Eline Veldhuisen

Eline Veldhuisen (she/her) is an illustrator from Utrecht. In June 2020, she graduated with a Bachelor of Design in Illustration, from the University of the Arts Utrecht (HKU). Graduating with a short animated film, she also does animation related projects. She works on commission and sells prints of her work in her shop and at markets. Besides at Katoenclub, her work can be found at Meneer & Mevrouw de Boer (Utrecht), De Familiefabriek (Culemborg) and Kunst met een Koekje (Maarssen).

Most of her work is made digitally, but she always strives to maintain that 'hand-drawn feel’ in her illustrations. She often finds inspiration within her direct surroundings, which is why she (almost) never leaves the house without taking a camera with her. Elements that often come back in her work are people, animals and nature.

Tell us what is important to you in life?

Having the people I care about around and doing things I enjoy - both work related and in my free time.

Where is your ideal environment to create?

I work alone, from home. I really like it this way. I’m most productive when I’m alone without distractions. Besides, I like that I can start working when I feel like it, at any time of day, and that I don’t need to travel to get to work. 

Although it can be tricky to mentally end the workday sometimes, when you’re working in the same space you’re living. When I’m busy with complicated projects I end up feeling the pressure to work at night or during weekends, but I try my best to ignore that feeling and just work office hours to maintain a normal routine in my week.

Describe a day in your week (it can be any day)

I’m at my day job two days a week, the other three are for illustration work. I’m currently working on a pretty big animation, so the three days I do animation work look the same: my alarm goes off around 8:00, I eat some breakfast while watching a YouTube video/Netflix and I try to start working before 10:00. I work until lunchtime, take a long lunch break and then work until five/six/seven depending on how much I got done that day.

After dinner I usually watch some more tv, read a book, play a Nintendo Switch game or draw some more – but just for myself this time. A new addition to this list is that I’ve been learning to play ukulele since a couple of weeks! I’ve had one for quite some time but never really took the time to practice. It’s really fun to have found a new hobby when there isn’t much to do in this lockdown situation.

Who are your latest artist crushes?

I have too many! Charlotte Ager is one of my all-time favourites and I discovered Peter Lubach a few weeks ago, I would love to own one of his sculptures someday.

What is your favourite technique, if you have one, and why?

I mostly work digitally (on an iPad Pro) but that’s not really a cool technique. If I have to pick one, I’m going with dry point etching. It has been quite some time since I used it in my work though.

Where do you find inspiration lately?

My own surroundings often tend to do the trick, but it comes from all sorts of stuff: interesting conversations, movies or books, other artists, and so on. Most of the time when I’m not actively looking, new ideas arise.

Do you have a dream project?

I would be super happy if I get the chance to illustrate a children’s book someday.

What/who are you reading now?

The Nix by Nathan Hill. Really enjoying it!

Do you listen to anything when creating? (If yes, what are your latest favourites)

Yes, always! Even though I like working alone, I’m not a big fan of complete silence, so I always have something playing in the background. It depends on the project. When I’m doing projects that take a lot of time or if they are a little repetitive (when a small animation element takes an entire day, for example) I often listen to podcasts or audio books. I’m a big fan of the “Echt Gebeurd’’ podcast, and recently discovered “Marc-Marie & Aaf Vinden Iets”. It doesn’t need to be super in depth, because most of my focus goes into drawing.

When I’m making a single illustration or drawing, music is enough. I listen to a lot of artists, but Gregory Alan Isakov is one of my favourites.

How did you come up with your bestselling Katoenclub prints?

Small details or events that I've experienced myself and captured on camera often come back in my work. This is also the case with the duck print; two years ago I was in Den Bosch for a day, and we came across this duck family. I was with two friends and I believe we watched them for at least half an hour – we had never seen so many together. When I developed my photos a few weeks later (I like to shoot film in my free time), I immediately knew this was one of those images that needed to be drawn. And even today a lot of people feel the same; this illustration (in a slightly different form) is also the bestselling postcard in my own webshop :-)
I created the whales in my first year of art school when I was really interested in block printing. Since cutting out lines and small details is pretty difficult with this technique, I created this image starting with form as the basis, instead of lines like I normally do. In the end I made a digital version of the print which appeared on the Katoenclub shirts.
You can see all prints by Eline here, follow her on Instagram, and check out her website herePhotos of Eline by her mother, Manon Veldhuisen.