Lois van Baarle’s Imagined Lives


I’ve been drawing since the day I could hold a pencil, and started teaching myself to draw digitally in 2003. Although I was born in Holland and have dutch nationality, I’ve lived all over the world, including the United States, Indonesia, France and Belgium. Upon finishing high school in 2004, I studied animation in Ghent (Belgium) for a year and then moved back to my home country to study animation at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht (HKU) in Hilversum. I am currently a freelance illustrator and animator located in Utrecht (the Netherlands) and living with my boyfriend and fellow animator Arjen Klaverstijn.




Hi Lois, How long have you been working on illustrations?

I’ve been drawing since I was very small, but I’ve been teaching myself to illustrate digitally since 2003.

What brought you to this particular style of drawing? Have you been developing it over time or has it always been it?

I developed my style over time, just with lots of practice and mixing different elements that I like. I’m heavily influenced by art nouveau, disney, and artists like Aurore Demilly and Rose Besch. My work is very much a mix of all these influences.

Is there a reason why, in your work, the subject matter is a female character most of the time?

This is just something I love to explore. I love drawing female characters and finding ways to make them appealing without overly sexualizing them, as well as integrating decorative themes from art nouveau and surreal, dream-like images. I always felt that this fit well with female characters.

I’m always trying to find ways to create visually appealing images with a little bit of an edge and a small touch of strangeness

Lois Van Baarle

What is in your work the main theme you want to get across to the viewer?

What I mainly want to communicate to the viewer is a certain mood and feeling. For each image, this is slightly different, but the majority of my art is about conveying a gentle, dream-like mood.

Do you have a favorite piece in your body of work you’re particularly attached to? Why?

I’m personally very happy with Ambrosial. I’m very pleased with the colors and mixture of conventional decorative elements (flowers, flowing hair, etc) with some estranging aspects (piercing, light irises, etc). I’m always trying to find ways to create visually appealing images with a little bit of an edge and a small touch of strangeness, and I feel I achieved it in that image!

Ambrosial by Lois van Baarle


Have you had a mentor growing up or an artist that has heavily influenced you?

My biggest influence is Aurore Demilly. I always loved the sweetness of the faces and eyes, and the appealing decorative aspect of her character portraits. She is not as great an influence on my work at this moment, but definitely was my primary influence in my formative years as a digital artist, and one of the most important ones.

What’s the best part of your job?

I’m a freelancer, so I get to determine my own hours and have a lot of independence in deciding over my career and the way that I work. I love having this freedom.

Do you have a favorite time of the day to draw? What is that inspire you to pick up the pencil and create?

This totally depends on what type of work I’m doing. If I’m doing client work, I love getting an early start and working in a structured way, and hopefully finishing at a normal time like 5 or 6 in the evening. When I’m doing my own thing and working in a less structured way, I love drawing in the evenings and at night. I’m definitely more an evening person than a morning person when I’m using a more ‘intuitive’ process.

Favourite color?

Right now, coral pink!

What is next for you?

I hope to finish my trichrome animations soon! (more info: trichrome.loish.net) The storyboard and concept art is done but I need to get started on the animation 🙂