The illustrative struggle journal #6

Good evening to you all.

Some distraction from the lies of politicians and the corrupt media. I am not going to talk about hypes or popular things because I REALLY don't understand that. I am amazed by things like twitter and this sticker thingy on Facebook of this "head banging blue bird". I don't have enough to say to keep up with all these twitter flows and I don't see the use of this blue bird thing and don't try to convince me of it's quality. I don't think it is funny or whatever. So please, when someone reads this and can explain it, tell me all about it. I am interested in how these type of things work.


Anyway today I am going to talk about work again. I have a busy week, and that is good news. Working on a book cover about something really special. I write more about this when it is finished. Than I can explain what is in it too.
But I can tell you more about what I am doing in general! Because this is something new on my path which is good. It is a theses about four research and the guy who wrote this managed to discover very important stuff in my opinion. This is one of these things that could change the world and help a shitload of people and I hope we all will see more of it in the future.
'But you only draw dark stuff about death and torture for metal bands!' Yeah, yeah... I know, I do a lot of this but finally I am not drawing a dead person. I am drawing smart things and I have to say, this is a difficult thing to do. I am talking about four years of hard work where I have to do a cover design for. Me, this little skinny guy that has to pretend he is smart. So when I convinced myself to be smart enough things got rolling.
In this case I got a summary. To be honest, I could understand it a bit but I am not a scientist or someone who studied anything like that. This is something every illustrator gets confronted with. I am still convinced that illustrative designers are those people who needs to be interested in everything, else you can't do it!

The second step was a really pleasant one. The writer came over to explain everything in the most clear way I had ever heard anyone explain something. I wish I had teachers at high school that could explain mathematics like he did explain this. An important thing so I think it is important to really understand what is happening. You can't work with just some abstract elements.
Next thing he showed me pictures about the place everything happened. He was really prepared for this conversation so I could show me everything and tell me how things did work over there and even some history that became very important for my conceptual fase.
Finally we talked about his idea's, studied some examples and of course I blend it with my own idea's and thoughts. Then the magick happens. Well magick, it is more like making coffee. The filter coffee is scooped in the filter, the water (or a beer or two in our case) were all in the machine and I turned the coffee maker on.
This is where the sketching started and I came to a surprising new concept. This is what I, and I am convinced every other designer needs. Somethings we are not comfortable with can push you to whole new things that are exciting to do!

I am not going to ramble more about this because I am going to write more about this in the future but it gives you a bit of a insight in my process of making things. Keep an eye open for this!

CD cover!

Always exciting. Making artwork for bands. I did an album cover before but this one is special. A nice and sludgy band I really like asked me to help them with their skills. When I schedule a new exhibition I will most definitely invite them to play at the opening.
I can't tell you about this either because nothing is released yet but I can tell you I really like working with this band.
Enthusiastic and not to formal. They know what they want and are fast in reply. I feel like I am part of the team. I think this is a important feeling while making art for someone. So a message to all clients. Try to be nice to the artist you choose. You have a problem and the artist is going to help you solve it but please communicate well. That is the formula for the best result.
The members of the band I am working with are enthusiastic about what they are working on and that vibe makes me enthusiastic about what I am doing too.
Oh and another good thing to mention, no skulls or dead things again! Just cool art. With this I wanted to mention something else I really enjoy. When I started this illustrative journey I wanted to become a concept artist. I started posting at and learned a lot about how to draw stuff and how to tell stories with characters and environments. I really enjoyed to design characters who were doing things. This project involves everything I liked doing back then. The best part is that I know how to do it better these days! A good thing for both parties because I think I am designing something not many people in this scene of heavy music ever saw stuff like this before. It is weird, not in a desert, there are no naked ladies, wizards in space. 


The financial part of all this.. A dirty thing but it is important since we need to pay our bills. I am going to be clear about this, I'm not going to tell you how much I get payed. I don't feel like I should tell you that and I don't want to give any hints about how much my clients are paying me for these type of illustrations. But I am going to tell you about my process in combination with the financial part.

First of all, make sure you are CRYSTAL CLEAR about how you work. Then your client and you know in what stage of the project you are. That is a good thing for everyone because you keep the pressure of time in control. Just one big deadline is killing. You should spread several stages before that deadline. This way you can show your client some of your sketches and progress too and then you know if you are riding the path you should ride on your fancy art bike.
Everyone works in stages like this. Sketching, talking with feedback, pre-finished stage, finishing the artwork, some last adjustments. Something like this. Everyone has a different way to do this. Some people need more steps others just need a few steps. Don't bother your client with every little sketch you did. That is annoying for them and you are spending way too much time you could use for making art.
But before you are finishing your masterpiece you are working on sketches and all kinds of stuff. Okay that is fine, that is part of the proces. BUT *worst-case-scenario* finally the band, the concert venue, the company or whatever sends you the email:
Sorry bro, not gonna happen. We are moving towards another direction. Don't need you anymore.
Or in cases of local bands:
Sorry man, we split up. There is not going to be a new album because we can't stand each other anymore.
Now you are kind of f*cked. You are not getting payed for all the hours you were working on the best drawing you ever made!! Be sure you get payed in advance or figure another way to get payed for the work you already did.
Oh, and be sure you register your sketches too. There are always those assholes out there. I know cases of people who put a lot of effort in a drawing and finally they don't things are going to work out and you can poop off. A few months later you see your design on a car or whatever. They went to someone else to finish your sketch for less money than you asked for the job.
It is sad to know cases like this and I am happy not to experienced this last one yet. I just want to advice you again to make sure everything is on paper and well thought. Make an agreement on everything and be sure both parties know about their and your rights, even when they are friends. You don't want to get into a lot of trouble with friends because of money they didn't want to pay. At the moment they come to you for a project they are not your friend, they are your client. When the meeting is done you can drink beer and enjoy your time with them at the bar.
Actually the thing I am saying over here is: Be professional at all time.

I think this was about all I had to ramble about today. I am glad it is not a real struggle entry. Today I wanted to put some more positivity online in these days. We can use it don't you think?

Thank you for your time,

please follow me and leave a reply when you feel it is needed! I am always open for questions from my audience.

Kind regards,



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