Meet Marloes de Vries. We've had the great pleasure of working with Marloes on a number of occassions, and can't recommend her enough. Her compassion and generosity are reflected in her soft tones and creative, vivid imagination. She truly has nor knows any real limitations. We're really thankful that she took the time to exchange a few questions with us. We hope you enjoy!
Q: Can you tell us about yourself? What are your interests? Your passions?
A: I'm quite addicted to books. I collect picture books, I have over 150 now. I have one room in my home that's stacked with books. At first I had them in the living room but there wasn't enough room for them anymore so I had to empty another room to place them. I really enjoy traveling and visiting new places. I actually have a list of places I want to visit. I'm an photography enthusiast. I have a couple of old film camera's but I mostly use my digital Canon. I also photograph for magazines and weddings when I'm not drawing. I am very passionate but also very picky when it comes to music. I really enjoy singer-songwriter music because you can hear the singer has really lived what he/she's singing about. I love the English language since age ten. Our teacher let us watch an episode of 'Fawlty Towers' and I was hooked. :) In most cases I prefer reading in English over Dutch. I also really enjoy cooking and baking. I grow my own vegetables and fruit as much as I can in my garden, like tomatoes, strawberries, grapes, herbs and lettuce.
Q: How did you become an artist?
A: My mom often tells me that when I was 3 years old I told my parents I was going to be an artist. They were really surprised back then because we didn't know anybody who was an artist. I have no idea how I got that idea but in the years following I didn't change my mind. While I was in primary school I wanted to be a comics artist. Going to high school the plan changed and I wanted to be a interior designer. But because I wasn't really good at math I decided on graphic design. In my heart I wanted to be an illustrator but coming from a laborer family, going to art school alone was fancy enough so I set my mind to something I could earn money with. After four years studying visual communication in art school I got my degree in design. After that I had several jobs in the design world from web designer to art director. But I missed the art of drawing. In art school and after graduating I never really drew anything anymore. About 2,5 years ago I made a drawing for a children's magazine, to enter a competition for new, young illustrators. To my surprise I ended up being nominated as one of the best new, young illustrators of Holland and Belgium. I started getting illustration assignments and this year my first picture book was released, which is written by Trevor Eissler.
Q: Who are your inspirations? Or, said another way, where do you find inspiration?
A: Sometimes I can be obsessively occupied looking up the work of other illustrators and artists. But in the end that doesn't do me any good, I will only get insecure about what I make. The funny thing is that I'm most inspired by movies. I'm a fan of Woody Allen's work. I love the pace in his movies. I also love all the films Wes Anderson creates and let's not forget Tim Burton. I have a passion for film making. I did take film courses in art school and maybe someday I will pick it up again. I find the most inspiration when I least expect it. When I'm talking to people or visiting a city I've never been before. Inspiration comes to me when my head is clear and allows new ideas.
Q: Have you read any good books lately? What about films or sunsets?
A: I'm a proper bookworm. I read a lot, from children's books to graphic novels to literature. I've read Alan Bradley's 'The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie' a while ago, which I absolutely loved. I also have a lot of books on my shelf by John Boyne. His books for children are amazing but I also love his books for adults.
Q: What have you learned about Montessori since working on this project?
A: Before I came in touch with Bobby and June George I didn't know anything about Montessori. Since then I have been doing several projects for Montessori education. I even give art workshops for Montessori schools! The thing I like about Montessori is that it allows children to make their own choices and that they're not being limited in the things they love. It's a personal process so that each child can develop the talents they're gifted with.
Q: As an artist, what are your biggest challenges?
A: It's hard sometimes for an artist to create the things they truly want to make. It's a very competitive world and many times money or budget is more important than the end result. Artists need freedom and time to make the best work. We're not robots. :)
Q: Has Montessori taught you anything you can incorporate in to your daily practices?
A: It has taught me that I shouldn't focus too much on what the others are doing but focus on the things that are important to me and in which I can grow as an artist and as a human being.
Q: What's your favorite children's book?
A: 'Matilda' by Roald Dahl. I could easily connect to her minus the telepathic ability she had of course. Matilda was not noticed by her parents nor her teacher. She could do a lot more than people expected. I felt like that a lot when I was growing up. Luckily it turned out well. :)
Q: Can you tell us about your hobbies?
(described in the first answer :D)
Q: What's the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning?
A: Honestly, I don't think too much when I wake up. My day starts with 30 minutes of excercise, a shower and breakfast and after that my brain starts working. Hahaha! Most of the times I'm planning my day in my head with the tasks I need to do.
Q: If you could return to your childhood, what would you tell yourself now?
A: That it's okay to be different or think different. That you shouldn't let other people tell you what to do or who to be but follow your heart, always.
Q: If you could live in any city in the world, where would you want to live?
A: I'm always on the look out for adventure and I would love to live in different places in the world. I can't imagine living in the same place the rest of my life but it's not always possible to move. Right now on my wish list are (although they're not all cities) New York, Copenhagen, the Scottish countryside, somewhere in North France, to eventually move back to the Netherlands as an old, grey lady with stories to tell. :)