Stella Dreis

Born in 1972 in Plovdiv, Bulgarian author-illustrator Stella Dreis has been living and working in Germany on and off since 1995.

Important roots of her artistic career can be traced back into her childhood years and youth: her first drawing teachers were representatives of the classical Russian school, where the mere sharpening of a pencil has a very special meaning – long before digital media became an important part of the creative process and Stella’s work.

In the early 1990s Stella Dreis took the chance to pursue her artistic career in Germany, moving to Hamburg to study at JAK Akademie (Academy of Fashion Design) who awarded her a scholarship for talented studies. After graduating in 2000, two years of fashion design work in Munich followed, before Stella rediscovered of her old love for classical drawing, painting and sculpturing.

Soon after moving to Heidelberg in 2003, she started working on her first major children’s book project: ‘De stad die ervandoor ging“ (Clavis, 2007) which was an immediate success and the book was nominated for the renowned Hasselt Award.

In 2009, her second book was launched: Stella's take on the Hans Christian Andersen classic The Princess and the Pea (Tienemann Verlag), was her first publication in Germany and was nominated for Troisdorfer Kinderbuchpreis in 2011.

In 2011, Callis Editora (Brazil), published ‘Happiness is a Watermelon on Your Head’, a delightfully mad children’s book, written and illustrated by Stella.  Later on in the same year, English language rights to Happiness is a Watermelon on Your Head were bought by Phoenix Yard Books and the text was translated and rewritten into rhyming verse by British translator and writer, Daniel Hahn.

Other recent works and future projects include a series of books with Monterosa Publishing (Autumn 2011) and further projects with international publishing houses Callis Editora and Tienemann Verlag.

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