Below I’ve shared some answers on questions I get asked the most. Hope that helps!
Information regarding my shop and shop orders can be found here.
If you have further questions, please feel free to drop them on the Ask Marloes-page.
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 (both for kids and adults)
- designing book covers, including illustrations and (hand)lettering
- editiorial 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 opinion pieces, picturebooks and non-fiction (book released in Summer 2022)
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?
Although I’ve been working as a creative freelancer for over 22 years now, I started illustrating for clients in 2010. 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. If you’re interested in reading more, you can find pretty much my whole career here.
How do I pronounce your name?
My first name ‘Marloes’ is pronounced as: Mahr-Loose.
I’ve written a book. Can you illustrate it?
Most often I work through publishers on books but do contact me if you have a book that fits me. For self-publishing: I don’t work for free or only for royalties. If you have a publisher, please suggest my work to them and ask them if they see my work as a good fit.
Do you take on personal commissions (portraits, wedding invitations or birth announcements)?
At the moment I don’t. I’m focusing on working with publishers, magazines, companies 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.
Do you have people that help you run your business?
No, it’s a one-person-business. Occasionally my partner Bram helps me out with email and web-related tasks during busy times. This way I maintain personal connections with the people I work with, and lines of communication are simple and quick. That personal element is important to me and I can also maintain the level of quality.
If I hire you to create work for me, does this include product photography or behind the scenes videos and photos for me to use?
Not by default but this certainly can be arranged. Please let me know up front what you would need.
When I’ve hired you to create work, will you promote my company on your social media?
I don’t do specific advertising campaigns for the companies I work for, unless it’s part of the job and negotiated in the contract.
Do you sell prints or products of your work?
I do! You can find them in my shop.
Where can I buy your books and products?
Most of my books are available to order in any book shop in the Netherlands and Belgium. Self published zines, signed books and limited edition prints are available in my shop.
I’d like to buy one of your paintings. How does that work?
When will you have new paintings/prints for sale?
As my partner Bram always says: “it’s ready when it’s ready” 🙂 I don’t work with strict schedules for my personal work, to keep the process enjoyable for myself and it also results in better work. With artwork I don’t work well when I’m put under pressure.
If you want to receive updates on the process and know first when new work is available, feel free to subscribe to my newsletter.
Can I use one of your existing illustrations for my logo/product/blog/business/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 permission.
Can I interview you for my blog/magazine/podcast/etc.?
Probably! I very much enjoy talking about illustration, art, working as a creative freelancer and more. Feel free to fill out this form and I’ll get back to you asap. If it’s a good fit we can set a date.
Social media and online
Can I share/repost your work on social media?
For personal use, you can share my work. Please 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, or contact me for a license or hire.
I’m an artist too. Can you promote me on your Instagram or blog?
I regularly promote work of other artists because I genuinely love their work, not because I’ve been asked to. So, only out of free will 🙂
Can you advertise/promote my product on your Instagram and/or blog?
I’m open to business collaborations when your product/service fits me and my work, and is something I’d actually use or have used.
Please note I don’t work/advertise for free or products as payment as I feel my hours and expertise are worth paying for. If you feel it’s not worth paying for, we’re not the right match.
If you feel your product matches me, do get in touch and let us know what you have in mind, your deadline and your budget. Bram will handle emails regarding promotion. He will not respond to emails that have no personalisation and clearly have been bulk-sent.
Can I send you a product in exchange for a mention on your Instagram/blog?
Thank you, but no 🙂
Why haven’t you answered the Instagram-DM I sent you?
To be honest, I can’t keep up with all the social media inboxes and DM’s. I appreciate kind messages and try to read them all but replying to all is not possible. To maintain focus and streamline my workflow I use email for all work inquiries, so I really appreciate it if you can send your work inquiry through email. If you just want to say ‘hi’ please feel free to comment to a recent Instagram-post. I genuinely appreciate it!
How do I stay up-to-date with your work?
Every month I send out a newsletter (subscribe here). I carefully curate all my favourite things (books, films, articles, etc.), share personal thoughts on my creative practice and share what I’m working on. Newsletter subscribers also get first dibs on new (online) workshops and when I have new art for sale.
Where can I read your previous newsletters?
You can read one here. I don’t have a public archive for other newsletters. They can be read as they pop into your inbox 🙂
Is your blog open to articles written by third parties? (AKA I’m a writer and want to publish my articles on your blog)
No. Please don’t email me with these requests, I get a dozen of them on a weekly basis and they go straight into my bin.
Are you willing to link our products/articles on your blog?
Do you teach workshops?
I want to be an illustrator but where do I start?
I have written several articles about this but I recommend starting with this one: how to start an illustration career. Feel free to grab a cup of tea and dive into it.
I have questions about being an illustrator and running a business. Can you help me?
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?
I wish I could but as a one-person-business working from my home studio, my space and time is too limited to offer an experience that will help interns further. I believe proper time should be invested and I cannot offer that at the moment unfortunately. I also can’t offer guidance in finding places to get an internship elsewhere.
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 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: Helen Frankenthaler, Quentin Blake, Mary Fedden, Nora Efron, Frida Kahlo, Oprah Winfrey, Mary Blair, 80’s children’s animations, Fiep Westendorp, Sempé, Carson Ellis, Miranda Hart, Annie M.G. Schmidt, Chris Haughton, Monty Python, Maira Kalman, Pénélope Bagieu, Maaike Hartjes, Rebecca Green, Posy Simmonds, Philip Glass, Fairfield Porter, David Hockney, Gemma Correll, Oliver Jeffers, Sarah Millican, Maurice Sendak… amongst others.