5 Questions for Marloes de Vries
Having gotten into art school at the age of 18, her teachers told her that she couldn’t draw. As a result, she buried her dreams and focused on graphic design for several years, until she found herself growing more and more unhappy in her career as an art director. She decided to leave the advertising agency she was working for and began freelancing - as a graphic designer at first, then gradually transitioning to illustration.
For the past ten years, Marloes has been working as a full-time illustrator, but when the pandemic reduced her usually whopping workload last year, she decided to finally make good on the promise she had given her 4-year old self and she’s now happily taking her first steps on her journey to becoming a painter.
5 Questions for Nina Egli
She continued experimenting with screen printing at home, eventually starting to sell her prints at design markets in her native Switzerland. A couple of years down the line, Nina realised that while she loved screen printing, she didn’t enjoy the design process as much and the idea of offering workshops where she would teach people to print their own designs was born. Having relocated to Frankfurt for work, she set about finding an atelier to make that dream come true and in June 2019, Nina started hosting screen printing workshops alongside her graphic design job. When Corona put a stop to workshops a few months later, she quickly rethought her concept and began collaborating with other creatives, printing their designs on limited edition products.
Over the past couple of years, Nina gradually reduced the hours she worked at her graphic design job and last month she took the big step of going full-time with Jakob & Tatze. She is now looking forward to all the screen printing projects and collaborations the future has in store for her.
5 Questions for Claire Powell
While she was considering swapping her graphic design career for one in animation, Claire stumbled upon an exhibition at the British Library that celebrated the work of children’s book illustrators. It opened her eyes to a world in which drawing could be a job and she immediately signed up for a children’s book illustration course with Claire Alexander. Three years later, her debut picture book Have you seen my giraffe? (written by Michelle Robison) was published. Claire has since illustrated books for the likes of Kes Gray, Claire Freedman, Peter Bently and Simon Farnaby.
5 Questions for Bex Morley
commercial art. After graduating with a major in music, Bex surrendered her artistic ambitions to office jobs and family and eventually set up a jam-making business.
It was during a personal crisis that Bex discovered that there was indeed a place for the colourful, botanical and character art she had been making throughout her youth. Online, she not only discovered artists who were working in similar styles but also stumbled upon the classes of Make Art That Sells. She quickly enrolled and after a steep learning curve that would last a couple of years, Bex got an agent. Her first commissions soon followed and she now creates joyful patterns and illustrations for stationery, fabrics and home décor.
5 Questions for Alina Tang
Having collaborated on both these projects with friends, Alina dreamt of one day owning her own place, but first she went to explore the world via art residencies which took her to Amsterdam, Finland, L.A., Taiwan and back to Amsterdam where she decided to stay for a while to tackle that big dream of hers. And so, in March 2020, just as the first lockdown was announced, Alina received the keys to what has since become PANSY – her studio as well as workshop venue and retail space. For now, she has packaged up the workshops she hoped to host at Pansy into DIY ceramic making kits for people to do at home, but no lockdown can stop Alina from making cute things for nice people.
5 Questions for Ella Beech
While the design elements of her job had always somewhat fulfilled her need for artistic expression, she eventually realised that something was missing and began spending her lunch breaks drawing with a group of other creatives at work. With her artistic spark reignited, she took part in a daily drawing project for 100 days and started dipping into Orange Beak Studio’s picture book workshops and tutorials. Having filled countless sketchbooks over the course of a few years, she took the leap in 2019 and quit her job to do an MA in children’s book illustration which she will complete at the end of this year. Happy to have found her way back to art, Ella loves to inspire others to get creative which she does via her Patreon, creative mentoring sessions and Happy Sun Art workshops.
5 Questions for Franziska Klee
her job, moving from Munich to Leipzig, becoming a mother and going full-time with her new career as a designer of timeless handbags and accessories made from natural leather. Today Franziska works from her beautiful atelier and showroom in the heart of Leipzig where she and her small team create minimalistic design gems made to be treasured.
5 Questions for Mark Janssen
used to reacquaint himself with his artistic side. He began experimenting with new techniques the result of which was his first non-commissioned picture book Nothing Happened. Since then, several have followed including Island for which he received the Prémio Andersen Award and the Dutch Children’s Bookstore Prize.
Since last year, Mark helps aspiring picture book illustrators get one step closer to achieving their dreams via his Masterclass Programme.
5 Questions for Bettina and Driss Abaoûz
Today, they do not only run The Weavery B&B with lots of love and passion but also work with weavers in Driss’ hometown whose lives their are improving one carpet at a time.
5 Questions for Katya Tikhova
Hi, I'm Chantal Valerie. I'm a writer and self-taught illustrator. I am inspired by late bloomers and creative self-starters (I only started drawing at the age of 34) and since I believe they deserve more visibility, I started my blog series ‘5 Questions for …’.