Interview with Illustrator Vera Oosterhof
Vera Oosterhof is an 18 year-old illustrator hailing from Rottum, Netherlands. She attends Minerva: Academy for Arts in the Netherlands, and hopes to pursue a career in graphic design and illustration in the near future. A member of slashTHREE, Oosterhof has strived to create fantastic artwork while maintaining a good reputation in the art community. I took the time to sit down and have a chat with her. Here’s what went down:
I cannot stop illustrating, I simply love it! I guess you can call it a way of life.
Drew: Hello Vera! It’s truly an honor to be interviewing such an amazing illustrator. Your work has been featured on many sites, in magazines, and in exhibitions. Before we discuss your artwork specifically, tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in illustration.
Vera: Well, it all started with Neopets when I was 14 years old. I started creating some banners in Paint Shop Pro, and shortly after that I moved on to designing signatures on forums. I got hooked to it and after 2 years of making these so-called “signatures” I wanted something more, and I started doing what I do now. I cannot stop illustrating, I simply love it! I guess you can call it a way of life.
Drew: Those are such unique beginnings! Let’s move onto your artwork. I love pieces like “NightWish” and “LoveProject”, what sort of time and creativity goes into the designing process and how do you go about creating your artwork?
Vera: To be honest, “NightWish” didn’t take very long, only 5 hours or so. It was made for TheLuminarium, a collective, where the theme was “Prismatic”. This theme involved colors, so I wanted to make a joyful and colorful piece of artwork. I dreamt of a nice experience and ended up with this piece. Like most of my artwork, I let the creativity just flow, and I created this without thinking, just doing. “NightWish” is exactly the opposite of “LoveProject”. For “LoveProject”, I did a lot of brainstorming. slashTHREE was starting an art book entitled, Expressions, so for this piece I thought about the strongest expression; in my opinion, it’s love. So, I tried to make a piece based on love, it is also very experimental because of the different color usage. I’ve learned a lot from this piece, I also spent around 30 hours on it! Though, it was worth it.
...Expressions, so for this piece I thought about the strongest expression; in my opinion, it’s love...
Drew: That’s very true; artwork can be quite lengthy to create, though it’s quite worth the time in the end. You obviously enjoy what you do, are you looking for illustration to be a hobby or a profession?
Vera: At the moment, it’s a favorite hobby of mine, but in about 4 years I hope for it to be my profession. I’m studying graphic design at Minerva: Academy for the Arts, because I want to learn on how to handle typography and other mediums, as I think that’s quite hard.
Drew: Good to hear, I’m looking forward to seeing your work around in the future, as I best most readers are as well. Now, I see that you work in a bunch of collectives, how’s that going for you? Are there any artists in those collectives that motivate or inspire you?
Vera: Lately I’ve only been active at slashTHREE because they give me a lot of good advice and the artists there are fantastic. Zach Bush and Neil Hanvey inspire me, Zach with his matte-paintings, and Neil with his illustrations!
Drew: Yeah, they’re an inspiration to me as well. What’s in store for Vera Oosterhof in the future?
Vera: Well after I graduate from Minerva, I want some more experience and if that goes well, I’d like to start my own design agency, as it’s been a dream of mine since I’ve began this journey.
Drew: Great! Seeing artists that have inspired you, what advice do you have for any aspiring artists or readers?
Vera: Work hard, be very strict towards yourself, and compare yourself to the people who inspire you. Only then will you improve. You might say, hey it’s just art and not a competition, but it’s quite the opposite. Clients want the best and most well-known artists. So, illustrators are my friends but also my rivals. Though, it’s a friendly rivalry!
Drew: Any last words for our readers?
Vera: Always have fun with your artwork!
Drew: Thanks Vera, it’s been a pleasure interviewing you!
Vera: Cheers and thanks for the interview!