Hi Libby! What’s your favourite colour?

It’s a tie! Blue or cadmium red.

How do you create your work?

I work in a lot of different mediums: Brush and ink, gouache, digital. Depends on my mood and how much I think I’m going to want to edit things.

You’re living in the US but your name suggests you have a euro heritage. What’s the dilly?

I’m American, but my great grandparents came over from the Netherlands and settled in West Michigan, where many other Dutch families settled. Lots of Vander-Somethings here.

How has the focus on illustration had an impact on your life?

I actually follow through on my ideas (well some of them at least) now that it’s my job, and that’s a good feeling. I try to write them all down too so that I can go back to them when I have some free time for personal work. I’ve definitely become a little faster with time too. When I first started doing this, I might try making an illustration three or more ways before finally landing somewhere I liked, but now I can get there a bit faster, which gives me more time to relax, do some cooking, or go for a bike ride or something.

What advice would you give young artists who want to jump into freelance work?

Be critical of your work. Anticipate needing to explain your visual choices so that you’ll not only be confident in your work, but you’ll understand why you made the decisions that you made. Then again, not every project submission requires a thesis statement, so just use your best judgement and if you’re known for your awful judgement, then have a friend check your work. Friends are the best. Find some good ones that are honest and constructive.

How would you describe your work?

Cute, with sharp edges.

What are some unlikely outputs for your work that may surprise people?

Nothing too crazy, but I did have one of my gifs incorporated into an art installation about gender equality at the World Economic Forum in Davos. And my Vote Vote Vote print ended up on a billboard in Austin as part of a Save Art Space, a public art initiative.

Is any of your work autobiographical? How so?

I draw a lot of strong, independent women, and I’ve always surrounded myself with people like that. I wouldn’t say that the work is strictly autobiographical, but it’s definitely inspired by my experiences. I think it’s hard for an artist to make work that isn’t a bit self-referential.

Can you judge a book by its cover?

It’s hard not to, but I don’t advise it.

What sort of art do you scoff at?

The art of the deal.

If you could create an illustrated novel about one person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I’d love to illustrate the life of photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White. She was one of the first female war correspondents and documented scenes from WWII in Germany, the great depression in the US, and the Five-Year Plan in the Soviet Union. Her photos are brutal, challenging, and beautiful. She was a staff photographer for LIFE magazine, and her colleagues apparently called her “Maggie the Indestructible,” as she escaped a torpedoed sinking ship, got stranded in the Arctic, survived a helicopter crash in the Chesapeake, and dodged many military bomb strikes. Her life, like her photos, is remarkable.

Do you get jobs through Insta? 

I definitely have. From my experience, art directors are always browsing there for something that stands out.

Don’t you wish we had more than one lousy page for you?

Absolutely. Then I could tell you what I want to do for the next 60 years. Now you’ll never know!

What’s one piece of advice you would give your 20-year-old self?

Beware of people that lack imagination.