Ah, you're here! Last week, and the week before that, we welcomed two amazing artists from the Netherlands to fit with our "artists from the Netherlands" theme this month. Great, isn't it? Well, today we're still travelling around this amazing, though still relatively unknown country. Well, thanks to FML, you do know what the Dutch have to offer when it comes to illustrations and comics. And it's dope.
-What is your name and surname? Do you have a nickname?
-My full name is Max Devica Grünfeld. For clarity, I am female, don't be misguided by my first name - don't know what my parents where thinking (but I do love it). I haven't really chosen a nickname for myself, as an illustrator I work under Max Grünfeld. I've thought for a long time about a potential illustrator name, but it all felt a bit forced, so I decided to stay with what suits me.
-How old are you?
-I'm 23 years old. Hooray!
-Where do you live?
-For the moment I live in Hamburg. My boyfriend moved here from New York as getting a Visa in The Netherlands is near to impossible, so we decided to settle in Hamburg. It's an amazing Harbor city, though the winters are pretty though! Otherwise I'm from a city called Amersfoort, 20 min by train from Amsterdam.
-What's your job?
-I'm a full-time illustrator. It varies whether I make work for myself, an exhibition or for clients. I love to do all of them, and the variety keeps it interesting for me. It's important for me to find time to work on pieces of my own, to have the freedom to experiment and tell stories with them. Besides illustrating, I work one day a week in a little art shop here in Hamburg. Which is great, because it makes sure I get immersed in German culture a bit more and get to improve my German as well.
-What's your journey?
-Since I was little I knew I wanted to do something with drawing, though at the time I did not know there was such a thing as an Art Academy. At the age of fifteen I followed a year long course to build up my portfolio and prepare myself for the Art Academy. I applied to only one school, ArtEZ Institute for the Arts, because I really wanted to get into that particular school. At that time it had a really good reputation for its Illustration department. Happily I got in and started when I was seventeen. In my third year I did an Erasmus (student exchange program) in Barcelona, Spain. This was one of the best things I could have done, as well for myself as for my development in style and art. I got the chance to learn from the Spanish art and culture and got to feel more free to experiment and find out who I was as an artist. After graduating in 2011 I had the luck to get to know some great contacts that got me work and exhibitions. Even though every month is different - months of struggle and lots of work - and you never know what will happen next month; generally it's going in an upwards line and that feels great. So far I've had the pleasure to work or to collaborate on some pretty amazing projects (!) and exhibit in Barcelona, Copenhagen, Aarhus, Hamburg and multiple places in the Netherlands. Right now I'm working on multiple projects, and we'll see what the future brings!
-What are your inspirations?
-My inspiration comes from so many things; it can be some obscure unnoticeable detail in life or a conversation, or something grand that has passed by. Usually I get inspired by the way people are, the way we interact with each other and our social behavior in general. How ever cliché this might sound, life has a lot of inspiration to offer. I love to sit somewhere, with a coffee or a thee and just people-watch. Traveling and living in different places is directly linked with getting inspired, to be able to see different cultures, cities, animals and people, it all gives me a fresh outlook on life. Besides this, contrast also inspires me a lot. It can be anything from nature related to cities or other things. The contrast between things makes it interesting and creates a tension that is amazing to draw out.
-Do you read webcomics? If so, which ones?
-I prefer having something in my hands than reading of a screen. I do love comic-books. The last one that I've read was Habibi from Craig Thompson, which was amazing!
-Tell us more about your website.
-I created my website in the first place because it was an obligatory must to graduate, second place because I knew I needed one to actually work as an illustrator. But since I didn't know the least bit about web-designing it was a bit of a struggle! Luckily though I found cargo-collective to run my website on, which is quite easy to handle.
-How do you work?
-I think about what I want to communicate first, either in my head or I start scribbling it down with small example drawings and words that pop into my head. I always prefer working with my hands than with the computer, so I do as much as I can by hand (sometimes, that's everything). Before or after I start sketching the idea out loosely, I think of the basic materials I most likely want to use. Material choice and color choice influences the character of my work. Once the base is there I just start working on it, and adding materials or changing the drawing a bit on the go.
-Why did you choose this FML story?
-I was doubting between four stories, but in the end picked the one that sparked my imagination for some illustrating that wasn't literally the story. If you ever had braces, than you know the amazing feeling of stuff getting stuck in there. I wanted to portray the other side of the story, not the person with the braces but actually the stuff that gets stuck in there.
Max's website: http://www.maxgrunfeld.com/
If you want to be the next published artist, send an email to alice [at] fmylife.com including a link to your website/blog/DeviantArt. But DON'T send your illustration right away! You need first to get in touch with me, and I'll tell you what you have to do!