Lisbeth Zwerger

Do you know about Lisbeth Zwerger? She’s the kind of illustrator who makes me regret not studying illustration at school instead of, um, ceramics.

Lisbeth Zwerger poppies
The Wizard of Oz, 1996


Her style is old fashioned, quirky and nostalgic. Her illustrations are the sort that kids get lost in, staring at the pages, absorbing the expressions of the characters, the colors, the lines. They will remember them into adulthood.

alice in wonderland
Alice in Wonderland, 1999


Look at these two versions of The Nutcracker that she illustrated in 1982 and then 2004. The first one shows how influenced by early 20th c. illustration she was. Then you look at the more recent book and recognize her style as it evolved over the years. So much more of her personality in the second one.

Lisbeth Zwerger nutcracker1
The Nutcracker, 1982


Lisbeth Zwerger nutcracker2
The Nutcracker, 2004

This would be great to point out to kids – that artists spend a long time practicing art-making and usually their styles evolve over the years. Ask which cover they prefer.

Some interesting tidbits about Lisbeth is that she studied art in Vienna, yet never earned a degree. Her teachers discouraged her from pursuing illustration, which she obviously (thankfully) ignored.

Something I found interesting also is that she works at her own pace- slowly. She doesn’t try to churn out a bunch of work quickly. I think it’s important for older kids who are interested in studying art to learn these bits about contemporary artists, because in art, more than many other careers, it’s so important to find their own style, pace, and methods and stick with what works for them.

Many times they’ll have to do this on their own, through a lot of work and experimentation, and Zwerger is a great art role model in this respect.

Find more about her here and here.


The Art of Lisbeth Zwerger

What do you think?

Written by Joanne Gonzales

Joanne Gonzales has a passion for getting creative. Whether she is making personalized DIY gifts or taking part in larger arts and crafts projects, she puts her all into making new and beautiful things.

She lives with a group of close friends and believes in the natural way of life. Joanne has built an outdoor arts and crafts gallery that overlooks the countryside in her hometown, which is where all of her creations come to life.

Art started off as a hobby, but over time Joanne has mastered her skills and sold some of her favorite pieces. She works full time as a florist and has done for many years. It helps keep her creative juices flowing and she hopes to one day open her own florist shop with a twist.


Leave a Reply
  1. Love her art. Very interesting to see how her style has evolved. She must have amazing patience to have re-illustrated The Nutcracker!

  2. Jim LaMarche listed Zwerger along with Carl Larrson as his major influences, can’t get much higher praise than that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.



Magazine Collage Faces

7 Super African Culture Children’s Books