Bodil’s drawing tip

We’ll be putting one of our favorite illustrators in the spotlight, and asking them to share a golden tip to help us get started with drawing. In this blog, Bodil Jane tells us more about her work.

How would you describe your work? I’m not very good at realistic drawing. In fact, I think I’m a bit of an awkward artist, but that may well be part of my work’s charm. I see myself as a kind of lifestyle illustrator. My clients are mainly magazines, restaurants and fashion brands. I do everything by hand, using watercolor and ink. Sometimes I experiment with collage and pencil.

How did you become an illustrator? I grew up in a creative family. My father is a conceptual artist and my mother paints ceramics and gives workshops. My sister and I were always making things; we played drawing games, made funny murals… During the holidays, the four of us would fill a large sketchbook with drawings, dried flowers and beautiful paper.

Where do you work? A few months ago, I moved into a new studio in Weesperzijde, a neighborhood in Amsterdam. The studio is located in a courtyard, which is a kind of urban oasis with several creative studios. The place itself is a large white room with lots of windows, and I share it with seven freelancers: writers, photographers, designers and a filmmaker, but we’re never all here at the same time. I work in a corner of the studio, next to a window. Light is very important for me, but I can’t work if I get too distracted, so I have my back to the window and I love it when the sun shines on it whilst I’m working.

Got a golden drawing tip for us? I know a good game, which I love to play. Draw a portrait of someone without looking down at your paper. So focus your eyes solely on the one you are drawing. This makes for a very refreshing drawing that is imperfect but usually very beautiful. You can also copy another picture, first very precisely and then in the manner described above. It’s really nice to see the differences between the two.