As you'll soon find out, Dutch illustrator and cartoonist É (André Slob) has that unique ability to translate and transform the humble written word into evocative, warm and emotional illustrations and drawings that hit home in all the right ways.
Having grown up in Rotterdam and traveled extensively through Europe and Asia, including buddhist temples in Nepal & France to the ashrams of India, Slob draws (no punt intended!) on his experiences and personal journey's to create telling stories that cleverly and clearly articulate the content with which they accompany.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I’m an illustrator and cartoonist from the Netherlands.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Rotterdam when the city was in a way still recovering from the war. I played soccer in the centre of the city where now huge buildings have covered all available space.
After Rotterdam there have been many places I lived and traveled through, looking for anything that could capture my attention and was worth living for.
From learning Spanish and living in Spain to living in Norway and doing development aid in Angola to doing yoga in ashrams in India and spending time in buddhist monasteries in France and Nepal. Yoga is still there. It helps with staying focused and in touch with your body.
Drawing has never been far away but at times I couldn’t cope with what I saw on paper and threw everything in a corner or once all of it in the garbage can. Never been able to run away from it, drawing is here to stay, for better or worse. I have to deal with the lines I put on paper and that reflect me like a mirror.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Looking in the future I can see myself maturing more and more and come to the essence of what I want to tell and show. Be it a graphic novel or just single drawings. As long as I’ve the courage to dive into the inner most part of myself.
If you had all creative freedom, what would you do?
Illustrating newspapers, magazines and books is the most fun but most of the times at least a little restricted because the start of the idea is coming from someone else. Your own work feels more complete.
Who inspires you?
Inspiration comes a lot of times from other cartoonists and artists. It varies over time whom I concentrate on but I try not to focus too much on what other people are doing as that can begin to influence your own work. I try not to look like other artists and to stay true to my own style.
Apart from other artists, I'm always inspired by comics, books & films - as long as it’s fiction, it’s fine!
Stories where a world is painted that is made up but that resonate with a world inside are what really inspire me. For example, stories that don’t necessarily follow a plot - or images that make you wonder what’s going on. These things really inspire me.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
I couldn’t think of something that feels more natural then drawing. I have done other kind of work but creating your own world with just lines is a beautiful thing to do. To be able to draw images that feel like poetry would be the most satisfying.