Illustration
Claire Rollet  
Café
Hiding in Plain Sight - tiny cocktail bar in the old part of Amsterdam
Gallery
Reflex Modern Art Gallery, Amsterdam
Food
Fresh raspberries
Drink
Pastis on a baking hot day is for me the epitome of summer holiday
Shop
The nursery at the RHS Garden Wisley
Website
basherscience.com - a really cool designer who has made science books fun for kids in the Manga style
Holiday/Travel Destination
I love a weekend trip to a European city
What led you to become an illustrator? I've always enjoyed drawing and so I thought that I would try selling some prints one weekend. Did you study illustration at college? No I didn’t but I did study fine art at Kingston University. Where did you grow up? In the Alps in France. Have you watched ‘The Returned’ TV series? That's where I grew up. Where do you live now and what drew you there? I live in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. My husband and I are both freelancers so we thought to grab our fortunate circumstance and make the most of it by trying out life abroad for a while. I now love it here, the pace is relaxed and to have so much water around is great fun from skating on canals to swimming in them. Of course cycling was also a major drawing point. Do you have any studio pets? I have a wooden nutcracker on my desk, does that count? Otherwise I am not a pet person I'm afraid. Describe the view from your window I see the beautiful Amsterdam architecture with all its interesting details, I hear the constant chaining and un-chaining of bicycles and the tram dinging it's bell every so often. Who or What is your biggest inspiration? Well, someone whose work I've always loved is Edward Gorey. His story lines are fantastically wicked, I never tire of them and I love his dark line work as well. How do you get your ideas? I go for walks around town and keep my eyes looking up. I love architecture and history, Dutch buildings have lots of tiny beautiful details which can tell a lot about the past. What are your interests outside of illustration? I love to sew and cycle. Tell us about a favourite project you've recently completed The personal project I'm working on at the moment actually. I'm putting together an exhibition of my drawings of interesting buildings of Amsterdam. Of course the entire city is to draw but I'm loving looking into the history behind it all as well.
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What would be your dream job/commission? I'd love to document time passing on the architecture of a city/neighborhood. To draw several times the same buildings say every two years or so. Not just the important ones but also the shabby looking ones, they've all got something to tell. Why is illustration such a powerful medium? My style is figurative so for me I decide to edit reality in order to direct the eye of the viewer. What is the best use of illustration you have ever seen? I always admire the work of great graphic designers like Christoph Niemann for example. His illustrations of ideas are succinct and beautiful as well; my work is the polar opposite, I document reality. So I appreciate his talent. How much of your work is hand drawn? All of the line work is hand drawn just not on paper anymore. These days I draw directly on my Wacom tablet into the computer. Who is your design hero? I find the avant-garde art movements that went on in Europe in between the two world wars really interesting. They were cross disciplinary and a fascinating reaction to those times. What's the best advice you've ever been given? To find what you love and keep doing it. Do you have a method for dealing with the feeling of having no ideas? I go for walks in the city. There's so much to see, I find it stimulating. If money were no object, would you continue to illustrate? Absolutely. It's about doing things that give you joy.
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