Category: My work

Own work: Samurai illustration detail

New work of my own

Making something

For months, I haven’t made any new work of my own. Not because I didn’t want to, or maybe that was just it. Anyway, I didn’t make time for it in the last couple of months. Now I had a slow week. Well, slow… I didn’t have to work on location, I could work from home.

Working from home

When I work at home, I can plan my day differently. I don’t have to take the travel time in account and I don’t have to take a lunch break at a specific time. When I’m in a flow, I can just keep on working. Another good thing is that I don’t need to look representative. I can wear my pants full of paint stains and my favourite jumper. There is nobody there to tell me I don’t look representable. Besides me, but I’m not meeting with people I need to be representative for.

Making my own work

Because I haven’t made something for myself lately, I noticed that I find it hard to make the transition between working for a client and making my own work. So I was looking for someone I can make my work for. In December it’s my boyfriends birthday. He doesn’t own any works of mine. That’s not a disaster but he is my biggest fan.

So I decided to give him an illustration for his birthday. A new one, that he hasn’t seen yet. But then there was a dilemma: what would he like to have? What does he find cool enough to hang on the wall? Eventually I told him of my plan. Together we searched for images that made him enthusiastic. Then we chose the two prettiest ones. I will combine them into a new work in my own style.

Enough time

I’m glad that I don’t have to finish before December. This gives me plenty of time to start over a couple of times. Often I work a little longer than my workflow is lasting. And then suddenly I’m convinced that I can’t draw anymore. Sometimes I radically throw it all away. Other times I just chuck out one or two layers in Photoshop.

What is it going to be?

We decided to make two drawings that make one image together. Two vertical illustrations that make one horizontal work. We’ve been looking for examples of illustrations that show tranquillity and depth. And the space where the works are going to go isn’t very high so I’ll use a lot of vertical lines and light.

Masters in drawing with depth and tranquillity are the Japanese. That’s why we were looking for examples in a Japanese style like this one. Eventually we chose: I’m going to make a forest with a samurai.

Of course the endresult of this work will be shown on the website, for everyone to see. But for now only two images that aren’t very helpfull.

Own work: Samurai illustration detail
Own work: Samurai illustration sketch
Illustration your own style Marieke Noordhuis

Your own style

Finding your own style

When you draw on a regular basis, you find your own style. Not in the beginning, though. Then you just started your journey to your own style. You copy the ones of others and try out different techniques. Eventually you see that you keep coming back to the same way of drawing and you keep using the same techniques and styles.

My search

I’ve been drawing for a long time. In 2009 my sister gave me a sketchbook so that I was able to draw anywhere. I then started drawing almost daily. Three years later I was accepted at two different art studies. I chose the art academy in Utrecht.

Just like I wrote a few sentences back, to find your own style you must copy others a lot. During my time at the art academy I tried a lot of different styles. I studied and copied different artists I did or did not at all have a feeling for. Until it was time to find out who Marieke was. So much has already been tried and made in this world so it’s hard to find a unique style.

Pretty quick – read: after three years or so – I figured out that I like to work with language. I didn’t know yet what that meant fo my artwork. That’s why I studied different ways of using language in my work. I wrote long texts and made a lot of puns. But eventually I describe my style as: narration. I write with images. Even though I love to work with text and text is almost always the root of my work, it always ends up as an image. And this is why I call myself an illustrator. An illustration can be described as a visual explanation. This is how I tell my stories. In an image, an illustration instead of in text.

My style – technique

So I make illustrations. But even within illustrations, there are thousands of different styles. What is my style? Even though I love highly detailed and perfected artworks, it didn’t become my style. For those who know me with a couple cups of coffee down my throat: I like to draw as fast as I can talk.

The longer I think about the lines, the concept or the story, the bigger the change that I won’t be happy with the end result. My way of working, my style, has a lot of velocity. In a couple of lines I put a sketch on paper. Or in my case, a sketch on my laptop.

Then I can still be working for hours on finding the right colours. But I try to stay as true as possible to the first sketch. The making of a sketch shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes. Depending on the size of the artwork, of course.

The result of my style

You can see a couple of drawings in my style on my website. The winter is coming and for me that means that there are fewer workshops. Because of that I have more time to start drawing again! In the coming months there are coming new artworks on the website. So you can study my style a little easier.

Would you like to have a drawing in my style? Send me a message here!

Would you like to get some tips in finding your own style? Send me a message as well! I would love to help you.

Illustration your own style Marieke Noordhuis
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