Inspired by the late, great Georges Perec, who is famous for writing a book whose sole subject was the letter ‘E’, illustrator Katja Spitzer and freelance writer Sebastian Gievert have teamed up to tackle that most quandarous of letters, the letter Q.
When asked about her motivations for Quodlibet, Katja explains that in the German language, as in English, Q is a rather peculiar letter. One of the rarest in the German language, Q is only given a fleeting position in the Brockhaus Lexicon (an equivalent to our Encyclopaedia Britanica), a mere 45 pages of ‘Q’ words falling somewhere within a volume entitled PES and RAC, in spite of granting an individual volume to every other letter in the alphabet. Feeling that the letter was given undue negligence, Katja took it upon herself to create the missing ‘Q’ volume of the Lexicon and thus ‘Quodlibet’ was born. Translated from the German, with several additional passages for Q letters in the original text that don’t have direct English language counterparts, Quodlibet covers everything from famous Grindhouse movie directors, to obscure 18th century dances, to nature’s marvels and ancient chinese mythological beasts, each illustrated with mastery in four unique spot colours.
Katja Spitzer was born 1979 in a small town in Eastern Germany. Having completed an undergraduate degree in arthistory and history, Katja moved on to study illustration and graphic design in the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig. Today she works as a freelance illustrator in Berlin. Quodlibet, her final major project at the Academy of Visual Arts, won her the prestigious 3 x 3 illustration Gold Medal in 2010.
Sebastian Gievert, born on 21st June 1979, graduated from Leipzig University with a degree in journalism and politics. After working for several newspapers, online-media and broadcasting companies Sebastian now divides his time between freelance writing and creative projects like Quodlibet.