Wilhelm Schlote (born March 4, 1946 in Lüdenscheid) is a German artist, children’s book author, cartoonist and caricaturist.
Schlote grew up in Essen. His first art teacher was Heinz Mack (member of the artist group ZERO), who recognized Wilhelm Schlote’s talent for drawing early on. His mentor and friend Albert Schulze-Vellinghausen, who, as a literary critic for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), was the predecessor of Marcel Reich-Ranicki, was just as philosophically influential. After graduating from high school, Schlote studied philosophy in Bonn until 1968 and then art at the Kunsthochschule Kassel until 1972. From 1973 to 1978 he was a teacher in higher education in Kassel and Hamburg. Simultaneously with the decision to go to Paris, Schlote was offered a professorship at a German art college. In 1978, however, Schlote decided to move to France, where he lived partly in Nice, but mainly in Paris. In 1980 he exhibited for the first time in the Medical Faculty of St. Germain des Pres in Paris. Since 2011 Wilhelm Schlote lives and works in Cologne, Germany.
In 1968 Schlote published the first of a total of 35 children’s books. Starting in 1976 he published cartoon postcards – the so-called “Schlote-Karten” – and in the same year received the German Youth Book Prize for “I wish for a hippopotamus today”. In 1991 he was awarded by the “Académie Calvet”; the award was presented to him by Catherine Deneuve and Claude Chabrol. Schlote’s cartoons and drawings have appeared in magazines such as Die Zeit, Die Welt, The New Yorker, Le Monde and Le Figaro. He creates his city posters for almost all major German cities; but also, cities like Amsterdam, Rome and New York City or anniversaries and events are shown in the lines typical of Schlote. He himself describes his drawing style as “Krickelkrakel” and never denies his main motif, the stick figure. He also uses French red wine in his watercolors, which he applies to napkins.