I hope the answer to your question is in this FAQ. Due to the number of questions I cannot personally answer all of them. Thanks for understanding! Please note that if you’re a client, you are always free to contact me.

About me

What do you do exactly?

I’m an illustrator, author, cartoonist and designer.
What I do and make:

  • illustrations for picture books, chapter books, and non-fiction books
  • editorial illustrations for magazines and newspapers
  • illustrations for branding (with humour if you like 😉 )
  • making comics and cartoons for magazines, like King Features (reboot of Popeye), Flow Magazine, Tina (girls’ magazine) and more
  • creating stories and illustrations to create engagement with audiences, for companies and brands on social media
  • writing (picture) books for children
  • writing articles about self-care and personal development for magazines like Flow Magazine and Charlie
Did you go to art school?

I did! I have a Bdes-degree in Visual Communication, which is a combination of graphic design, photography and video. After graduating I did several courses and masterclasses in (picture book) illustration including at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. You can find a list on my about-page!

When did you start illustrating?

In 2010 I started illustrating for clients. Before that I worked as a graphic designer, art director and photographer for ad agencies, both in-house as freelance. I’ve been working as a design professional for over 17 years. But of course I started drawing a lot earlier 🙂 I was 3 years old when I created art pieces for the fridge, and I was in primary school when I declared I wanted to go to art school. I started creating paintings, drawings and websites for clients at age 14, so I’ve been in this for quite a long time (22+ years). If you’re interested in reading more, you can find pretty much my whole career here!

Work inquiries

I’ve written a book! Can you illustrate it?

Right now, I only work through publishers on books so if you have a publisher, please ask them if they see my work as a good fit.

Do you take on personal commissions, like drawing portraits, wedding invitations or birth announcements?

At the moment I don’t as I’m focusing on working with publishers, magazines and my personal projects.

Do you work for free?

When it’s a charity, every staff member works for free (artists shouldn’t be the only one volunteering) and it’s a cause I support: I would love consider to work for free. Do get in touch and let’s see what we can do. In other cases: paying someone for their time shows you understand their time is valuable and you respect it. If you feel my work and time should be unpaid I’m afraid we’re not a good match.

Can I interview you for my blog/magazine/podcast/etc.?

I’m a chatty person, so please feel free to send me an email explaining the type of platform and the (kind of) questions you’d like to ask. If it’s a good fit we can set a date!

Do you sell prints or products of your work?

I do! You can find them in my shop.

Can I use one of your illustrations to print?

I would really appreciate it if you buy my work in my shop. It is not allowed to print my work to make money, or to hand out to others. Please get in touch with me so we can talk about a license and print work.

Can I use one of your existing illustrations for my logo/blog/business/unrelated article/etc.?

I offer licenses for this. Please get in touch with me and let me know what you are going to use it for, what the purpose is and what your budget is. If you use my work without my permission, the fee will be much higher because you used my work illegally. It is not allowed to use any of my illustrations without my consent.

Social media

Can you promote our/my product/services/business/etc. on your Instagram or blog?

I’m open to business collaborations but I don’t work or advertise for free. I want to keep my Instagram personal and an honest reflection of my work so I rarely do advertising or promotions. If you feel your product matches me and/or my work, feel free to get in touch and let me know what you have in mind. If your product is relatively cheap, please don’t expect me to to advertise for it in exchange for just the product.
As I get several emails of PR agencies and companies on a daily basis I only respond to those who use my name in the email or indicate they have seen my work. If you’re too lazy or uninterested to type my name, I’m not giving you my time to respond. Treat me like a person and you will most likely receive an answer 🙂

Can I share your work on social media?

For personal use, you can share my work. Please don’t forget to credit me properly, and it’s not allowed to edit my work, or cut off my signature. If you want to share it on Instagram, you can find a re-posting guide in my highlights.
If you want to share on Facebook, please only share from my own Facebook-page directly, or if you must upload again: please link to my Facebook-page. It’s @MarloesDeVries.
If you’re a business wanting to promote your services with my work: that’s not allowed. Please follow the guidelines my Instagram highlights to see how it works.

Why haven’t you answered the Instagram-DM I sent you?

I try to read as many messages as I humanly can but answering all is not possible I’m afraid. I only have two hands and limited time like everyone 🙂

For illustrators

Do you teach workshops?

You can find more information on workshops and talks here. Feel free to sign up for my newsletter to receive information on new workshops and courses.

I want to be an illustrator but where do I start?

I have written several articles about this on my blog. Feel free to grab a cup of tea and dive into it!

I’m an illustrator with business-related questions. Can you help me?

Occasionally I have 1-on-1 sessions available and you can find them here. If there currently aren’t free spots available, please sign up for my newsletter to hear first about sessions available.
If you’re looking for help for free, I have a blog filled with tips to help others out with freelancing and illustration.
Due to time restraints I can’t answer questions for business advice I receive through email or DM’s.

Just one quick question…

I get a lot of ‘quick questions’ throughout the day and have found out that it takes up many hours each day to answer them, leaving me with little time to spend on my work, or with loved ones. Nothing personal, I’m just one person 🙂

Can I copy your work?

If it’s for practice and you keep it private in your sketchbook for your eyes only, then yes. But if you want to publish it in any way, including on social media, post it on your website or to sell: then no. That is copyright infringement.

Do you take interns?

As I feel that I should invest proper time into someone to show how the business works and I seriously lack time for that, I am not offering internships unfortunately. So, no 🙂

What materials do you work with?

I work with analogue and digital tools. I love working in Procreate (iPad) and on a Cintiq, but nothing beats good pencils (Luminance by Caran d’Ache and Polychromos by Faber-Castell) and paints (gouache from Winsor & Newton and Holbein). My favourite graphite pencil is Blackwing, and I use mechanical pencils for sketching, and my go-to sketchbooks are by Moleskine and Talens Artcreation. For my paintings I love Golden acrylics. When inking my comics with traditional tools I love using a dip pen and carbon ink on Brighton Seawhite paper.

What digital tools do you use or recommend?

I currently use a Wacom Cintiq (older model) and Photoshop CC on my iMac. Next to that, I use an iPad Pro 12.9 inch. On the iPad I use the app Procreate for drawing, in combination with an Apple pencil. I get asked often what I prefer and I have to say: I couldn’t work solely on the iPad as I work for clients. Procreate doesn’t use the right CMYK colours which means they’re off when I send them to clients. That’s why I still use Photoshop to check every Procreate-piece I make on my iPad. Also, the resolution is a bit off in Procreate.
In general I prefer drawing on the iPad as it feels more intuitive to me than the Cintiq. The pressure on the pencil is more natural.
So, it depends on what you want to use it for. If you are a professional designer/illustrator, you can buy the iPad but always check your files on your computer in Photoshop before sending it to a client. If you’re not a professional and have money to spare, I’d recommend the iPad + Procreate as it’s more intuitive than the Cintiq.
Next to that I also use Indesign, Illustrator and I use an Epson V500-scanner for scanning my analogue work to digital.

Where can I best buy art supplies?

I always recommend buying at your local shop to support their business. Also because you can often try out colours and materials in the shop, or ask for professional advice. If you want to find a shop near you try Google: search for ‘art supply shop’ in your language and add your city, or a nearby bigger city.

Who are your favourite artists/inspirations?

It’s a bit of a mixed bag, here goes: Oliver Jeffers, Quentin Blake, Nora Efron, Oprah Winfrey, Mary Blair, Fiep Westendorp, Sempé, Carson Ellis, Wes Anderson, Miranda Hart, Chris Haughton, Maira Kalman, Maaike Hartjes, Rebecca Green, Posy Simmonds, Philip Glass, Fairfield Porter, David Hockney, Gemma Correll, Sarah Millican, Maurice Sendak, amongst others.