Artist/Illustrator Robin Clarijs lives and works in the Amsterdam, NL. Inspired mostly by music and everyday activities he creates evocative and visually-arresting illustrations. He took some time off his busy schedule to catch-up with us. Below’s the transcript of the interview:
1. What’s your background, how did you get into art, how long of you been drawing and what was your prime motivation if you have any?
Ever since I was little I’ve been drawn to the concept of creating things and expressing my feelings in any way possible. As many young children do, I started drawing and always enjoyed doing that. After a while I kind of let drawing slip and got into playing guitar.
After a few years (I was 16 at the time, am 23 now) I started getting back into drawing and a buddy of mine asked if I could design something for his band and that kind of snowballed into doing a lot of artwork for a lot of (metal) bands here in the Netherlands.
Most of my work was digital back then and kind of had that old school rock poster feeling, I’ve only been drawing with pencil more since the beginning of 2014.
I did this mostly during my college time and tried to combine my work as much as I could with my study (studied Graphic Design) when I graduated I started working as a freelance illustrator and here I am right now.
2. What is your workspace like, what tools and materials do you use?
My workspace is as simple as a desk, a macbook pro and a Wacom cintiq for my digital drawings and a desk, (Micron) fineliners, paper and pencils for my hand drawn drawings. I usually start with a simple pencil sketch on paper and work my way out from there with the fineliners or on my Wacom cintiq.
But I really don’t need a whole lot… I just need the basics!
3. Where do you get inspiration?
My inspiration comes from several places! I take a lot of the music I listen to which is a pretty wide spectrum (from hiphop, to hardcore to acoustic to techno) that just really depends on the mood I’m in. I also get a lot of inspiration by traveling, A lot of conversations I pick up in public transportation or just street art anything like that.
Last but certainly not least, I get a lot of inspiration from other artists! Whether I found them on instagram or anywhere else on the internet.
4. Do you have any advice for aspiring artists/illustrators?
I think It’s important to keep in mind that it takes a lot of time to build yourself as a brand and get yourself out there. It won’t be handed to you in most cases. So if you truly want to be an illustrator / artist or whatever, see every day as a challenge and beat it.
Of course, sometimes you won’t like the challenges and it can be quite hard (think of being broke but still having to pay the rent, or having a deadline while someone important to you is having his/her birthday) but it happens, just make sure it’s worth it in the end. Also, try to enjoy every bit of it. If there’s a point in your career where you don’t like what you do anymore, try to figure out why and eliminate that part. You are in this for yourself. Not for anyone else.
5. Do you have an online shop where people can buy your print?
Unfortunately I do not, I’m working on one though. Should be done by the end of the year! But it’s hard to get it all up and running.
6. Anything else you’d like everyone to know about?
Not specifically, I just want to give this piece of advice because I hear a lot people say “Yeah I was drawing something similar but yours is way better, so I quit” and I just want to point out that that attitude isn’t the right one. If you see something that’s better than yours, see it as motivation, make sure you are the one people look up to, not the other way around.