Ep.161: Linkedin tips for artists with Mitch Leeuwe

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Jul 16, 2018 •  Interviews

Hey, guys! In this episode, I am chatting with Mitch Leeuwe, a 2D artist from Holland. He is experienced in creating characters, backgrounds, props for games, web and animation shows. He is currently working on casual HTML5 games in a studio in Amsterdam.

Get in touch with Mitch

Key Takeaways

“Even if you are shy, don’t give up, try to go to conventions, do the networking and even if it doesn’t work out, try to find your support group!”

Resources mentioned

💡 Please note: We are supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you! For more info, please read our disclosure.

Special thanks to Mitch for joining me today. See you next time!

All artworks by Mitch Leeuwe, used with permission

Episode Transcript

Announcer  

Creative, artistic, happy! That’s you. There are endless possibilities for living a creative life. So let’s inspire each other. Art Side of Life interviews with Iva.

Iva Mikles  

Hello everyone, Iva here and welcome to the next episode the Art Side of Life where I chat with inspiring artists and creative arise art related videos. Before we introduce our guests and go to the interview, let’s thank our sponsors. If you’re looking for a top quality print shop and online store to sell your art prints, then you should definitely check out imprint imprint has been helping artists print and sell gallery quality prints of their work all over the world for over a decade. Go to artsideoflife.com/imprint and use promo code artside to get 10% discount. Have you heard of art slicks, I take this subscription box of unique high quality art supplies. Every month you discover new art products, limited edition tools, exclusive supplies, and useful techniques. Go to artsideoflife.com/arts Nex and use promo code artside 10 to get 10% discount. If you are a digital artist, you will love AstroPad app which turns your iPad Pro into a virus graphics tablet for your Mac. So you can use all the programs like Photoshop right on your iPad, go to artsideoflife.com/astro pad and use promo code artside to get 10% discount. And now let’s go back to the interview. My guest today is Mitch Leyva. And in this episode, we will also talk about useful tips on how to use LinkedIn professional network as an artist meters until the artist and designer from Netherlands is experienced in creating characters backgrounds, props, and clean apps for games web animation shows. He is currently working on designs for casual html5 games in a cool game studio in Amsterdam. And he has worked with clients such as one guard games and Halo Spiele games, and there are only more games. And now please welcome Mitch and let’s get to the interview. Know welcome everyone to the next episode of Art Side of Life and I’m super happy to have meet here. Hi.

Mitch Leeuwe  

Hi. Yeah, thank you. Yeah, first I want to thank you for inviting me. Yeah, you interviewed some of my favorites. RSP. So this Yeah, really special and gaming surprise.

Iva Mikles  

Awesome stuff. So yeah, that’s like thank you for joining. So that’s really cool. And let’s just talk about the background is usually we discuss in the interviews and maybe you can share like when was the first time you know, like yeah, when you decide, okay, I want to do art for a living.

Mitch Leeuwe  

Yeah, there are lots of small, little lots of things. But when I was a child, I went to the liking with my, my sisters and my grandma grandparents. And yeah, when I saw the Lion King and I came out of the cinema, yeah, I was totally inspired by it. And from that point, yeah, I wanted Yeah, I wanted to be a Disney animator. I started drawing lots of Disney characters. I think it was around 11 back then. And my father works in a big printing company. So we always had paper to draw on. So yeah, yeah. So yeah, I did a lot of Yeah, yeah. Drawing and copies the Destiny characters and Yeah, apparently their hands on the ball. kinda embarrassing as well, because they still have one big drawing in the hallway. Hang. But yeah, that’s really encouraged me and it was. I think that was that was the first moments when it’s all started. Yeah, that’s

Iva Mikles  

really cool. Yeah, because then at least you can see your progress like okay, this is what I did, like when I was I don’t know 10. And then now like, yeah, I can see who kind of help you to decide what to study or how to progress to develop your skills. Yeah, it was

Mitch Leeuwe  

during high school I lost because on the primary school, I really wanted to be a Disney animator I big dream. And when I got out of high school, I lost that dream a bit and yeah, this time I had felt a bit done and didn’t really felt inspired. So I lost that dream a bit and I also live It’s biology. So after high school, I went to biology, education. So that I always drew a bit on the sides. And at one point and agency big agency in the Netherlands, asked me to work for them to make illustrations and sort of unique opposition. And from that point i Yeah, first of its graphical design work, and then a bit more drawn, drawn, drawn. And then one point, I decided to oh, I want to move into games and animation. Yeah, that’s there.

Iva Mikles  

And so what helped you to learn or, you know, like, develop your skills, actually, on the side, as you said, you were drawing and then you were studying something else? So did you have some resources? Or did you do some course? Or how did you do that? Maybe observation or? Oh, yeah.

Mitch Leeuwe  

So when I was 19, I got an internship. It’s in Dutch. Yeah, they make television shows. But they also they wanted to make an animation animation theory. And it was 10 years ago. And I got an internship there. And there were a lot of enemies of illustrators animators there. And they, yeah, they, one of the lead artists gave me an link to a blog. And that blog talks a lot about Preston Blair book. I don’t know if you know that. And I started doing lessons from the book. That really helped me that was a big, big points where I started and learning more about how to actually draw those characters. Yeah, yeah. And

Iva Mikles  

did you have like a favorite character you were drawing more often than the others are? Not so much. Oh, back

Mitch Leeuwe  

then. It was all the Yeah, all the Disney characters and a lot of Looney Tunes drums because the bloke talked also a lot about the old Looney Tune characters. Flat from Tex Avery and blob campus. Yeah, so I still I literally copied those drawings, and then compared them and then looked out, what did I wrong? And then I learned a lot about construction and solids drawing and line of action. That’s right. Yeah. And it’s still it’s still used it today. So

Iva Mikles  

yeah, cool. Cool. Yeah. Because then it’s always really interesting how other people like consider or construct the characters and what you think about so what is maybe your artistic process, you know, when you’re creating characters now, and if you can take us through the bigger steps.

Mitch Leeuwe  

When I often projects or someone asked me to design a character, I start with making lots of small doodles. So I create a lot of difference. little sketches of the character, so it doesn’t have to be purely yet but you know, just put it on paper. And then I choose maybe five or maybe 10 and show that to the client and ask which one they liked the most. And then yeah, and if and then I start working it out more in detail and yeah.

Iva Mikles  

And then you like you start sketches with a traditional or you go directly with digital,

Mitch Leeuwe  

digital, I’m almost all the time I’m behind a PC over here and they’re all digital. Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

And do you prefer also just like being on a on the big tablet? Or do you have a smaller tablet that were like what are the tools you cannot live without?

Mitch Leeuwe  

Oh, yeah, I have here and lock them Cintiq 27 inch Yes, it’s quite big and yeah, I I can’t if some people see working on normal tablets, but I really need to change a guy I like the direct contact of your hands on the paper or on the screen and the direct contact.

Iva Mikles  

And what did you have as when you started there? What would you recommend someone who is like okay, maybe I’m not sure if this is like I’m professional yet but they want to start with something.

Mitch Leeuwe  

Yeah, especially because those welcome screens are so expensive. I was reading totally recommend. Start with sketchbook or paper. What I mentioned when I started with doing those Preston Blair and Looney Tunes storage I did those 10 years ago. So the syntax maybe the first syntax were coming into the market, but I started back then on paper and scan it on in the scanner and then compare it in a computer that’s so much effort but I think that also really helped me because when you draw on paper when you start you on a computer you always use control sets the paper you have to raise so you’re tend to more yeah Yeah, you, you need to be more conscious about what you draw. Yeah. So now I recommend paper or normal Wacom tablet is also totally fine. The Intuos Yeah, exactly. Because yeah, I’m now maybe if I ditched the Cintiq and go practice on that tablet, I can learn it again. And but yeah, it’s what you’re used to. So yeah,

Iva Mikles  

yeah, definitely. Because then you can start with something and then you know, like, how to translate translate the later in the, if you use a bigger tablet? Or maybe how to work faster, right? Yeah. Do you have something which you use all the time with the digital media? Like, I don’t know, if you rather use with brushes or with the selection tools or something? Which is like your, your thing?

Mitch Leeuwe  

Oh, yeah. Yeah, I basically, I always use normal brush. And I get this question a lot on Instagram. Oh, what kind of brush do you use and best for painting, I use a soft brush, or I use the selection tool to make the big shapes to when I have a sketch and I start coloring it. I use the selection tool to make the big color shapes. And then I put it on the color look, effects in layers. And then I use the soft, normal soft brush to color it. And yeah, I think maybe I want to use some different brushes. But basically, you can do it with normal brush, I guess. Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

Something more basic. And also it kind of makes you faster, or it doesn’t slow you down when you have too many brushes. And yeah.

Mitch Leeuwe  

Because I work from home that’s also on location. It’s my job. And so yeah, I don’t have to Oh, I don’t have my birthday this year. And yeah,

Iva Mikles  

yeah. So if you do have to sometimes move from computer to computer or you have one year, the location where you have your brush set and everything.

Mitch Leeuwe  

At work, I have a laptop, so can bring the laptop at home, but your PC and PC, so yeah, two computers.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. So then you can save your brush sets as well. So you don’t have to Yeah,

Mitch Leeuwe  

I could I could do that. But I didn’t figure this out. Yes. Yeah, maybe maybe that’ll be better. But I’m really keeping things really standards and simple.

Iva Mikles  

You can adjust faster to basically anything. Yeah. And how do you maybe decide on the color palettes or references? So how do you work with the with the research before you start the project?

Mitch Leeuwe  

Oh, yeah. A lot of times I start with value. So starting in grade sounds, and then I add a color layer and add, start adding colors. And that, yeah, if I work a lot with colors, I try to work as much as possible with color palettes. So color wheel and color schemes. And yeah, and let’s desert makes a bit easier. It’s also starting with gray values. And I find it difficult to think about different things at the same time. So starting with the gray tones. So it can still focus on the values and then adding color. So I can really focus on the colors and saturation. Yeah, there

Iva Mikles  

is a because then, yeah, value is a base for color. So you don’t have to worry about the tones like if it is like too dark or too light or too close in value to each other. So how do you add color later? Because a lot of people are wondering about that sometimes when they’re like, Okay, if I started with the black and white. So how do I go to color the use gradient map or something else?

Mitch Leeuwe  

No, I had to color our layer on top color layer. And so on sometimes, after I added the colors, it’s not really right. So I tried to adjust that paint over it and yeah, okay, so

Iva Mikles  

you work with the the color layer. And then you keep the black and white layer underneath, right? Yeah, yeah, true. Cool. Cool. And so when you mentioned as well, before we actually started the color we are talking about the sketching outside or drawing. So do you sometimes create the color palettes from the observation when you go somewhere? Or you know, make notes? What do you want to include later in the drawing?

Mitch Leeuwe  

Yeah, on color. Yeah, not so much. But I would love to I didn’t really have a traditional backgrounds, but I would love to learn to work with colors outside with watercolor or some differences if it’s, yeah, I never did it. But I think that will be really interesting. I see a lot of artists doing that. And yeah, something practice. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I think you can learn so much from that.

Iva Mikles  

And when you go draw outside then you observe sometimes the characters or you are working more on your own ideas with sketches and sketchbooks.

Mitch Leeuwe  

Try to think I tried to improve now on is a slicer on so I try to look at people walking on the street and sometimes I try to draw them realistically or sometimes I character characters them or make animal characters from them another thing I, I always have sketchbook with me, and a couple of months ago I did draw or die challenge. And it was Do you know the drawing challenge and those each day you have to draw a different team. Like one day for any morning you get out you have to draw something, it’s crocodiles, and then you have 24 hours to draw crocodiles. And if you don’t do it that day, you lose a life and when you’re out of Live sure gets kicked out of the drawer died. But but this was great for the you don’t Oh, today I have to throw crocodiles or dragons or something with yoga or something else. And yeah, it’s really nice,

Iva Mikles  

because it helps you practice because that happens to work as well that they give you a brief and then you are drawing that topic, right? Yeah, true. Before we continue, let’s thank our sponsors again. If you’re looking for a top quality friendship and online store to sell your art prints, then you should definitely check out in print in print has been helping artists print and sell gallery quality prints of their work all over the world for over a decade. Created by artists for artists in print ensures that you as an artist get your artworks printed in a highest quality and you earn the highest percentage compared to the others in the industry. The online gallery@imprint.com is curated by the members, resulting in a beautiful and unique collection of work. So for their favorite artists, discover new ones and start selling through your own gallery today. What is more as an Art Side of Life listener, you will get a special 10% discount with the promo code artside so don’t wait visit artsideoflife.com/imprint and use promo code artside. If you love discovering and trying out new art tools, you should check out art snugs when you subscribe, you will get the box of high quality art supplies every month. I have already discovered so many amazing new products Limited Edition tools and exclusive supplies only available to subscribers as next definitely helps me to get more creative and try different art techniques every month. There is also artistic challenge where you can share your artworks using only the tools in the monthly box. You also get to join the art sex mix community where you can talk with other artists like you inspire each other and improve together. And because you are part of Art Side of Life community, you will get a special 10% discount with the promo code archetype. And so don’t wait visit artsideoflife.com/art legs and use a promo code or Titan. If you’re a digital artist, you will love Astro pad. Astro pad is an app that turns your iPad Pro into professional viral is graphics tablet for your Mac. I use it to work with Photoshop and Illustrator to create highly rendered artworks for my clients directly on my iPad. I was super excited to discover Astro pad because the painting apps available on iPad don’t have all the functionality like Photoshop with Astro pad, I can use all my favorite and custom made Photoshop brushes, which is super cool. And because you’re part of Art Side of Life community, you will get an exclusive 10% discount on a stupid studio licenses. To get started, go to artsideoflife.com/astro pad and enter the promo code artside. And now let’s go back to the interview. So how is it been? When you mentioned that you like starting to draw? And then they contacted you through social media? Or how was it for you to find that first artistic job? If you can give us some like background story to that? Oh,

Mitch Leeuwe  

yeah. The first one was when I was on laboratory my education. I think I was doing that one off years or something. And besides that I was active on on a forum. And this forum was focused on flash. And I posted Flash animations, illustrations, just Yeah, little little drawings and stuff. And one time there was an illustrator who was also on the forum and saw my work and he he needed some extra hands to help him. So he asked me to come the next day to work in in Rotterdam and help them out. And so then the next day I went there and help them out and it was the first time I did freelance work. And from there on And a couple of months later, an agency asked me to work freelance for them as well. And at that point, I had something oh, I need to go. I can do something with creativity or drawing. So at that point, I stopped my education at a law firm technol technology, and events to multimedia education. And besides that I kept on working freelance. Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

Oh, that’s really cool. Yeah. Because then you can set up a freelance quite easily. And then you can just start doing that on the on the side. Yeah. So when you mentioned that they knew were on the forum? Is that the forum still life or not that? No,

Mitch Leeuwe  

it’s It’s a forum. It’s, it was called Splash focus. Back then flesh was really a big thing. And I think it’s now called Adobe animation. Yeah, it’s it’s yeah, it’s faded away. Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

So where did you then continue? What do you post stuff, you know, like, Instagram now and the other social media? What worked for you the best and maybe where you are the most active now?

Mitch Leeuwe  

Yeah. After this forum, I went on blogspot. And I really did that for a long time, I saw I posted all my practices of the Preston Blair. Book. And after that, I think started basically, it’s the bits, Facebook, but it’s, it’s really a small, always small group. And then it’s very important. At one point, I started Instagram, I think that’s four years back three and a half years back. And and now I’m really focused on Instagram and LinkedIn, I would like to do different more platforms, because there are really so much good places to post your work. That’s yeah, I don’t have the time. That much time. So I tried to focus on those two, two platforms. Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

And so how do you use LinkedIn? Maybe you can tell us more about that. Because not so many artists are using LinkedIn for finding artwork, jobs?

Mitch Leeuwe  

Yeah, it’s perfect. And I was really surprised by this. And good friends of me who always posted work on LinkedIn. I recommended me doing that. And at first I was thinking about Yeah, LinkedIn is its thing. And but yeah, when I started posting some work, at first I get a little light transit challenge is quite well. And some people already reached out to me and through LinkedIn, and then I get posting once a week, something on that and but last week, I posted a video of my sketchbook and on LinkedIn, and it’s my best performing LinkedIn post till days, and it’s almost as good as Instagram. They’re each it’s it’s quite surprising. And so yeah, that’s really, really good. And also because on on LinkedIn, the people who follow you are often more professional oriented. And so the percentage of people who actually can give you a job or freelance work is higher than on Instagram.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. Yeah. Because on Instagram, there is more like, artists, the groups are actually other artists. So not so much clients, right.

Mitch Leeuwe  

Yeah. But there’s also a lot of people who just like to see nice pictures, and yeah,

Iva Mikles  

yeah. Did you have like some most popular posts? Also on Instagram? Or what is working for you better?

Mitch Leeuwe  

Oh, yeah, the tutorials. And I was so busy with work that I couldn’t post on Instagram. So I took some old drawings. And I made some tutorials of it. And I posted those on Instagram. And it’s not that they get way more likes, but the amount of followers I’ve got by it was so much higher. That yeah, quite insane is 10 times more than a normal post. And the likes weren’t that much higher. But the followers

Iva Mikles  

that’s really interesting, because maybe the Instagram algorithm picks it up and maybe they put it in the you know, the Discover feed, or something like that, because that happened to me a few times. And I was like, that’s interesting.

Mitch Leeuwe  

Yeah, why am I one post is doing so much better than the other? It’s not the best, but sometimes it’s four times better than the different bonuses. Yeah, yeah.

Iva Mikles  

And how do you plan then your Instagram posts like do you do like every week every day or if you can share with people now watching I’m just like, okay, what can I do now?

Mitch Leeuwe  

If you really want to be professional at it, you can use some programs with it. But I never tried that yet, but can be any, because there are certain times that’s best to post your thing. So oftentimes, before I leave from work, I post something on LinkedIn. And I think I try to post one once, once a day. Yeah, that’s what I try to do. And then around six o’clock, five o’clock, then because then Los Angeles is waking up. And yeah, I think

Iva Mikles  

you are blind to them. And you meant Instagram or LinkedIn, because

Mitch Leeuwe  

LinkedIn. LinkedIn identifies really the sweet spots. Because yeah, it’s I tried different things, even in the weekends. And you. I didn’t think it was between LinkedIn is fun, because that’s, that’s a video I posted last week. It’s still gaining likes, and comment, a comment. After one week, you never get hit with Instagram and Instagram truly first, and then it’s dies off really quickly. But the Embed LinkedIn is really going slowly. Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

So it’s probably similar as like YouTube, right? When you have it more like, it’s like a library. So it keeps there and because it’s just like the first and then it just drops the engagement. Yeah. Yeah. It was really interesting. Yeah. And so how do you then plan your day or week? And when you’re planning also your social media? Do you have certain like, rituals or schedule everyday, like routines or not so much?

Mitch Leeuwe  

Depends on, on work. It’s that visit date your basics, really? Yeah, you come to work, you drink a cup of coffee, and you have a standard with the team. And you discuss what you’re going to do. And then you’re going to sit behind my computer. And most of the time I put on some music or podcasts or Yeah, and I start to start working with when I’m at home. on personal projects. Yeah, that’s, that’s a bit different than I try to. If it’s for project for fun, if I have something, oh, I want to make a new new piece, I start to look a bit on social media or Pinterest to get some inspiration, and think about what I want to want to do. And then I just start to random doodling. And then if I find something, then I start with more structure today of first making some thumbnails, then layouts, then then a final piece.

Iva Mikles  

And then do you also have something which you do daily, you know, like, I don’t know, going for a run or meditation or as you mentioned, the dude links.

Mitch Leeuwe  

Oh, yeah, I would. I would love to. But that’s because my day job, I work 40 hours a week. So it’s really structured, I really have a structured life. And really busy. So when I go to work in the train, actually, I always have my sketchbook with me. So in the train, I’m sitting in total one hour in the trainer day. So then I sketch sketch a bit. And then that way, I also have each day, something to post on LinkedIn, on Instagram, because sketches are also great for that. But yeah, that’s, that’s my main routine. I would love to do some more figure drawing or a regular basis those kinds of things or do some more sporting or with bits when I get home after work of day. I yeah, I get home and I eat and I start working on personal projects and stuff like that. So yeah.

Iva Mikles  

And then weekends, do you usually take over the work on your personal project? Because some people like to work like seven days a week, or like you always take at least one day off?

Mitch Leeuwe  

No, no, no, I worked. I worked too much. i My girlfriend’s reminds me of that a lot of times. And luckily, she reminds me of that, or else I was working on stuff. And yeah, of course, that’s not really healthy. But yeah, it is what it is. I have my day job. And besides that, I want to keep growing as an artist. So every every moment I tried to keep working on that school. Yeah, yeah.

Iva Mikles  

Do you also go for like festivals or festivals or networking or something like that? Because here you are using social media, but also like maybe some artistic groups or do you go somewhere?

Mitch Leeuwe  

Yeah, yeah, definitely. and super important. I actually I got my current job because of I went to a festival in Netherlands. And it was work and workshop with different artists. And almost all the artists from Netherlands went to the place. So there’s great meetup and there meets the art director of my current company where I work for. And we talked a bit and then eventually emailed me to get a cup of coffee, and I got the job. And so it’s really good to meet people because you can be good artists that if it’s, it’s, it’s almost just as important to be a nice, nice person. And yeah, to notice. But last year, I went to Paris to the IMEC festival. And I chose the first time I went along to first of all outside of Netherlands. And yet it was super inspiring. I showed my portfolio to some heroes, artistic heroes that are there. So this is super cool. And I got some great feedback. And yeah, there’s also big Yeah, big kick under the beds to for me, and yeah, really motivated. Me. And in September, I’m going to teach you in Malta. Throw in horse was a unicorns. Yeah,

Iva Mikles  

because it was in Portugal. And now they change it. to Malta. Yeah,

Mitch Leeuwe  

yeah. In these. So yeah. Curious. So that’s going to bring

Iva Mikles  

up are you going to have a table there? Or just walk around? Or

Mitch Leeuwe  

just talk rounds? I didn’t know you could have tables there.

Iva Mikles  

I’m not sure. I just didn’t know that other festivals, usually you can, you can apply like CTN, or the other comic cons. So yeah, but they haven’t researched. But I think you can have a table there as well, like you can apply as an artist, probably.

Mitch Leeuwe  

You can do portfolio reviews, and you need to apply to them. So definitely going to try that. And that’s also what I recommend to people. And I always have some portfolios not good enough yet to apply it those big places, but at least if you if they gonna give you a review, you can get so much useful feedback and connections. So it’s really good to do that. Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

So how did you prepare your portfolio? Do you have like maybe how many pages do you have? Or like characters? Do you have turnarounds? Or some storytelling? Or what would be the advice? What how your portfolio should look like when you want to get the first feedback?

Mitch Leeuwe  

Yeah, I think it’s also really important to think, who you’re going to show your portfolio to is it’s a toy company or animation studio or, and that was what I got the feedback in Paris, I got a lot of random stuff, like, turn around here. And then the difference character model sheet there. And the big feedback I got was from things like you’re working for Steven Spielberg. And then I think like, Steven Spielberg likes one of your drawings, and he, he wants to see more of it. So what I’m going to try and do now is work on a big project, and maybe, but two projects in my portfolio. And then I was now starting with an a harbor village with animals, and they live together in a village. And there’s one main character and that characteristic boats. And now I’m going to make an turnarounds of this character. And like I’m making a feature animation. And yeah, I’m doing all the things necessary. And I want to do so yeah, that’s

Iva Mikles  

definitely because then it makes sense. Like, if you apply or just are interested in visual development, then you create that character, then you do like how these characteristics interacting with the environment. What are the probes in the environment? What tools they have out feeds and everything?

Mitch Leeuwe  

Yeah, true. Yeah, indeed. And then then you have something to be instead of, oh, here’s her character. Over the years a little girl and interests are yours a monster? And then you have something more to tell? Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

Or what relationships? Are they in? Like, do they hate each other? Or are they friends or whatever is happening there? Yeah, true. Oh, cool. Cool. So and then the next one so the festivals you mentioned the one on Malta? Are you also planning to go to other ones? This year or next year? Which one at the festivals are you planning to go or other ones? Oh,

Mitch Leeuwe  

yeah. No, see, I think I really want to go there. I saw this year and I was regretting because I saw a lot of people I know And we’re all vendor and there’s just no like recent. Yeah, it’s just, it’s just been so. So maybe that next year and CTN, I still want to go there. But if I want to go to CTN, I really because they are further away, and I think well, then I want to maybe they’ll try to guess the table or something, or I think that’s really, that’s quite a big step to make. But I think it’s really, really good to a good place to show your work. And it’s lots of people.

Iva Mikles  

Definitely, because then you can prepare the art prints or stickers or a book or something else. Yeah.

Mitch Leeuwe  

Through. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s actually one amounting because yeah, so I was now starting to work on portfolio projects. And this week, I also appointments with Dutch children’s book writer. And now we’re going to make an in a children’s book with prints in it. And also, because that will be perfect portfolio project. And also for me to work on story in that way, will be perfect to for studio where I would like to work for to see oh, you can work in your story and stuff like that. So yeah.

Iva Mikles  

So how did you find in this contact with the writer, if somebody is interested, like, how did this happen?

Mitch Leeuwe  

I think I knew him a bit for a long time as it was on. I studied in the order that’s in the north of the Netherlands. And he was you Yeah, he knew a lot of people there. And my girlfriend also knew Ambit. And yeah, we just got to talk and after Paris, I had something Oh needs a personal project. So why not team up with a writer and make a big projects, then you have someone to spare? With?

Iva Mikles  

Really cool. Yeah. Because definitely, it’s always good to work with someone. And yeah, and if we go back to your, you know, the career and stuff, because we usually also talk about what is maybe the hardest moment of your art career, and maybe what you learned from it, if you can share the story, or, like, that kind of thing, if there was something like that.

Mitch Leeuwe  

Yeah, yeah, definitely. When I was 19, and I was asked to work for those. For those agencies and stuff. I was super shy. And I also heard that on the internet, and through email, the contact was fine. But when I had to call them or I was there on location, I was so shy and a bit of awkward because I was nervous. And that was really hard for me, because it made me also super insecure. And bits. Yeah, it was super important just to keep doing this stuff, and just keep going and learn from it. And that really helps me to go through that insecurity. And, yeah.

Iva Mikles  

So then what helped you the most to go through this time? Was it just practicing more art? And like, just kind of like forcing yourself to do it? Or did you have some kind of other things like meditation, or?

Mitch Leeuwe  

I think just doing just doing? And I think if I reached out to some people actually good, I think it would have helped me more if I reached out for some help from other people. Or a coach or anything, but I never really dated. So. Yeah, just by doing stuff and don’t give up.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, yeah, that’s yeah. Because there’s like a lot of more shy people in the art industry. And yeah, a lot of them are asking, Okay, so what can I do? Or how can I do this? And it’s actually also a really good idea, as you mentioned, the festivals and if you have a table because then people approach you you don’t have to approach them so that’s one way to just kind of overcome that.

Mitch Leeuwe  

Yeah, true. Yeah, indeed. And if you just stay humble and true to yourself and nice then you can feel you Yeah, yeah.

Iva Mikles  

And now whatever the maybe your future projects when we are talking about you know what they are planning and this kind of thing on the like, good side note like what is your like dream scenario in like five to 10 years you know, what are maybe the projects you would like to work on?

Mitch Leeuwe  

Yeah, of course, now that now the big project is that children book I picked up and but if I couldn’t feel at all Yeah, I would So I will stop my day job and go full time for my personal projects. And I will aim for working for or in animation studio because it’s really a go. Yeah. Yeah, it’s something I would like to experience. Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

Really cool. Yeah. And so if you think about like, really far, far future, you know, like the kids book, right? And all of that, maybe we’ll have 20 of them. So, what would you like to be, you know, remembered for, like, 100 years or more?

Mitch Leeuwe  

Oh, yeah. Yeah, I think I just want to be also just remembered as a nice person to hang around. And I think all those things are also really important because there’s more than more than hearts and working life. And so besides it Yeah, like like children books, something that seems like something that’s that’s, that will be perfect to leave behind, or, or an fantastic movie or things like that. It’s the I think those are things that yeah, if you can leave something like that behind. That’s, that’s really nice. Yeah. Because

Iva Mikles  

then the kids or other artists or anyone can get inspired or get better mood by just reading the book or watching the movie, right?

Mitch Leeuwe  

Yeah, true. Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

Do you have some favorite creative books now or something you can recommend?

Mitch Leeuwe  

Yeah, I picked up some books on my bookshelf. I forgot that. This is the person Blair book. So yeah, I did end up books. It’s super old. I think it’s from the 30s or something. So yeah, if you’re just starting out with the drawing and you want to focus on on cartoon drawing, I would really recommend it. Yeah, for sure. And some, some other books. Yeah, the perspective drawing handbook, I get a lot of questions about how do you draw perspective? And I will I always have something like, yeah, it’s, it’s, of course, it’s difficult, but it’s not. It’s something you can learn. You can learn by by this book, or is there so many other books?

Iva Mikles  

There is logic behind it?

Mitch Leeuwe  

Yeah, true. Yeah. You only have to. You have to do the work. Yeah. Through and prefer drawn Drawn to Life. The book.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. That’s also one of my favorites. Oh,

Mitch Leeuwe  

cool. Yeah,

Mitch Leeuwe  

it’s amazing there. Yeah, I want to improve on figure drawing. So yeah, I guess that’s just the book. To, to do it. And for directing the story I want to get in. I’m super interested in animation features. So yeah, learning. And it’s how to storyboards and about storytelling. And it’s also big, besides the art books, books about writing, like invisible ink, and the writers journey. Yeah, I found those books. super interesting. And I think if you want to go into entering the entertainment industry, it’s super important to know, at least know some basics about storytelling. So you know, those are my two favorite writers book.

Iva Mikles  

Definitely. Because then you want to have the emotional connection with the audience. And by telling the story, so they can relate to something. And yeah, that definitely helps to understand the story. Yeah, yeah. True. Yeah, indeed. Yeah. So definitely, I need to put some of those on my reading list, because I haven’t read all of them. What do you have there? So yeah, and before we finish, maybe you can share last piece of advice or key takeaway, and then we’ll slowly and

Mitch Leeuwe  

I think the one we also talked a bit about was the being shy and being a bit awkward. And yeah, don’t give up try, practice that go to conferences, or if that’s too far of a try meeting some local artists. And, and still, if that doesn’t work out, try to find some people who can help you out and tell you your story and what your problems are, and maybe they can help you. Yeah, yeah,

Iva Mikles  

definitely. So it doesn’t need working with other people and just finding like, yeah, either like minded people or a mastermind group. They can give you advice. And

Mitch Leeuwe  

yeah, yeah. And also, maybe we didn’t really talk about but what I think what’s also really important is fun. Reach for the stars get to hit the moon. So set your goals really high and be ambitious. Yes. And because maybe you don’t get to it. Maybe if let’s say you want to work at Pixar. Yeah, I want to work for Pixar or something like that. And it’s really good goal to have such high goal and but maybe you work at some smaller studio and that’s fine as well. But the at least have a goal to work on. And, but don’t be too hard to yourself. That’s also not good. Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. And you will be like, just disappointed if it is not working out or

Mitch Leeuwe  

true. Yeah. And it’s and then you get stuck, because I suck I, I can do anything. And that’s yeah, you’re done. You don’t gain anything by that.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. Because you always improve and you progress every day if you do something. And yeah, definitely. So yeah. So let’s keep drawing and yeah, inspiring each other. So that’s super cool. And thank you so much, again, for being here. It was so nice.

Mitch Leeuwe  

Yeah, a lot of guys. Thank you.

Iva Mikles  

Thank you. And I hope everyone is like now inspired as well and just go set your goals. So thanks, everyone who was watching today or listening and see you everyone in the next episode. Bye. Thank you. Hey, guys, thank you so much for listening. I really appreciate you being here. You can find all the resources mentioned in this episode at artsideoflife.com. Just type a guest name in the search bar. There is also a couple of free artists resources ready for you on the website as well. So go check it out. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher so I can region inspire more artists like you. If you want to watch the interviews, head over to artsideoflife.com/youtube. Continue to inspire each other and I will talk to you guys in the next episode. Bye.

Announcer  

Thanks for listening to the Art Side of Life podcast at www.artsideoflife.com

This episode is sponsored by

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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