Your critical advantage could be the thing you find the easiest and most fun.
Marijke van Veldhoven is an illustrator and cartoonist. For the past year and a half, she’s been drawing comics about her life as a creative, capturing the feelings, hopes and fears that we all experience.
Today Marijke launches a Kickstarter campaign to share 100 of those comics in a new book called Zoo You Mind.
To coincide with the Kickstarter campaign going live, I feature Marijke on episode 60 of my podcast, Studio Time.
One insight I took away from our conversation was the power that Marijke found when she focused on doing more of the work that came naturally to her.
From an early age, she enjoyed drawing comics that made people smile and laugh. But Marijke told herself that to be a real artist she needed to pursue a more sophisticated style. She went to art school and pursued work as an illustrator.
A few years later, a friend introduced Marijke to the art of stand up cartooning — where she could use her talent drawing comics in a business setting. This led to a more lucrative and enjoyable career as she set up her own business Message in a Drawing to help people and organisations tell their stories through pictures.
I met Marijke in The Creative’s Workshop, where she rediscovered the joy of drawing comics that made her friends smile and laugh. Her comics explore what it means to be an artist — to wrestle with the voices in your head that inspire and intimidate you all at once. Many people have been waiting for her to publish a collection of these comics. Zoo You Mind? is the book Marijke’s fans have been asking for.
The Kickstarter campaign page is beautifully designed — full of wonderful illustrations and an explainer video that features fans of her work from around the world. I invite you to take a look and encourage you to lend your support to her campaign. The more engagement a launch like this gets in the first 48 hours, the more likely it is that Kickstarter’s algorithm will show it to people who might not have discovered Marijke otherwise. Your support can help fan the flames.
Let’s all take a moment to reflect that Marijke didn’t need to “work harder” and do something “more sophisticated.” Perhaps her biggest success has been to double down on what comes naturally and easily to her — drawing comics that make people smile and laugh.
She loves it, her clients and audience love it — and zoo knows?…you might love it too.