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    Lois van Baarle

    I recently had the pleasure of conducting an email interview with the friendly and talented illustrator, and animator Lois van Baarle. Many of the questions I had intended to ask her have already been answered in great detail on her F.A.Q section of her recently updated website. Her F.A.Q. section is great, and I highly recommend checking it out if you are either an artist yourself, or a fan of her work. With the standard questions already answered, I was able to dig a little deeper, and ask some fun questions. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did.

    Josh Mormann | von Creedy: First of all, I want to say thanks Lois for agreeing to let me ask you a few questions via email.

    And second, congratulations on the new website. I love it. You have some great new examples of your work up there that I haven’t seen before. When did you go live with the new material?

    Toasterbot Ride

    Lois van Baarle: Thanks! the new layout has been up for about a week now. and the new material was posted on deviantart + my sketchblog before it went on loish.net :] i generally update those sites as soon as i finish a drawing.

    vonC: I love your Trichrome animation work. What is the ultimate goal for Trichrome? Is it purely an animation project, or is there an even broader scope? I took the quiz and found out my Trichrome color is yellow. How soon until a the correlating animation is viewable? (no rush, I’m just tremendously curious now)

    Lois: Trichrome is purely an animation project, which is meant to be both entertaining to watch and a commentary on advertising practices. I’m considering making it my own animation studio if I decide to set one up, but am not 100% sure about that yet. Trichrome Yellow is on its way, although Trichrome Red is scheduled first.

    Trichrome Blue from Lois van Baarle on Vimeo.

    vonC: I don’t know if it was a feature of the site previously and I just missed it, or if it’s entirely new, but the F.A.Q. section confounded me, when putting the questions together for this interview. Your F.A.Q. is an amazing resource for people to learn more about you, your process, and what inspires you, etc. In fact, I’m going to skip lots of the questions I wanted to ask, and just point people to your F.A.Q. section. That being said, how often do people ask you questions about your work? How do you feel about all the questioning attention?

    Lois: I get a lot of questions on a daily basis, in my e-mail inbox as well as my deviantart page and basically any other place I post my artwork. I like that people are curious about my work and am willing to answer questions, but the sheer scope of questions I get is my reason for writing an f.a.q. If i didn’t have it, I wouldn’t be able to keep up at all! In general, the questioning attention is really great, except for the few cases in which the questions can easily be answered by simply consulting google, which is a little annoying, but rare.

    vonC: You have quite a following on DeviantArt. Would you say that the DA community has played a significant roll in your current success, or professional recognition?

    Catwoman

    Lois: The dA community has played an essential role in my current success. A large portion of my website hits all come from deviantart, and I’m pretty sure that the largest portion of all my online publicity stems from there. I really developed as a digital artist on that site, with the help of people who follow my work and other great artists who have a page there also. I even chose my school based on the advice from someone I knew on Deviantart. Although the site gets a lot of criticism, my experiences with it have been largely positive.

    vonC: I think the most common advice (and probably the best advice) that talented artists, like yourself, will give to people just starting is, “draw all the time.” I believe that advice applies to not just drawing, but any skill or talent someone would want to develop. I think the reason the world isn’t filled with extremely talented artists, or musicians etc., is that people lose interest too soon in their daily deliberate practice. Do you ever have down days? or times when you wish you were pursuing some other kind of career? If so, how do/did you keep from losing interest, and keep going?

    Lois: I do have days where I’m very frustrated with my career. I love drawing, in fact I’m almost addicted to it, and I can’t imagine my life without it. But being a freelance artist can be really tough. You have to figure out a price for your work which is reasonable and will be accepted by potential clients, but which also covers costs of living, taxes, rent, insurance, and the value of your work, which is generally higher than people expect and really hard for me as a beginning artist, especially in a world where many feel that commercial art is not valuable or understand the way art is priced. It’s also hard for me to make such a personal thing, which reflects so much of me, my source of work – it can be very emotional and stressful. However, at the end of the day I’m happy I chose animation and I enjoy my life the way it is.

    vonC: When it comes to the deliberate practice of your work, do you ever force yourself to work on things that don’t come easily? If so, do you have to play tricks or mind games on yourself to help you do that? what kinds of tricks do you play on yourself (if you do)?

    Taking a Leap

    Lois: When I’m struggling with practice and not sure what I draw, I either draw from life or visit some kind of forum with sketch activities and themes. It’s particularly hard for me to come up with new and interesting concepts and it’s easy to just find my inspiration for the concept elsewhere. Lately I just have the bad habit of not drawing when I’m having a hard time.

    vonC: What [ultimately] is the most difficult part of your work? and how do you overcome it? (if this is too personal of a question, please don’t feel like you need to answer it. I just think it might be helpful to people)

    Lois: The most difficult part is, as I mentioned before, being the manager of your own business next to being an artist. Figuring out how to handle your administration and taxes, being professional, networking, and other business-related things are really important if you’re a freelancer but they really don’t come naturally to me. I really have to force it out of myself. I overcome it by understanding that I’m going to jeapordize my own career if I don’t try my best, which works quite motivationally.

    vonC: Ok, off subject. You’ve lived all over the world. Where would you ultimately like to settle down? or are you already there?

    Lois: Yes, I’m pretty sure I want to say in Holland for the time being. I feel most at home here – this is really my country and the place where I feel most comfortable. Maybe one day I’ll wake up and be sick of this place, but that day hasn’t come yet!

    vonC: And one last question. If you had to pursue any other career for some inexplicable reason, what would it be? and why?

    Lois: It would be cultural or social anthropology. It was the thing that I really wanted to study before spontaneously deciding to do animation instead. I’m fascinated by people and history. Alas! Maybe I can take some courses in the future, haha.

    Visit the following locations to learn more about Lois van Baarle and her work:


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    Written by Joshua Mormann