Born with a pencil in the hand: Claudine Etter

You could always see Claudine Etter with a pen in the hand drawing and one of the recurrent stories of her childhood told by her family is about seeing her painting on tablecloths or also making small animals by ripping paper tablecloths in restaurants, at home or anywhere else.

And this is how everything started… Since the beginning, it was clear that Claudine Etter, the founder of Atelier C, was predisposed to images and visual arts. This is a passion that has never been lost. She always carries a sketchbook and a pencil with her, no matter where she goes. Drawing and creating new worlds is a recurrent thing. These worlds contain a lot of humor and Claudine sometimes even likes to immerse herself in them. Where does she retrieve inspiration for her projects (cards, paintings, etc.)? She sits in cafes, she watches people, gets ideas from interesting conversations, etc. and then, as she remarks, “it all flows by itself”. But not only, travelling is another very good source of inspiration to which she adds: “As if the people, smells, impressions and cafes charged a battery that is then used to fill my sketchbook.” states the following about her: “The most talented, ingenious and inventive creative for any graphic, handcrafted or 3D realization. Simple and expressive illustrations: even working only with a black fineliner pen, the drawings are always fully packed with wonderful details and humor.” 

We love all her postcards, we really like them all: the ones made out paper, cartoon or wood. The postcards entail a whole world of subjects and a lot of humor. For instance, Postakarten aus Holz, or wooden postcards, entail many series, such as Swiss Greetings,Christmas, Autumn, and Nordsee (Nord Sea). Can you imagine inviting a friend to a brunch with such a nice invitation card?! Or again, can you imagine receiving a hand made growing card (Wachsende Karte)? This card is at 100% recycled and can be placed on a pot with soil. It then grows. The beauty of all these cards lays in their originality, simplicity and minimalistic graphic. Claudine decided also to show us some of her Tagebuch (diary) illustrations. Let’s have look at them! When you look at her style, you can notice some elements that seem to be pulled through all her artworks: her style can be described as cheerful and, indeed — as already mentioned — with a lot of humor.

Generally, in Claudine Etter artworks there are always two layers. On the first layer you see faces and situations but in the background hides a whole world. It is a sort of second layer that permits you to have your own interpretation. In other words, as Claudine says: “you are allowed to see more.”  This duality is the result of intuiton, feelings but also of rational thinking. And this says it all: the logo of her atelier represents a “C”, the initial letter of her name, in a labyrinth. Claudine explained us that it reminds of a Chinese seal, typically used in lieu of signatures on Chinese paintings. This has been her logo for many years and she chose it because it embodies her feeling of continuously being in quest of… Being in search of new elements, inspirations, solutions leads her to versatility and variety, which in turn helps her to produce very creative artworks. In this regards, she is considered a researcher in the field. If you are interested in buying her cards and products, some of the shops you can find them at are:,, Youngdesigners Market in Luzern, Chat noir in Bern, Rrrevolve in Zürich or Fizzen. We will not reveal it all, follow Claudine and Atelier C because her future projects are amazing.

Photo credits: Tom Trachsel & Claudine Etter

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Atelier C social media channel: Instagram 

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