We had the great opportunity to interview the Illustrator and Creative Strategist, Lianne Middeldorp. In this interview you will find out how she became a well known, respected artist.
1. At what age did you start drawing?
I grew up in a creative family. When I was little, I think I was around 6 years old, my parents introduced me and my brother to the ‘creative life’. I remember those rainy Saturdays painting all day, making customized menu cards for dinner, drawing our own comics and writing juicy newspaper articles. It came very naturally.
2. Did you know from the start that you wanted to make a living out of it?
Absolutely not. When I got older and started high school, I was hooked on sports and I completely forgot about drawing and anything else creative. Around that time, I was selected to be part of the National Golf Team and I continued playing golf at a high level until I was 21. In the meantime, I followed art classes in school, but the only thing I could think of at that time was sports and making a career in that field. After that, I started to study Politics at university and along the way I found out I didn’t want to make a career in sports as the life of an athlete seemed too lonely for me.
3. What made you work in the financial industry?
When I graduated I really did not know what kind of career I was looking for, so I ended up by accident in the financial industry. I had the luck to get offered a really cool job as a communication specialist in a financial trading company. At that time the financial markets were going up and down so there was always a lot of buzz going on which was fun. Although I quickly grew into a team leader and I had the chance to set up nice campaigns and travel the world, deep down, I knew that this was not the career I was really looking for. So I decided to listen to my heart and I went back to drawing. That’s when I found my passion again in drawing and I decided to give it a shot.
4. Did you study at an art school?
I did not study at an art school, although my high school was very much focused on art, theatre and music. After quitting my job in the financial industry I decided to follow fashion illustration courses at the London College of Fashion, part of the University of the Arts in London. It is a great institute and I learned a lot. I would love to follow more courses in the future to keep growing.
5. What was the contract that boosted your drawing career?
When I just started becoming a bit more serious about drawing, I was asked to do two editorials for Milk X Magazine in Hong Kong. That was really helpful to start building a portfolio from scratch and deal with clients in the creative field, something that I had never done before.
6. What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of the job is the process, the struggle. The feeling that what you are doing is going nowhere, you get grumpy, you hate your work, you put it away, start again and end up finding out that it is your best piece up so far.
7. What has been your favorite job contract so far?
I like assignments where I get the freedom to come up with something myself, such as the work I do for the online eco platform Mochni and Cluse Watches.
8. What are your hopes for the future?
I would love to continue making cool illustrations and pursue other creative fields, maybe even combine them. In my ideal world, I can live or travel wherever and whenever I want, because my work is not keeping me tied to one place. Currently, I have more clients abroad than in the Netherlands, so I hope I can continue on this path in the future.
9. Is there someone, in particular, you wish to work for?
Yes! I would love to do something for Marc Jacobs. I have been a fan of his work since he was working for Louis Vuitton and he collaborated with one of my favorite artists, Takashi Murakami. I still regret not buying one of those bags back in the days. For me, they are iconic and really edgy. I love his approach to fashion and society. Another designer I love is Jeremy Scott who is the creative director of Moschino. I saw his documentary a while ago and it’s very impressive how he got to where he is now, so much determination and focus. His fashion creations are crazy, but really cool and connecting in a way.
10. What is your proudest accomplishment?
I am most proud of my courage to pursue a different career than the one I had started at. The easy way for me would have been was to stay at my previous job, make money and continue with my ‘ok life’. Choosing a new career, starting from scratch and putting yourself out there is tough. You get many rejections, you need to work hard, you need to push yourself harder, put yourself out there until eventually your work gets noticed and you get hired to do editorials and cool collaborations. Although it is not the easy road, I wouldn’t want to trade it at this point in my life.