Duration: One year.
Location: Previously Groningen, the Netherlands; now Bologna, Italy.
Education: BA in communication design/illustration from Academie Minerva, Groningen, the Netherlands, with an exchange semester spent at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Career path: I have been drawing ever since I was young. Once I started art school, I found out about illustration through my friends and teachers and discovered other illustrators and the different possibilities of the medium within the industry. Magazines like Nobrow and Wrap also influenced how I perceived illustration, and in my third year, I started to develop a love for editorial illustration. I love how quick it is—how you deal with a given subject and puzzle out the angle that works for you.
Artistic influences: Modern abstract art and constructivism. I like to play around with abstract forms and shapes and use them to tell a story. I also like to travel, and I incorporate my experiences it within my drawings whenever I can. Adapting to new places and cultures gives me a lot of energy and inspiration. I have a little sketchbook that I take with me when I’m backpacking, and I collect shapes and sights in it.
Favorite project: My graduation project Wandering, which is about adapting to new environments. I based this book on my experiences traveling and living in different places throughout the United States and Europe. I’m proud of it because it was one of the first projects that succeeded in telling my own story. I was also able to try out a lot of different storytelling methods, which I enjoyed a lot, and, this made a good basis for my editorial work.
Work environment: In Groningen, I shared a studio with eight other illustrator friends, and together, we formed the illustration collective, Knetterijs. We worked side by side on our own freelance jobs and joined forces in other collective endeavors. We also published zines and hosted events for the small creative community in the north of the Netherlands. I really liked working alongside friends because it made the workday way more fun. It was also nice to be able to discuss the business side of things with others as well as bother them with color choices. I recently left the Knetterijs “headquarters” for half a year to work from Bologna.
Approach: For the past few years, I’ve had opportunities to study in different countries. I lived in Philadelphia for half a year, then in the Netherlands, then London, then back to the Netherlands and now Italy. This back-and-forth between different environments helps me keep my workflow fresh and distinguishes my approach to being a freelancer. For me, it is a way to make use of the freedom of being a freelancer.
Aspirations: I see myself being a nomadic illustrator, living and working from different cities and combining traveling and freelancing. I would also love to illustrate books.
Fun fact: I just moved to Bologna and don’t know anyone. Do you live here? Let’s be friends!