I am Jasmijn (26), an illustrator living and working from my studio in central Utrecht. I graduated from a bachelor degree course in Illustration and design in Zwolle in 2015.
Currently occupied fulltime as a freelance illustrator, I am working on lots of different projects from editorial to packaging. My clients include: Albert Heijn, KLM and the Efteling.
What gives you your drive in your profession?
Discovering and having fun. I see every job as a completely new experience and as a challenge. A challenge to create a new and special illustration which shows a different view of an certain topic. I want to make illustrations that inspire people.
Who or what is your major source of inspiration?
The world around me! It can be in the little things like a sunray on a grass blade, or a whole landscape. In my work I often use nature as a topic. I also like looking at other artists’ work, as I find that really inspiring. It’s nice to look through someone’s eyes and see how they experience certain things. That’s what makes illustration such an instructive trade, everyone fulfils it in their own way.
What is your vision of entrepreneurship in the arts?
Despite some restrictions that can come with a commission, it is important to keep your own sense of creativity. The clients often like to hear your ideas on a project; don’t be afraid to tell them. I think you need a good balance between being communicative, making good work and being confident about it. When you can find that balance you will be sure to find your way in this business.
How did you start your company?
After finishing art college I made a lot of different kinds of work to fill up my portfolio. I was also making a lot of network connections at the time, to get acquainted with the business. I went to a lot of artistic gatherings and started up social media accounts to promote my art. Then I connected with an art agency, through them I got some great commissions, through which I built up a good and more varied portfolio.
What difficulties did you encounter and how did you resolve them?
No job is the same; being flexible is a must! Sometimes jobs don’t go through or they can be put on hold, whereby a day can be totally different to as you had planned it. Make sure to use that time by working on other projects or maybe on your own self-promotional project. It’s good to be flexible and to be able to make that switch when needed.
How do you envision your future? Where do you want to be within five years?
I hope to gain more varied experience in the coming five years and I want to progressively develop my style. I would like to have published my own children’s book by then and hope to realise this along side my commercial illustrations. I am also aiming to do more work for the UK and the US. To make work for other markets and clients.
What is a real ‘Must Have, Do or See’ for every artist?
Try to make sure that you’re having fun in what you do. This fun factor will shine through your work and prospective clients will notice that too. I think it’s also important to feed your creativity by traveling, that has been really inspirational to me in the development of my illustration style.