Near The Sea with Martin Haake
05 March 2023
Open the cabinet of childhood curiosities and dive into Martin Haake and his wife Judith Homoki’s new picture book: Am Meer. This heartwarming ode to childhood inspirited by fond memories of trips to the seaside came to life during lockdowns spent in one another's company and the longings to travel. Buckle up and get ready for a one-way trip to nostalgia town!
You just illustrated the book ‘Am Meer’ which is written by your wife, Judith Homoki. Is this a first in your career? How was the experience of working alongside your partner?
I have worked on books before but this is my first time collaborating with my wife! We have been talking about doing a book project together for many years, so when Corona kicked off, we suddenly got the time and opportunity to get things started.
Because of travel restrictions and the wish to travel during a time we could not because of quarantine, we started to work on a book that allowed us to travel in some ways, but from our own home. We enjoyed working on it together and found ourselves discussing possible topics and details over breakfast, dinner and weekends.
The book is a picture book about living at the sea, full of maps and curiosities. Did you spend much time at the seaside growing up? Is this a special place for you?
I was born in the North of Germany and spent my childhood not far away from the sea. The screaming of the seagulls was a familiar soundtrack of my youth. I loved the little sailor shops, the storm tide, the lifeboat stories, the roughness of the landscape and the people. In the book, we tried to put not only the early experience of childhood but also places I got to know later in life: Ellis Island, Riviera and Cape Cod.
As an expert in the crafting of map design, if you had to create a map that embodied you, what highlights of your life would feature?
For me, highlights are mostly connected to places. On the map, there would be a guy with a big tube of glue under his arms (that would be me), as I love to create collages, analogue or digital. He would tramp from the lovely North Sea to Berlin where I studied and then visit London because the time when I lived there was one of the best in my life. It’s my favourite place.
There would be quite a lot of transport vehicles on the map as I travel a lot and a kind of ‘Super Woman’ would also appear: my lovely wife. On our shoulders are our wonderful two children. Then Berlin again as our base of many years (I love the mix of greyish-ness, concrete, ugliness and beauty). It's full of lots of inspiring people.
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