Interview With Wouter Tulp – Illustrator, Character Designer & Caricature Artist: ArtCast #67

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“I have to be really honest with myself and I have to be open to my own critique. One rule that I live by is that when I see that my work can be better, I have to make it better.”

-Wouter Tulp

Wouter Tulp is one of the most truly versatile artists I’ve ever met.

He’s an incredible draftsman and a master of appeal.

He is also a fantastic communicator with a refreshingly healthy perspective on art education and life as a professional artist.

Oh, and he can totally wail on the saxophone too!

For some inspiring perspective on versatility, creativity, professionalism and jazz, click through and listen…


Wouter-Tulp-expressionISMweb

Listen To The Podcast:

“In the end, we’re all self-taught.”

-Wouter Tulp

[ download the mp3 ]

Episode Highlights:

  • What makes a portfolio stand out and get talked about.
  • Specialization vs. versatility.
  • The shocking difference between art school and freelancing.
  • How to test the quality of your visual storytelling by working with other artists.
  • How Wouter’s 5 year old son influences his art.
  • Creating Drawings that look effortless.

“As a professional artist, nobody ever asks me to show them my diploma. They want to know if I can draw.”

-Wouter Tulp

Wouter Tulp’s Illustration Reel 2013:

“I’m not an artist who sits down and draws a masterpiece and another one and another one… For me, it’s a process of concentration and you could even call it meditation.”

-Wouter Tulp

Links Mentioned:

wouter-tulp-skaterWouter Tulp’s Portfolio

Wouter Tulp’s Blog

Tulptorials

Danny Trejo by Wouter Tulp

“Brainstorm” by Don Hahn

Steve Jobs’ Commencement Speech

Genny Wood

Florian Satzinger

Creative Character Design for Animation, Games & Comics

How About YOU?

Wouter Tulp finds ideas and inspiration in unlikely places.

What was the most unlikely source of inspiration you’ve ever encountered?

Subscribe & Get My FREE Digital Painting Kit!

[ I will never spam you or share your information ]

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Will Terry

Oh man – Wouter is one of my all time favorite artists! I’m going to listen while I’m hiking all alone!

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Chris Oatley

Nice! Thanks, Will! Happy New Year!

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Chris Perry

Your opening statements about being passionate remind me of 2 Timothy 1:6. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God. Thanks for your reminding me to keep passionate despite lack of financial remuneration

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Dirk van Dulmen

Great interview! Thank you Chris and Wouter for sharing your stories and for the Don Hahn book tip. Can’t wait to start reading that one. Already looking forward to your next ArtCast! Cheers, Dirk.

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Chris Oatley

Thanks, Dirk. I’m a little embarrassed to say that I haven’t read Don’s book yet. Sounds amazing. Definitely in the queue.

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Rachael Moody

Wouter Tulp, that jazz was so beautiful… I stopped everything and just sat listening with my eyes closed. Breathtaking.

Chris Oatley, this podcast was spot on! (loved that part about becoming passionate and interested in everything.) I’m new to your site but I’ve been really enjoying the content you’ve been sending out. I found you via Will Terry and now I’m here to stay! If we don’t stay fresh as artists we’ve got nothing to work for…

Thank you for the constant inspiration. Looking forward to what’s next!

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Chris Oatley

Thanks, Rachael! I get caught up in Wouter’s sax solo EVERY time and after editing the episode I’ve probably heard it 20 times by now!

Welcome to the site and thanks for the encouraging words. We have a good time here.

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Simon Beaudoin

I really love artists interviews! “Being true to yourself” is a very powerful sounding phrase. It reminds me of being individual and original. Being your own person. I may be looking into this too much, dramatic sounding things are something I get passionate about.

When I was in my works storage room, I saw some boxes stacked up on each other and found them to be very interesting. I found inspiration in those boxes and the room itself. The boxes would be something futuristic or weird an alien. maybe they were biological things? Ooo. The rest of the room would look normal, though… I was a weird kid…

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Chris Oatley

Hahaha… I think we were all weird kids, Simon. …and, fortunately, most of us are still weird adults.

Thanks for sharing. I love hearing how artists’ minds work.

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Wouter Tulp

Thank you all for your comments. It makes me really happy to know people like the interview. @rachel, thank you for the compliment. :-)

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Chris Oatley

Thanks again, Wouter, for being on the show. Fantastic stuff.

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Perry Osuna

Thanks Chris for the inspiration to start the new year off right, I can’t wait to get into it. I loved what you’ve done this year and I look forward to what you have planned for 2014

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Chris Oatley

Thank you, Perry. We’re all very excited for 2014!

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Steven

Great inspiration! Thx Wouter and Chris. I listened while working on my magic box homework. I’m a recent enrollee and getting fully immersed in podcasts, videos, etc.

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Chris Oatley

Welcome to The Magic Box, Steven! So glad you found the podcast inspiring!

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Matt

Great interview, i am listening to it now and there is lots of insight in here!

Just wanted to let you know Chris there seems to be a small issue with your art gallery, maybe an image is missing or something, around the fairy finger concept art piece, so when u click on the thumbnails after it, it shows the next image instead.

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Chris Oatley

Thanks for the heads-up about the gallery, Matt. I just fixed it.

Glad you like the podcast!

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Owen Williams

Another excellent artcast, big thanks to you and Wouter for putting the time in to do this, it really is appreciated guys. Happy New Year!

( I was trying to find the artcast you did recently with a bunch of your DisneyToon visdev friends, is it still on here?)

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Chris Oatley

Thanks, Owen! We had a blast!

Here’s the Disney Q&A you mentioned: http://chrisoatley.com/ep46disneyqa/

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Owen

Ah great! Thanks Chris :)

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Christine

Thanks for the podcast, it was very inspirational and I enjoyed listening to such positive advice. I bought Woulters little book a few years ago on Blurb, amazing drawings.

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Chris Oatley

Amazing drawings, indeed!

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A.D.

A great interview! I’m not as good of an artist as Wouter but I can relate to the music&art dilemma(wanted to pursue music and be a drummer, I still play sometimes. har!) and the learning on your own thing. Back when I got accepted in an art school I was so excited because I thought that I will learn everything I needed and that I’m gonna be the most prepared artist when I graduate.
I indeed learned a lot in school but soon I realized that yes, they teach, but the learning is up to me, and just as Mr. Wouter said, in the end we’re all self-taught.
I’ve thought of learning art (and my school) that it’s like you’ll be suddenly thrown into a very deep pool and you’ll have to waddle and paddle until you learn to swim on your own. haha just my two cents though.

This podcast is a great way to spur myself into starting the year passionate and inspired. Thanks Chris and Wouter. :D

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Chris Oatley

As Wouter himself said “In the end, we’re all self-taught.”

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Nera Granic

Thank you Chris for a great start to a New Year, you always manage to help me drag myself out of depression.
Thank you Wouter and Chris for an uplifting and inspiring interview :)

Taking walks, showers and, for me, keeping pen and paper near when I go to sleep is something that really resonates with my artmaking practice. It’s always the small things, the fresh air, leaves on the ground, relaxing in the silence of the morning… haha, getting poetic here, but truly, for me it’s rarely about grand gestures.

Thank you Wouter, once again, for the interview and I will try my best, from now on, to make myself believe that I’m doing it for myself and that there is no deadline waiting to strangle me.

Happy New Year :)

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dave clowers

Thanks Chris for putting in the time and care to make this episode. I’ve heard 4 or 5 episodes and They keep getting better. Loved the intro about burning passion, it does drive all the best work, creative and otherwise. Your guest Mr. Tulp has an astonishing knack for dynamic, loosely controlled figures and faces that is wildly entertaining. I love it. He makes a strong case for disciplined playfulness in the work too. Thanks.

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Chris Perry

It’s all about becoming a child again. Play, fun, showing your ideas to the world.

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Emily Hann

Aaah, I did not want this episode to end! So many crucial points that Wouter went over, being yourself, not being precious with your drawings, not tying yourself to your “style”… Great!

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Petra van Berkum

I finally listened to this artcast yesterday late night. And I kinda had tears in my eyes at one point :P (no kidding). This rang all so true.

Maybe it’s a bit because it’s good to know it all from a perspective from somebody from your own country. And maybe because what Wouter said about discovering things, seeing interesting things in everything was something that I thought a long long time ago and well yes I became an artist but since then I did that automatically I think, but this artcast made me aware of so many things!

So the most important things I heard were:
– it’s no problem being versatile if that is your thing (and yes, lots of Dutch illustrators are very versatile. And yes I can do both children’s books and 2D game art.)
– Paint and draw whatever makes you passionate, be passionate
– Most Dutch artschools are not what you think in the end (sigh, at least they don’t cost as much as in the US).
– Because in the Netherlands the subsidy stopped just after I finished artschool, but I’m still here standing and not giving up just because I don’t automatically get the money makes me feel better :P.
– It’s really hard to get attention from art directors and there will be times you don’t get commissions/jobs, but then just draw anyway because it’s life.
– Your specific unique way of looking at the world is something to translate into your own visual language because that is something people want to know about.

Thanks so much for this interview/artcast ^^ I really enjoyed it!

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Tegan Clancy

Petra I love hearing how inspired you are from this podcast too! Afterwards I was reminded to make art for me, it will sing true, and to remember story is key, the emotion will read. Sounds so simple but totally is my goal for 2014

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Cassandra Lee

Just awe struck with Wouter’s multiple fantastic portfolios! Trying with every new illustration to put a little more honesty and emotion into it. Hope that one day I’ll achieve the difficult goal of making an impact with my art like all these incredible artists!

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Michie

omg I feel exactly like Wouter! When he talked about specialize I could relate to my life now immediately, I’m struggling with that. I’m doing different things everyday and somehow I was taught by the local freelance market to do that. Here in Brazil, like in Netherlands, you need to have variety to get a job.
I got a lot of things with games and in each game I studied a new style and sometimes even a technique. But it’s not only that, here in my city the same artist who designs a character needs to be good at interfaces and all. A different art line is not something you feel comfortable doing in just two or three days, but we need to accept the challenge. In a hand, it was good learning more and exploring my capacities, but now I look back and I don’t have a lineart that I can call my own. Sometimes I can’t even say in which kind of game artist I’m included if I wanted to work abroad. I have made some backgrounds, characters, interfaces and now I can see a few pieces of each and not a lot of good material in one category. Hahaha I know I sounded a bit desperated, but it was good to hear that other artist had the same problem one day.
Thanks for this awesome interview!

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