The words of an illustrator

Illustrator Marieke ten Berge drew the mini-poster for Flow Weekly 5. Here, she talks about her inspirations and way of working. “I try to see beauty in the ordinary.” 

INFOFOTO-1.jpgAbout my work

“My aim is to try to make people happy with my drawings, and to bring a smile to their face. I draw my illustrations by hand, and sometimes I edit them with the computer. You can say so much simply through your choice of material, and display the right feelings. As far as I’m concerned, the best material to work with is Indian ink. You can make such beautiful things with it, and I love the uneven lines that it leaves.”

Choice of materials
“I choose the technique and materials I’m going to use once I’m clear on what kind of feeling I want to impart in my illustration. For the mini-poster I created for Flow Weekly 5, in which a girl is touching a puddle, I used a fine liner and ecoline ink. First, I used the hatching technique and the fine liner to create patterns and structure in her clothing. I wanted to really capture the stillness of the moment so you can see that the girl is thinking. I wanted to portray that moment when you surrender yourself to the void and thus gain some surprising new insights. I have that myself if, for example, I stare at water or watch the wind play with a leaf. For the girl’s posture, I used a photo of my daughter when she is squatting down by some water.”

“Everyday life inspires me: from a beautiful coffee cup to a bird in the garden. My children are also an inexhaustible source of inspiration. They are amazed by everything they see, and I try to emulate that and look at things that way too; to see the beauty in the ordinary.”

The joys of being an illustrator
“I love the fact that people want to look at my work, and that they take the time to do so. I get so much pleasure from creating a picture. For me, it is a form of language. Even though it is always a challenge to portray – with the right sentiment and mood – on paper what is in my head.”

“I work from my studio at home – an old converted cowshed situated in a polder in the Veluwe. It is a lovely bright spot where the morning sun shines on my desk. There are several tables, so there’s always room to accommodate people – be it to draw or to have a nice cup of coffee. There’s also an old workbench with my press for lithographs and etchings. And the walls are decorated with my work as well as the works of my children.”