Yvonne Keesman – Wacom Women Feature

From Wacom we wanted to celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day by showcasing and highlighting women’s contributions to art and creativity.

This time we interviewed Yvonne Keesman, also known as ohhellovonnie, who created the official Wacom Women artwork for us!

  • We love your work, tell us a little bit about how it started?

Ever since i was young I always had fun drawing and making doodles. For me it’s a nice way to clear my mind and express my feelings. When I was looking for higher education I first landed on a graphic design and media course, but it wasn’t really a good fit for me. Then I came across an prepatory course at the HKU (Utrecht University for the Arts) where you can discover what course is suited for you. This was perfect for me because I knew I wanted to do something creative but wasn’t sure what direction to take it in. That’s where I discovered the illustration world and fell in love with it and went on to study illustration there.

Unfortunately I couldn’t finish the full degree because of mental health issues and late diagnosed ADHD and stopped drawing for some time. But after a while I came back to it and found the initial joy I had for it again. From there I continued to make work that made me happy.

  • Can you explain briefly about the style of your art? How did you get your own style going on?

V: I would describe my style of art as peaceful, simple but vibrant. I love envisioning small moments of happiness and good feelings. My style developed gradually over time, and I think it will always continue to develop further. Before I made the switch to fully working digitally I used to draw with ink and fineliner and then add colours on the computer. Also my style used to be more detailed, but I simplified it more and more over the last years. I think with finding out your own style it’s good to try out a lot of things and to see what works for you. Also keep in mind what you are trying to communicate and explore with that in the back of your mind.

  • What does illustration and digital graphic art represent for you?

V: Illustration and digital graphic art represents accessibility for me, it’s a way to see other peoples stories, ideas and the way they experience the world. Specially in the time we live in, it’s so awesome that you can find so many great artists online and enjoy their work! And it makes me really happy to see that so many people are creating and making the world more beautiful in their own way.

  • Can you tell us what inspires you?

V: I get my inspiration from a lot of places. I love finding shapes, colours and forms in the outside world but also in art and design. Another thing I do is make Pinterest boards with a lot of different themes and subjects, which come in handy when I feel a little uninspired. And also music is a really big inspiration for me, i love listening to the music and envision illustrations in my head that go with the certain feelings and emotions.

  • Do you have any pro-tips for the upcoming artists?

One of the tips I got that stuck with me is ‘perfection is the enemy of done’. It’s very tempting to keep working on projects because you want to make it ‘perfect’ and i’m definitely guilty of doing that. But it soaks up a lot of time and sometimes you can over-work something until it’s no longer fun. Another tip is: don’t be too precious with your work, if you made something but you are not 100% happy just post it online anyway. Other people might not see the flaws you see in it (because they haven’t been staring at it for hours) and might actually really enjoy seeing your work. Just get it out there! The final tip I want to give is try and find friends that can relate to the work you are doing, this can either be in person or an online community. Art and design work can get really lonely because you spend a lot of time behind your computer tinkering with projects. It can be very nice to bounce off ideas with other creative people and get inspiration from eachother.

  • How has Wacom improved your workflow?

Wacom helped me take my digital illustrations to another level. Before I had my Wacom Cintiq i mainly worked in adobe illustrator for digital illustration because it was easier with just the keyboard and mouse. But when I got my Wacom I switched to adobe photoshop and it really opened up a lot of new ways to work and explore my digital illustration style further. I love how responsive it is and makes it feel like I’m drawing on paper.

  • What is the most important thing when starting a new project?

The most important thing for me when starting a new project is to find something you love about it. The art process can sometimes be frustrating but knowing there’s an aspect of your art you really want to communicate is important. That’s why I really enjoyed working on the recent Wacom Women brief. I love drawing women and portraying them in a postive light and celebrating them!

Follow Vonnie on her social media channels

Instagram: @ohhellovonnie

Twitter: @ohhellovonnie

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