February 28, 2011

The cheerful innocence of Marloes de Vries

January 28th I was interviewed by a newspaper about my current exhibition. I meant to upload this much sooner but because of my busy schedule I forgot a little.
So here it is! The interviewer was a very nice man which made it easy to talk about my work and myself. You can read the interview in Dutch here.

I also translated it into English, starting from the 2nd paragraph (because the first one is about previous exhibitions).

Interview by Joep van Ruiten

'Illustrations for children' is the subtitle of 'Eyes Open, pajamas on', but that doesn't suit the work of Marloes de Vries (Emmen, 1984). Because what she creates is for all ages. "I let my feelings guide me. I don't think of ages when I'm illustrating" she says "But if children like my drawings, I consider it a compliment. Especially because they still have the ability to imagine and fantasize. Imagination that most grown ups have lost."

De Vries graduated in visual communication at the art academy in Enschede. "I was really happy I could go to the art academy. The way of education was very liberal and free but they didn't value my drawings much. They weren't crazy enough, they said. There wasn't an audience for it and at the same time they said I was too commercial. I was quite hurt so I choose other subjects, ones I liked less."

After art academy she first worked as a graphic designer for design agencies. "That should have given me that sense of freedom but it didn't. I got that creative freedom when I quit my job and started working as a freelance designer and started drawing again." She got immediate regonition: her work got nominated for the Art Award 2010, illustration assignments voor educational publishers and publications in children's art magazine Boekie Boekie.

This interest in her work can be easily explained. Her style of drawing is refreshing, clear en uncomplicated. Her work airs an unmistakable cheerful innocence. Especially that makes her drawings suitable for young viewers. "It's not intentional", says De Vries. "What is intentional is that I don't want to shut people out. A while ago I drew some girls with headscarfs (a lot of girls in the Netherlands wear headscarfs because of reglious beliefs, MdV). Someone told me not every publisher would like that. That surprised me."

Useally a drawing starts with pencil and after that a scanner and computer is used to finish it. "It's still not completely natural: looking at your hand at paper or looking at the cursor on your screen." 'Eyes open, pajamas on' not only shows traditional drawings. The exhibition also shows work that's more dimensional like a series of people in different positions in their beds - everything very innocent.

Although De Vries isn't bored of free work, illustration assignment and her design agency Studio Wiedes, she wants to create a picture book. The storyline is there but to learn more about telling the story right she's taking a course in writing for children at university. "A picture book is the ulimate goal, especially when you have written the story and have created the drawings. It often happens that when a picture book is published the writer gets mentioned but not the illustrator. When I do both they can not nót mention me."

The exhibtion 'Eyes open, pajamas on' is on show untill March 27th in Centrum Beeldende Kunst in Emmen (the Netherlands). Open from wednesday untill sunday 1 PM - 5 PM. See www.marloesdevries.nl


  1. Bravo, wat goed, een tentoonstelling en publiciteit. Nooit weg in deze tijd van zoveel bezuinigingen. Veel succes.
    grt, Helmi

  2. haha leuk zeg :D
    Gefeliciteerd ^^

  3. oh lovely one!
    your snap shots and drawings are just darling!
    keep up the good work!
    x x x

  4. Thanks so much Lauren, I really appreciate that! I love your work!