Monday, December 5, 2011

transcribed interview with lois van baarle of / / /

KK: When did you receive your professional commission and how did your
client come into contact with you?
LVB: I've been doing commissions since 2003, so it's hard for me to think
of what my first professional one was. I did artwork for in 2007, that may be the first company that has
ever approached me for work. They saw my work online and wanted female
superhero versions of all of the horoscopes, so they emailed me.

KK: How do you come into contact with most of the clients you make work
for currently?
LVB: It's pretty much the same story as the previous question - the client
sees my work online and contacts me to make artwork via email. I have
gotten some of my work through people that I know (students or
teachers that I worked with at animation school), but all of the
clients that I don't have any kind of existing connection with contact
me via the internet based on artwork they've seen.

KK: What kind of work do you get asked to do the most?
LVB: I get asked to do illustration and design work most often, although
roughly half of the work I do is animation related. I decline a lot of
the offers I get for illustration work, which usually include artwork
of various kinds for games (concept art, backgrounds, characters, etc)
and logos or illustrations for promotional purposes.

KK: Do you have a preference of what kind of work you like doing the most?
poster design? website layouts? personal portraiture? etc?
LVB: I enjoy doing animation work the most, because it is more challenging
and involves bigger and longer projects. In terms of illustration
work, I enjoy doing things in my own style, such as recent work that I
did for an ice cream franchise in singapore. They wanted various ice
cream flavors personified as female characters in my painted style,
which is a lot of fun to do and of course I feel most comfortable
working that way.

KK: Do you mind doing commercial work, and is there a certain kind of
company that you'd never make work for?
LVB: I don't mind doing commercial work at all, as long as I can combine it
with a good dose of personal work every now and then. If I had to do
only commercial work for a year, I would go crazy, I think. As for
companies I'd never make work for, I can only name the most obvious
situations: companies that want me to participate in promoting racist
or morally questionable ideas, or that don't want to pay a reasonable
amount for the work I do.

KK: How long are you usually given to make something for a client, or how
long do they usually give you? Do they typically set a deadline or do
LVB: Every job I've had so far has been radically different in this sense.
Some people approach me with a deadline of just a week or two, whereas
other clients give me months to do some simple work. It varies a lot
and depends of course on the sort of work that is being asked. Some
clients approach me with a deadline, because they need the work for a
specific event or purpose, whereas other clients negotiate

KK: What is your work schedule typically like when you're working on a commission?
LVB: Again, it depends on the actual job and how complex it is. Either the
client or myself will usually break illustration work down into a few
phases - sketch, rough and final - with feedback and adjustments for
each phase. I usually plan dates for each of these moments and stick
to these deadlines. For larger animation projects, a schedule is
planned ahead of time which all members of the animation team must
stick to.

KK: Are most of the clients you work with agreeable about the finished
product? and if they aren't, how do you go about trying to satisfy
their wants but still try to maintain your own integrity about the
LVB: Most of the clients I have workred with are agreeable about the
finished product. They are free to clearly and directly state what
they would like changed before getting the final versions, and since
the client has almost always seen rough versions of the work before
getting the final work, they know what they can expect. Some clients
make unreasonable demands or ask for too much to be adjusted at the
way end, which doesn't become a problem because I make a written
agreement ahead of time which specifies how much can be changed at
that point which the client must stick to.

KK: Do you ever revert back to traditional media to make or to assist on a
digital piece?
LVB: I sometimes use pencil linework which I scan in instead of making
linework on the computer. Digital linework can be a pain in the butt.
But I usually work purely on the computer.

KK: Do you think that digital media measures up to physical media? Do you
think it surpasses it, even?
LVB: I think digital media has great potential but is fundamentally
different from physical media. so it can't really be compared in this
way. The whole process behind a digital vs. a physical piece is so
different that they need to be looked at in different ways. I do think
that the uniqueness of a traditional piece (only one exists), as well
as the absolute quality of the colors and textures (each screen reads
digital artwork differently, each printer creates a slightly different
print) makes traditional pieces more valuable and personal to the
artist, but this is not an absolute statement - i'm sure there are

KK: Do you have a full or part time job in addition to doing freelance?
LVB: I don't have any job besides being a freelancer :]

KK: Who is your favorite illustrator/artist currently?
LVB: At this moment, I'd say eric fortune is my favorite artist. It varies
a lot though.

KK: Who were the artists that influenced you when you first started
drawing/making artwork?
LVB: Definitely a mixture of disney animation, Alfonse Mucha and Aurore Blackcat.

KK: Do you feel like the internet has made being an artist easier or more
difficult? or both?
LVB: It has definitely made being a commercial artist a lot easier, since
it is easy to get exposure through the internet. For me, online
exposure has fuelled my entire career so far and has been essential.

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