built my own brand as an artist. I spent all my weekends working on client projects. I’d also sit at my desk late in the evening after finishing a regular work day to keep improving my skills. Later, I got hired as a Student Advisor and Instructor – back to the roots - at PIXL VISN. 4 years later I quit my full time Job to focus completely on my freelance career.
However, I noticed that I started to miss working in a team as well as helping young artists to grow. So I decided to take over a part-time position as Head of Art Department at SCHOOL OF GAMES. Working part-time at a school and part-time self-employed really gives a lot of balance, socializing and variety to my regular work day.
My art studio
My tool setup
My workspace is located at home. I renovated the attic in my house and now have this huge art studio to get creative every day. Here you can watch a video or read a detailed blog-post about my room makeover.
I purchased the DreamBox by CreateRoom, which really helped me to get organized and work more efficient. You can use my discount code to purchase your own awesome box! It's definitely worth it. Here's also a video of my DreamBox Tour!
As a main tool I use a WACOM Cintiq Pro 24HD Touch which is connected to a MAC Book Pro. In terms of digital painting, I'm using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom and for 3D Art I use Autodesk Maya + Arnold Renderer, ZBrush and Nuke. As Logitech Partner, I am fully equipped with their tools like keyboards, mouse, cameras, speakers and more.
I also started to integrate the iPad Pro more into my regular workflow. It's great for art on the go and during travels. I'm mainly using ProCreate and Adobe Fresco, but also Lightroom mobile for photos.
Style & Influence
I get my inspiration from a lot of different sources! I have a huge thing for beautiful color combinations, which is why I love traveling! When experiencing different cultures, people and places it’s really hard to overlook the contrast to what we’re used to seeing every day. Countries in the north come with colder, less saturated color combinations compared to the vibrant and colorful schemes in countries close to the equator. When traveling, I really like to experience the daily life of locals.
Seeing the world with their eyes, understanding their needs and attitude towards life. I always catch myself on how I eyeball people and try to figure out the similarities and characteristics, so I can adapt these features into my character designs. This is such an important part when designing original characters and believable worlds. I wrote a blog-post on how my Maldives trip inspired my art.
I try to soak up inspiration from literally everything! Even a little walk in nature can give me pure inspiration and ideas - for instance, when watching the beautifully red colored woods in fall with their imperfect, yet interesting and unique shapes. Sometimes I would find beautiful color combinations in a magazine, and sometimes I see a beautiful pattern on a flower pot. All these little things influence my work, inspire me and are shaping my individual style.
As someone who likes to come up with fictional worlds, I’m obviously fascinated by astronomy. I’m astonished by the fact that the universe is full of secrets and unknown things, which is why I really enjoy watching science fiction movies or documentations about the universe. I’m also super interested in our underwater world. I like those untouched places, it's almost like a whole new world underneath the surface!
Fashion and hobbies I enjoy, also have a huge impact on my art style. I’ve been doing latin ballroom dancing on a professional level for many years and this actually helped me a lot with finding dynamic character poses and understanding the line of action!
I’m an open minded person - I like to try new things and I wish there were more hours in a day so I could learn more skills. I think it’s super important to have that attitude as an artist, cause I can only capture certain situations right, if I actually understand and relate to what the character is doing. For instance, I’ve been doing horse riding for many years, and my experience really helped me to understand the movement and anatomy of a horse.
Artists should never stop learning and keep observing from real life. There's always something new to learn.
Partners & Sponsors
Tv & Interviews
2020 - Tom Bancroft Live Interview
MerMay Instagram Live Interview
2017 - ART SIDE OF LIFE YouTube
EP.28 'Why to attend art competitions'
2017 - GCC Dortmund YouTube
Interview with 'Zweikampfsofa'
from 4:52min till end of video
2020 - WDR Lokalzeit Bonn
Photography at 'lost places'
2014 - WDR Lokalzeit Aachen
PIXL VISN Graduate at ZAB Aachen
Rebus RenderFarm Contest
2014 The Rookies Awards
CG Student Awards Finalist
2011 MMC Competition for Comics
'3D Converse Chuck Model'
by Converse on Twitter 2015
IAMAG.CO Best Realtime 3D Models
3D Character Model "Little Mary"
No. 1+ Cover in "Sketchfab Realtime Selection"
REBUSFARM AOTM WINNER BLOG POST
The Making of "Little Mary"
MerMay Art Exhibition
May 16th - 31rd 2020
Gallery Nucleus, Los Angeles
COMIC CON EXPERIENCE
Artist Alley 2019 Cologne, Germany
German Comic Con Dortmund, Germany
Artist Alley 2017 & 2018
Art Exhibition 'The Art of Dance'
at Dr. Fliegner Langenfeld
Art Exhibition 2008 & 2009
youngest art exhibitor
Press Articles Print
CHARACTER DESIGN QUARTERLY Issue 21
August 2022 "Meet the Artist" Interview
Article from page 68 - 77
CHARACTER DESIGN QUARTERLY Issue 20
May 2022 "A winter (and autumn's) tale"
Article from page 18 - 31
IMAGINEFX MAGAZINE Issue 190
Sept 2020 'Artist in Residence'
workspace tour page 30 - 35
'Mangas aus Meikes Feder' 21.04.2008
RP NEWSPAPER ARTICLE
'Mit Mangas zum Hildener Künstlermarkt'
16.04.2008 Interview with Meike Schneider
'Kunst zum Anschauen' 15.06.2008
Hildener Künstlermarkt 2008
'Foto-Arbeiten inspiriert von Cindy Sherman' from 10.11.2010
Wochen-Anzeiger NEWSPAPER ARTICLE
'So möchte Ich sein' 15.11.2010
Press Articles Online
PAGE 'Adobe Hidden Treasures x David Bowie' from June 16th 2022
featuring Illustrator Meike Schneider
ADOBE BLOG 'Wir feiern eine Ikone: Adobe holt David Bowie in die Creative Cloud Anwendungen' from June 13th 2022
featuring Illustrator Meike Schneider
PRESSEBOX: 'Adobe x Bowie: Adobe holt von Bowie inspirierte Tools in Creative Cloud' from June 13th 2022
featuring Illustrator Meike Schneider
Sept 2020 'Artist in Residence -