Saturday is illustration day, and this week we’re with Annemoon van Steen. Here, Annemoon tells us about her work and shares a little golden nugget of drawing knowledge with us.
How would you describe your work? My techniques vary somewhat: I work with pen, pencil, watercolor and ink. I also use paper collages and sometimes make prints on fabric and adorn it with embroidery. I also like to add vintage graphical elements, too.
What do you enjoy most about your job? That I do not work in just one style, and that you can see the handcraft element in it. Even when I edit everything in Photoshop. I’m always mindful of the coloring of an illustration: if it is not quite right, my work is not done.
Can you tell us a bit about the illustration below? The flowers symbolize joy, happiness and strength. I made this illustration for Veer&Moon, a brand that I have set up with graphic designer Veronique van Campen. Inspired by the Victorian “language of flowers” (or floriography as it’s also called), we make packaging for flower seeds and bulbs, as well as postcards, folded booklets for bouquets, and other stationery in which the language of flowers plays a central part.
What is life like as an illustrator in Utrecht? Sometimes it can be hard, if I don’t have enough work coming in over a period of time. But it’s often really nice, because I can divide my day in my own way, and the work itself gives me a great deal of satisfaction. Utrecht has all sorts of fun, creative initiatives and festivals, which I always find inspiring.
Talking of which: Where do you find inspiration? In nature; in the work of other designers, illustrators and artists; via a good conversation with my colleagues and friends; in old books and their (graphic) design; and when I’m visiting shops in the city.
Got a golden drawing tip for us? Copy a really detailed illustration or painting that has been done by someone else. Look at what materials and techniques were used. This was an assignment I was given during my illustration degree at the HKU [University of the Arts Utrecht], and I learned a great deal through it. It helps improve your own techniques, or it encourages you to try something that you would not usually do yourself. It is not about the result, but the process. It loosens your grip on staying with one style, and thus encourages you to start drawing in a different way. Another great way to gain inspiration is to visit a beautiful exhibition and really look with great attention at the techniques used in making the pieces.
Do you want to see more of Annemoon? Take a look at our Flow Journal Bundle. She drew a ‘Nature Fact’ in one of the Journals.