Hey there, my name is Michael van den Bosch (47) and I’m an illustrator from the Netherlands.
My kindergarden teacher in school once told my mom there could be something wrong with me. HAHA! Why you ask? Well she mentioned I did nothing else but draw. I was not interested in books, I didn’t build anything. I just drew and she was a bit concerned, I guess. Haha! Well, there’s nothing wrong with that! I called it.. focus! Even then my mind was set for only one thing..
Luckily I didn’t think this drawing addiction was a bad thing and as the years and I progressed, my skills got better and better, well that’s what I think of course. But I’ll let you be the judge of that. My true inspiration is mr. Walter Disney. Ofcourse it maybe had to do with the fact that I grew up with his wonderful animations broadcasted on our television. But it totally hit me when I took the course (and graduated) of Character Animation at AnimationMentor, then I knew he and his influences have had run trough my veins since I was a youngster. I always try to tell a story with the (art)work I create. Getting a message over to the viewer is what I love to do, or better yet.. my opinion. We all have our likes and dislikes going on in this world and with illustration (or animation) you can totally get your message out there.
So yeah I finished kindergarden and went on to the next. After another distraction called Highschool I finally got into Graphic School, where they tried educating me as a Desktop Graphic Designer. I took these theory classes, learned about arthistory, and all kinds of other subjects, but all I wanted to do was draw. In my 2nd year I got stationed at Hallmark Cards where I had my traineeship. I’m still very grateful for that, because this company made me decide to become a high school dropout. I mean, when filling my time there every now and then an artist would bring and sell his ‘traditional’ painted artwork. Man! I was sold! This was what I wanted to do! I went home and told my parents I wanted to get out of school and started my own business as a freelance illustrator (I was 21 years old). Funny how they didn’t seem to be as happy as I was quiting school. Better to get my degree and stuff like that. They had a good point I know, but hey.. my mind was set!
It was 1995, oktober 31st (my b-day) when I registered and started my business.
So by doing a bit of math, you can see I’ve been illustrating professionally for over 27 years now. Wow! How time flies when having fun, right?
I’ve been designing and creating characters for all kinds of companies, and am still doing it today with heart and soul. And I love the fact that here’s always a nice fresh empty piece of paper staring right at me in the morning when I arrive at my studio. There ain’t nothing sweeter!
Oh yeah, one more thing. People and fellow artists always ask me how to become a great illustrator. Well I don’t know really.. But when looking back at all the time I’ve put in to get where I’m now.. I’d say; ’practice, practice, and then practice some more. Try to draw everyday!’
Michael van den Bosch