Sandra van Doorn, a self taught artist from France, creates charming, illustrative creations. There is a sense of quiet beauty that runs deeply throughout van Doorn's artwork. The artist took time out of her schedule to speak with ArtSeen about her artwork and current projects.
I am self-taught, though I try to attend classes here and there to improve my skills.
In my drawings I mostly use an Ikea pencil to sketch (yes the one you get for free when you shop there!) and then colored pencils because it’s a clean medium, it travels well and it’s relatively cheap. I also love using Gouache, though this is fairly new for me.
I use Photoshop for all my digital work.
I also use Photoshop to create GIF pictures; making my pictures move a little is fun, like seeing my characters coming to life. I use GIF files as a “signature” to my posts on my blog page.
What inspires you as an artist?
I have always loved fairy tales; I was born in a part of France that’s famous for folk stories and magic, castles and witches… I guess that stayed with me, I almost feel like I was born in a fairytale.
I get inspired by books, movies, beautiful photography and classic paintings. I also spend a lot of time outdoors when I can; I have a need for solitude (not to be confused with loneliness!!) and space…
|"La tete dans les etoiles" Head in the Stars|
Why do you create art?
Art has the wonderful power to make the world more beautiful and I love being a part of that. I love my work.
What types of themes, ideas, or concepts do you explore within in your artwork?
That really depends on what project I am working on.
But I do have an inclination towards exploring innocence, love, whimsical and magic worlds and the imaginary. And there is almost always a touch of nostalgia or melancholia in my drawings. These are beautiful emotions.
I can also say that simplicity is important in my work; it’s also the way I live and I do think it defines my style. There is something wonderful about reaching into people’s soul with a simple drawing, don’t you think?
Are there any artists that inspire you? If so who would they be and why?
Most artists are inspiring because art is an invitation to keep an open mind…
In the world of illustration I truly admire Nicoletta Ceccoli, Benjamin Lacombe, and Rebecca Dautremer just to name a few. I look at their work and know I have a long way to go to be that brilliant!
I also absolutely love the work of painters; there’s so much to learn from paintings from say Bruegel or Vermeer. They were true artists.
What do you think the role of the artist is?
I don’t think there is such a thing, a specific role for an artist. It would be too limiting and by definition artists are free souls. I would say the only thing that an artist does is create….
Can you discuss any current projects you are working on?
I am currently working on 2 picture books and I guess that’s as much as I can tell you!
|"Le printemps" The Spring|
And finally, what advice would you give to other artists?
I am not sure I have the experience to lecture on the subject. However if I must, I’d say…
Be true to yourself in your work. Your audience can see that.
For more information about Sandra van Doorn and her artwork you can visit her blog for more details.
All images courtesy of Sandra van Doorn.