FAQ

Please note that I have written several articles about the illustration-business on my blog. If you’re interested, do check that out: marloesdevries.com/blog

Are you available for commission by companies and magazines?
Absolutely! Feel free to get in touch with me.

Are you available for personal commissions (portraits, weddings, birth announcements, etc)?
If you’re interested in a personal commission, please check my web shop. If you can’t find it in the web shop then I don’t have any slots available unfortunately.
I also do live portrait drawing at events a few times a  year. Check my Workshop & Events-page for dates.

Do you do live illustration at (private) events?
I occasionally do! If you send me an email with the details of the event, I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Where did you learn how to draw/Where did you study?
I learned by doing it. I studied Visual Communication at the AKI in Enschede (NL) which was more about graphic design. I always wanted to be an illustrator but I’m mainly self-taught regarding that aspect.
After my graduation I took several courses and masterclasses in writing for children, illustrating picture books and other illustration and drawing workshops. You can find more about this on my About-page!

How do you create your illustrations?
I start with a rough sketch for composition. I use a 2B graphite pencil for this. After that I pick a colour palette with watercolours.
Then I use a mechanical pen to re-draw the sketch in final, on thick watercolour paper or slightly textured paper. I prefer using a 2B pencil which is a bit softer than a HB pencil.
Then I either work out the illustration in watercolours, gouache and coloured pencils, or I do it digitally.
After I finished everything to my liking, I scan the illustration with my good old Epson V500 scanner. Then comes the last part: colourizing. I use a Wacom Cintiq for this. I add layer over layer with colour to my illustration. I do a bit more of shading and add highlights digitally. I use brushes and textures I created myself mostly.

How do I get started in the illustration world?
I’ve written the elaborate story already on my blog about this but the short version is: invest a lot of time drawing.
Make sure you practice a lot and be patient. I worked part time jobs until I was 31 years old to make a living next to illustrating for clients. I recently quit my part time job to focus on freelance work full time, but it’s hard work. I live very simple to keep my overhead low so I can dedicate my time to this job.
Make a lot of work, create a portfolio, stay focused, work even harder, and make sure you have a website.

What was your journey to illustration?
I wrote a bit about this on my About-page but I also did an interview with Ballpit Mag about this. You can read the article here.

I’d like to get a coffee with you to discuss my project/my portfolio/my illustration career.
Unfortunately I don’t do guidance projects or portfolio reviews in my spare time, as I would love to spend more time with my friends and family. Thanks for understanding!
I also give away a lot of tips and tricks on my blog, so feel free to read more over there.

What brand of gouache/watercolours/pencils/etc. do you use?
At the moment I love Winsor&Newton, both watercolours and gouache, and I use Faber Castell pencils. I’m not that picky with brands as long as the materials have enough pigment in them, I’m happy. Although good material can help to create good work, it’s not the main ingredient of course: that would be you 🙂

Who are your favourite artists?
Carson Ellis, Oliver Jeffers, Quentin Blake, Mary Blair, Fiep Westendorp, Maira Kalman, Chuck Groenink, Rebecca Green, Gemma Correll, Jon Klassen, Lucy Knisley, Maurice Sendak, amongst others.

Do you take interns?
I have too little time right now to be a good intern guide, therefore I don’t right now. The same goes for mentoring or personal help over email unfortunately, as there are too many requests and too little time.

Do you teach workshops?
Yes I do! Please take a look at my workshops-page. You will find all the answers there!

Do you sell prints or products of your work?
Yes, I do! You can find them in my shop.

Which print shop do you recommend for prints?
If you haven’t got a lot of experience creating art work ready for printing, I highly recommend getting advice from a print shop in your area. They can help you through the process, as it’s a very tricky process.
If you have plenty of experience, you can also choose to go with an online printer. In the Netherlands most of them deliver good work, the differences between them don’t vary that much. Most online printers offer a sample pack with examples of the paper they use. Sometimes they’re even for free! So go online, ask for samples, pick your paper and get your beautiful artwork printed!
I don’t recommend specific online printers as it depends on what you want and what you like.

Can I share your work on social media?
Sure! As long as you’re not using it for commercial purposes, I’m very happy if you do this. But please don’t cut off my signature or edit my work in any way.
Also make sure to link to my website or instagram-account. Cheers!

Can I write a blog post about your work?
Absolutely! You can share my work by embedding the images directly from my instagram-account.
Also, don’t forget to link to my website: marloesdevries.com
Any editing to my work is NOT allowed. All my work is copyrighted protected under the Dutch law, so if you want to make translations to another language, please ask my permission first.

Can I use one of your illustrations for my logo/promotional item/business/unrelated article etc.?
If you would like it to use for promotional purposes, an article or business, please contact me and let me know what you are going to use it for, what the purpose is and what your budget is. As all of my work is copyrighted and protected by the Dutch law, I will make a license for you available.
It is not allowed to use any of my illustrations without my consent.

Can I ask you more questions?
I’m afraid I just don’t have time to answer all the individual questions I get. Please know that I did my absolute best to answer as many questions I possibly can here, on my about-page and on my blog.
If you really want to dive into illustration, you’re welcome to join one of my workshops!
For general questions regarding illustration or drawing, please try searching through Google. You will find that most things are covered there. Thanks!