What do you do exactly?
I’m an illustrator/author/comics maker/designer. I still do a lot of design work, though it’s less corporate now. My favourites jobs include designing book covers: I love creating a design from the illustration to the lettering/typography.
Next to the visual work I create, I do a lot of writing. I’ve written a few stories for picture books that I hope to get published soon, I write short stories and columns, and I write articles for magazines like Flow Magazine and Charlie.
I create a weekly comic for girls’ magazine Tina, and a weekly cartoon/comic for women’s magazine Flair.
Did you go to art school?
Yes, I did. I studied Visual Communication which is a combination of graphic design, photography and video. I graduated in 2007 and got a Bdes as a parting gift 😉
After graduating I did several courses and masterclasses in (picture book) illustration. 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. 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 only in primary school when I declared I wanted to go to art school. So, I’ve always known this would be the path for me!
If you’re interested in reading more, you can find pretty much my whole career here.
Are you available for commissions and collaborations by companies and magazines?
Absolutely! Feel free to get in touch with me.
Are you available for personal commissions (portraits, weddings, birth announcements, etc.)?
No, sorry. Although I’m flattered that people ask me this occasionally, I can not take on personal commissions right now. I have too little time, next to my client deadlines and my dreams of wanting to make more books.
Do you do sponsored posts or collaborations with brands on your social media?
Only when it fits my work. Read more about it on this page.
Can I interview you for my blog/magazine?
Feel free to send me an email with your questions and I will do my absolute best to answer them. I try my best to answer as quickly as I can but sometimes it might take a while when my schedule is busy.
Can I use one of your illustrations to print?
I would really appreciate it if you bought 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.
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 afraid I don’t have time to answer all the individual questions I get.
Would you like to go for coffee?/I’m an illustrator with business-related questions. Can you help me?
No, but thanks for asking! I appreciate it. I often get requests if I would like to go for coffee with people, or if they can pick my brain. It takes me quite some time to answer them all. Time I can’t spend on my own work and projects, and that makes me unhappy. So, I have to say ‘no’, unfortunately. I do have a blog filled with tips so you might find an answer there!
Do you take interns?
No: as I feel that I should invest proper time into someone to show how the business works and I seriously lack time, I am not offering internships unfortunately.
Do you teach workshops?
I do, please take a look at my workshops-page. You will find all the answers there and maybe see you soon!
What materials do you work with?
I prefer working with analog materials when I’m starting a new project. I love a good mechanical pencil and a Moleskine sketchbook to doodle all my ideas in. For final illustrations I like to use paper with a light grain. For inking I use Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pens and a Zebra Pocket Brush. I do pencil work with a Palomino Blackwing. Most of my colouring is digital, for which I use Photoshop. When I get the chance I love working with gouache and coloured pencils, and occasionally watercolours. My paints are usually from Winsor&Newton, pencils are from Faber-Castell, Prismacolor and Caran D’ache. I absolutely love trying out new materials as well!
What digital tools do you use or recommend?
I currently use a Wacom Cintiq (older model) and Photoshop 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.
Who are your favourite artists?
Carson Ellis, Oliver Jeffers, Quentin Blake, Mary Blair, Fiep Westendorp, Chris Haughton, Maira Kalman, Rebecca Green, David Hockney, Gemma Correll, Jon Klassen, Maurice Sendak, amongst others.
Do you sell prints or products of your work?
Yes, I do! You can find them in my shop. I also have a card range with Ohh Deer, which is also available in Paperchase shops around the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands.
Where and how do you get your products (prints, pins, books) made?
Most of my products are made in the Netherlands or UK. It’s been a process with a big learning curve for me over the years which is hard to explain in just a few words. I recommend doing research, talk to suppliers (because everyone has their own preferences) and try things.
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 @MarloesDeVriesIllustration.
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!
Can I use one of your existing illustrations for my logo/business/unrelated article/etc.?
If you would like it to use for promotional purposes, blog post, 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.
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.