Graphic Novelist and artist, Joakim Drescher, wooed us in with his idiosyncratic style. Growing up in an artistic household had him exploring creative avenues from a young age—from art directing his father on costumes (yep there’s images!) to now working solo on creating his own books!
What are some of your earliest creative memories and what lead you into design? I am not really a designer and work nearly exclusively with my own ideas , write my own stories so am not really an illustrator either. I make graphic novels and series of paintings.
What lead me into what I do now ? Well , both my parents are artists and I grew up in a very nurturing and supportive environment. I used to art direct my father ( a children’s book author ) to make costumes for me when I was around 4—bird costumes, dinosaur costumes—you name it. I suppose that would be my earliest creative memory!
Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs? I studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, after school I worked a lot of dead end jobs—cafe work, retail, you name it. I don’t really get much commercial work.
What does a typical working day include for you right now? I typically work on really big projects( books/ graphic novels). My most recent book “Motel Universe” took me around 7 months, its 100 page story all done in full colour.
I work as much as possible, within reason, I really enjoy what I do so it isn’t really work. Maybe 6 hours a day, sometimes less.
Tell us a bit about yourself and the studio that you work for. I don’t work for anyone, I share a studio space with an old college friend who runs a print space called KLD repro as well as 5 others. We all do different things. its a nice environment, we hang out, chat, drink coffee.
What advice would you give students starting out? Not sure, as everyones different, it took me a long time to get used to the sacrifices necessary if you want to be committed to working in this field.
Money strain, a lack of social worth as reflected by lack of monetary compensation.
Isolation— less time spent with others, more time spent thinking (over-thinking).
Working for free—being constantly asked to do things for free.
My rule of thumb is I hardly ever do things if I’m not getting paid—occasionally I will submit drawings to a magazine because I like the magazine of its good to get the work out there, sometimes I say yes to friends.
So sometimes you have to be firm, save your time and energy for most importantly those personal projects which are worth something to you. Secondarily invest a little energy in paid work.
Whats on the cards professionally and personally in the next 12 months? My new book is being released, so thats on the cards. I’ve already started working on a new graphic novel. So I’m occupied 🙂