Rapid Fire Questions: Stijn Felix
Stijn Felix is a seasoned illustrator whose work has been commissioned by many popular Belgian media. From book covers, to editorial illustrations, album artwork and cultural posters: his work has a penchant for the dark, the devious and the melancholic but is always lit up by a subtle sense of humour. You can enjoy a selection of Stijin Felix’s work in Pictoria Volume.1, The Best Contemporary Illustrators Worldwide.
Who are you and what do you do?
Stijn Felix, illustrator
How would you describe your work?
My work is versatile, has often a penchant for the dark and the melancholic but is always lit up by a subtle sense of humour.
How do you go about creating your artwork? Do you prefer to work digitally or with traditional media?
I like the endless possibilities of the combination. I like to sketch, draw and paint on paper. Assembling a more complex composition, colouring and adjusting I do digitally. I make sure the result doesn’t become too clean.
What are you working on at the moment?
I recently did illustrations for two books with short stories. Last month I portrayed one hundred different people in one weekend during a drawing event. At this moment I’m doing the character designs for a long animation movie. This is a new and exciting challenge for me.
Who or what are the top five inspirations for your work?
1. A task - I like tackling a problem.
2. Sketching people from observation - The endless variations in faces and figures, characters, expressions and poses.
3. I learn a lot of the work of masters of observation like Egon Schiele and David Hockney
4. Early 20th century cartoonists of the magazine Simplicissimus - The character designs with the caricatural silhouette shapes are marvelous.
5. Old Matchbox labels - for their primitive use of colour
What's one resource every artist, illustrator or designer should know about?
I'm convinced that sketching from observation broadens your imagery.
What is the most valuable lesson you've learned during your time working in the creative industries?
By nature I’m a procrastinator with a chaotic mind. I learned to stick with a daily work routine and I am more productive and happier ever since. Daily routine is a better motivator than willpower.
What is the hardest challenge you have faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?
The hardest challenge was to 'have a career'. Create a routine and if there are no commissions, start on a personal project. Keep on creating.
What are your professional goals for the next year?
In my illustration work I like to continue to respond to what comes to me. As a personal project I will do more portraits and maybe a series of caricature paintings.