Ilse is a freelance illustrator based in Rotterdam. Her partner in crime and in life is the artist Joren Joshua. They work on collaboration projects but mostly as individual artists with their own remarkable style influenced by grafitti, printing techniques and old school books and graphics. In their work they constantly look for the right balance between colour and shapes as well as bringing in some wordplay and subtle jokes.
Conversation with Ilse Weisfelt
Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I am from the Netherlands, I was born and raised in a small village called Rossum. After that I moved to ‘s-Hertogenbosch, a quit pictoresque and tranquil (small) city – not too far from where I grew up.
Since the beginning of this year I am enjoying the big city life of Rotterdam!
When did you become an artist and what was your first project?
Not sure when I became an artist really, I think it is not something you suddenly become ;-).
But I became a freelance illustrator in 2012, when I nearly finished art school.
My very first commission was for Creative Beards (an animation studio), I was asked to make the storyboards and all artwork. (they did the animation part and the sounds) It was about sustainability and a new green generation. Had a lot of fun on working on that one!
Did you study art in school, if so where?
I studied illustration on AKV St. Joost – in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
What inspires you? Any particular artists?
Pretty much everything I see and hear can inspire me in a way, but I think that is what your mind does somehow...
Some artists that inspire me to keep creating are Olle Eksell, Saul Bass and the Eames-es. What I like so much about their work is the heart-work that they put in their work.
I see that they've had so much joy in creating things. I think that is the most inspiring, loving what you do and that your work shows the fun and love you put in it.
What are some of the ideas behind your work?
Pretty often my work is based on daily situations, I think it is easy to recognize for other people.
But what I like about being an illustrator is that the client often comes up with a theme I am (not yet) familiar with. Every time I work on a commisson, I’m sort of a ‘temporary expert’ in this given subject. It gives me some new input – and boundries to work within every time I start a new project. It could be a medical thing, an article about ancient Gallo-Roman times, subjects I wouldn’t have came up with by myself.
In murals I mostly try to involve the environment, history, or people that live/work in and around the building (that is also often a wish of the client).