Illustrator Marloes de Vries on being herself

Illustrator Marloes de Vries tried to fit in, then tried to be completely different. In Issue 36 she tells us about how she has learned to just be herself.

“I was drinking coffee in a café, watching people coming in, and realized that there’s a thin line between trying to satisfy other people’s expectations of you and acting completely different,” De Vries says.

“‘Acting completely different’ is something an entire group then tries to do, creating yet another specific expectation you will want to meet. You never become yourself this way. It took me a long time to become myself, by the way. When I was a teenager, I desperately tried to fit in, which included dyeing my hair pink, but when I was around 28 I really began to rebel against everything; mostly I didn’t want to fit into the perfect picture.

The things that made me different, such as my love of the Star Wars-movies and Lego, I really exaggerated, driven purely by my insecurity. I’ve mellowed out a lot since then. Whenever I’m feeling good about myself, I need other people’s validation a lot less than I used to. Looking back, I wish I had had someone in my younger years who could have impressed upon me that I’m just fine the way I am. Staying true to who you are is actually what makes you unique.”

  • Find more illustrations by Marloes on her website on her Instagram.
  • Read more life lessons from illustrators in Issue 36.

Text & illustration Marloes de Vries