We're constantly looking for interesting artists on Instagram. We will be introducing them every tuesday in a series called Introtuesday. Please meet Rotterdam, the Netherlands based illustrator, designer and video artist Bart Aalbers.
What are you working on at the moment? Right now I’m working on a loyalty card for a local coffee company. It’s really fun trying to find a creative solution to incorporate the stamps into the design and not just go for the obvious solution. I always enjoy combining my illustrations with the functional aspects of a project. Next to that I am also putting together a presentation for a talk about my work and weird collection of things that inspire me that I will be doing in Madrid at the Brief festival. Artist talks are really fun to do but also still a bit weird and humbling to me.
What is your work process like? The big difference between personal and client work is probably the set of limitations I get. The client usually wants a specific thing which sets the boundaries for my creative thoughts. When I do personal work, it’s usually completely open. Sometimes I work in project form to give myself some boundaries, because I find it helps speed up the process.
I usually start by sketching out ideas, very rough. This can be done on paper or straight into Photoshop with some pencil brushes I got from Ray Frenden. This process guides me into a direction I’m feeling good about. Combine different ideas, forms and jokes from different sketches. Next I will get into detailed sketching and fitting the illustration to the end product if required, for instance an A6 card or t-shirt print. At this stage I also try and stylize my designs as much as possible.
Sometimes I already know exactly what style I’ll be working in, but other times it is more like an exploration of different techniques and tools that develops along the way. Searching for the right colors is also a big part of my process,which can take me a couple of minutes to a frustrating couple of hours. I do almost everything digital with a Wacom Cintiq which has been an absolute treat to work with and has sped up my workflow a lot.
In the end I’ll keep fiddling with the illustration until everything feels just right, if time allows. With personal work, this can turn out to be a long and sometimes tedious process. But I guess I don’t have to tell any other creative that.
Favorite work snack? I’m not a big snacker I suppose, I hardly ever snack while working. If I have a big deadline and have to work late, I’ll go for a beer to make it a bit more bearable. Coffee is always a bit of a treat though!
Any personal projects on the side that you're excited about? I recently made my little niece a custom ABC coloring book for her second birthday. It was really fun to do and right now I’m looking into possibilities of maybe publishing or somehow selling an altered version of the coloring book.
FollowBart on Instagram and check out his portfolio at www.bartaalbers.com