“My aim is to tell meaningful stories. They can be funny, cute and scary but most importantly they need to connect on a deep-seated level.”
I’m an Austrian-Australian illustrator and author, born 1993 in Salzburg, Austria. Enthusiastic about drawing from an early age on, I was influenced by art and design throughout kindergarten, elementary school and high school.
After studying MultiMediaArt at the University of Applied Sciences Salzburg I started writing and illustrating picture books as well as creating animated videos.
I currently work as a Motion Designer at an advertising agency in Salzburg, while independently creating picture books, illustrations and theorethical content on art and storytelling.
Clemens Birsak visited the Highschool “Musisches Gymnasium” in Salzburg, which strongly focuses on artistic education. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in 2016 at the University of Applied Sciences Salzburg in the field of Media Design. In 2018 he graduated as “Master of Arts in Arts and Design” from the master’s program of MultiMediaArt studies.
In his master’s thesis “The picture book as a tool for manipulating values and social behavior of children” Birsak explores the possibilities of influencing children through the medium picture books. The topic is studied from the perspectives of graphic design, education and history.
As a part of this master’s thesis he created his first picture book “All The Best Things!”. Seemingly for children from a design point of view, the book is not to be regarded a traditional picture book. It is rather a teaching aid or research object for educators and researchers. “All The Best Things!” explores the possibilities of manipulating children’s values, with the aim of portraying greed as a positive and desirable virtue. Both Clemens Birsak’s master’s thesis and his picture book “All The Best Things!” were presented at the Austria-wide “Long Night of Research 2018” (“Lange Nacht der Forschung 2018”). Additionally the TV-station ORF2 reported about his work in their program “Salzburg today”.
Currently Clemens Birsak creates children’s picture books, is a freelance illustrator and animator and works as a Motion Designer at Inspiranto, a Salzburg based advertising agency.
In 2018, Clemens Birsak created the website thoughtsonstories.com, which provides theoretical and practical content on illustrated stories. The website contains articles on certain selected picture books, theoretical essays on storytelling and illustration as well as video essays and self-made picture books. The website is currently being integrated into his personal website “clemensbirsak.at”. Theoretical work will continuously be added to the blog of this site.
Clemens Birsak is currently working on his next children’s book project with the working title “Kobi auf dem Mond”. This book will focus more strongly on text and tell a longer story than his other books.