What do you do exactly?
I’m an illustrator, author, cartoonist and designer. Most of my time is spend on creating illustrations for magazines, publishers and businesses. I still do 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.
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. I’m working as a design professional for about 15 years now in total.
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 publishers, 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’m not taking on personal commissions right now.
I’ve written a book, can you illustrate it?
Often I work with publishers but I am open to working with people that self-publish. It does depend on several factors though, like how well-written the book is, if it fits my views and how professional you are as a writer. Please let me know your deadline, budget (I don’t work for free), what you’d like and a few example pages of your book. I need to know the scope of the project, and I prefer a clear briefing. Unfortunately I can’t accept projects that have no clear deadline, budget, idea, etc.
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/podcast/etc.?
Please feel free to send me an email explaining the type of platform and the questions you’d like to ask. Please note I don’t agree upon doing all interviews due to lack of time, or when it’s not a good fit.
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.
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.
I’m an illustrator with business-related questions. Can you help me?
No, but thanks for asking. 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’m teaching an online course with Sketchbook Skool (more information). I don’t teach real-life workshops right now.
What materials do you work with?
I work with analog and digital tools. I love working in Procreate (iPad) and on a Cintiq, but nothing beats good pencils (Caran d’Ache and Faber-Castell) and paints (Winsor & Newton and Holbein). I’ve compiled a list with my favourite tools here!
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?
I do! You can find them in my shop. I also have a card range with Ohh Deer, which are also available in several shops around Europe (for example Paperchase).
Unfortunately, I don’t do custom prints right now.
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 @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!
Can I use one of your existing illustrations for my logo/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 illegaly (duh).
It is not allowed to use any of my illustrations without my consent.
I need someone to talk to.
I get messages almost daily from people who want my help, whether it’s about illustration or personal matters. In my experience it’s mostly because people are lonely and need someone to talk to. Unfortunately, it doesn’t lie within my ability to talk to a lot of people every day.
In this day and age lots of people feel lonely and isolated. Here’s an article with tips on beating loneliness. My best tip is to reach out to friends or family, let people know how you feel. See if you can find a therapist to work out your problems. Hang in there!
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.