Ep.133: Wouter Tulp on the process of character design

Iva Mikles
Ep.133: Wouter Tulp on the process of character design

Hey, guys! In this episode, I am chatting with Wouter Tulp, a Freelance illustrator and Character designer from Holland. He has worked with clients on children books, magazines, and now mostly works with animation studios like SONY, Pixar, Cartoon Saloon.

Get in touch with Wouter

Key Takeaways

“Stick to your passions. If you follow your own path, you will stand out!”

  • Wouter didn’t wait for a big studio to call him, he just decided, from now on I am a character designer. Hi just did extra sketches of character turnarounds, back stories for them and posted that online. That’s how you communicate to people that you are a character designer not what your CV says
  • When it comes to character design, it’s not entirely about the final product, but conceptual work. When you realize that characters are extras – real people, somebody who you may even know, maybe a friend you can start thinking about them in real terms, e.g. this character would never do that. The understanding of them as persons, not as drawings, changes the thing
  • Wouter discovered early in his career that success and big things don’t happen overnight but it’s a constant hard work and persistence. For example, he had been freelancing for 10 years in Holland before any big studio reached out to him.

Resources mentioned

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

All artworks by Wouter Tulp, used with permission

Click Here For The Episode Transcript

Announcer 0:03



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 0:32
Hello everyone and welcome to the next episode of art side of life where I chat with inspiring artists and creators whereas related videos, my name is Iva and my guest today is valtor tool. And in this episode, you will learn why quitters never win and winners never quit. And how he became a character designer

Wouter Tulp 0:53
didn’t wait for a big CEO to call me and then become a character designer. Basically what I did was from now on. I am a character designer regardless that someone’s paying me to do it. So I, when I did a children’s book, I would just do extra sketches of these characters do turnarounds and come up with back stories for them. And then I started to post that online.

Iva 1:19
Now there is a long time freelance illustrator and character designer from the Netherlands. He has worked with clients on children’s books, magazines, newspapers, book covers, and now mostly works with Animation Studios like Sony animation, Pixar, cartoon, saloon, and others. So please welcome to our third tool. And let’s get to the interview. So welcome everyone to the next episode of The Art side of life. And I’m super happy to have her here. Hi.

Wouter Tulp 1:49
Hi, thank you for having me.

Iva 1:51
Oh, thank you for joining us. And then let’s just jump right away to your background and maybe you can share some of your biggest turning points, you know, which go You where you are now something like the biggest decisions of your art career.

Wouter Tulp 2:05
Wow. So let’s start at the beginning. I come from a little town called Maslow’s. It is near Rotterdam in the Netherlands. And I grew up there with my family I have two brothers and a sister and we were always a very creative family. So we were always making music or you know, we would have clay on the table and everybody would create something or, you know, saying or create clones or there was always something creative happening. So, for me, it was really natural to, to, you know, be artistic from a from a very early age. But I think I was the only one. You know, I would always bring friends at home and and we would draw and then when I was about 12 years old, I used to ask friends Come on, let’s go and draw and they just didn’t want to do that. And suddenly, I was the only one still doing it. So I just kept on drawing. Then I was in high school, I didn’t really have art lessons there. I was more into music at the time. And actually, teachers used to tear out pages out of my notebooks where I was drawing because they didn’t approve of it. And then I went to art school, did illustration there. And well, actually, it was for me, the question wasn’t, what do I want to become when I grow up? It was more like I love to draw. So what can I do that will make it possible for me to just draw the time? So then I when I was in high school, I heard of art school and illustration. I had never heard of illustration. So I thought, well, can you draw? Yes. Okay, let’s do it. So, and I had no thoughts beyond art school I was just only focusing on on the drawing part of it. And maybe that’s still what I do, you know, it’s just that’s what I want to do. So I make my decisions based on that.

Iva 4:18
So yeah, how did you set the goal for yourself like okay, I want to do you know, maybe connected design or like, Did they tell you like, this is a part of the illustration where we are in the school or when did you develop this, you know, like, love for designing characters?

Wouter Tulp 4:35
Well, that that came later. I think it evolved when I started out Facebook and Google didn’t even exist, I think so. It was it was really you know, me going around the country with my big portfolio and and just literally visiting publishers and showing my work. I was happy with any job they would give me you know, I was just hoping to make a living. So anything I could do so I one of the first things that I got to do was a children’s book. And and well, the Netherlands is such a small country, so you have to be a jack of all trades. At least that was my experience to make a living you need to take on everything there is. So I did children’s books, I did commercials I did anything you can imagine. And gradually, when, you know the internet started to evolve, I learned how about character design, I had no idea before that it even existed or dead movies were created in that way. So when I saw the art of the Monsters Inc, book, that was actually the First time that I really was introduced to the fact that these movies were actually drawn by people and it looked so amazing. So that was basically when I decided that’s what I want to do it because it’s, it wasn’t about the final product, it was really about the conceptual part of it the thinking process and everything looks so alive. So sketchy. And but at the time, I still had no idea how to get in touch with studios or, you know, there was far away and there is no big movie industry here. So, it took a couple of years, you know, and basically what I did was, I didn’t wait for a big CEO to call me and then become a character designer. Basically what I did was from now on, I am a character designer regardless, or the fact that someone’s paying me to do it. I just, I’m Character Design so I, when I did a children’s book I would just do extra sketches of these characters do turnarounds and come up with back stories for them and and I started to post that online so I think that’s what you communicate to people then that you are a character designer. And it’s not the resume that that says your character design is the things that you actually create. So

Iva 7:30
So what do you think is the kind of the thing you learned which helped you to progress in your designing the characters the most?

Wouter Tulp 7:40
I mean, technically,

Iva 7:42
it may it may be also like technical skill or how you put emotion to your characters, something which was like your aha moment, you know, when you were like, Okay, this is making them so much better.

Wouter Tulp 7:55
I think when I realized that

the characters are actors, so you want to relate with them as if they are real people. So it’s not just a drawing of a nice character it’s it’s really some somebody that you know, when you start to think, Hmm, this is something this character would never do then it jr thinking of it as as a person, you know, if you think of your friends and you think of skydiving, you know, well this friend would do this and this other friend would never do this. You know, it says something about who they are and I think understanding them as as persons rather than then drawings is what really makes makes a change.

Iva 8:47
Yeah, definitely. Yeah, because as you also mentioned that you were coming up with the background stories for them and different expressions sheets, I guess and just pauses for like is a shy character or like angry or strong Actors so you will differentiate them also, maybe color wise, what do you do with mainly like sketching and the poses, which was the most?

Wouter Tulp 9:07
Well, the thing that I learned gradually, I wasn’t aware at the beginning. At the beginning, I was really just drawing a nice, well designed character for the story. And later I began to realize especially working for bigger productions that it’s not really about this dis great drawing, it’s, you know, the designs. It’s not that I create a design and that ends up in this in the in the in the movie it’s it’s really a process that I don’t do by myself. It’s it’s a collaboration of many artists and you a lot of a lot of the work is actually giving ideas to the director. You know, if this is the story you want to tell then this Might be a solution for this character or this might be a solution and all those ideas, they come from me but they also come from the story artists, they they even come from environment ours, everybody thinks about the story we want to tell. And all those things together, they build up to something that eventually will become the character. But it’s not a one on one process where I say, Well, here’s my design. And now turn it into into the character for the movie. Yeah,

Iva 10:34
exactly. And also like how the characters interact among each other or with the environment. So how everything fits together, right?

Wouter Tulp 10:41
Yes, exactly. And what their role in the in the story is because it doesn’t, you know, you can think of the the typical things such as shape and color and the acting, but you can think of something nobody has thought of before. You know, and it’s hard to come up with an example, because those are the really golden ideas, but you can come up with things, you know, like shoe laces, we’re going to say something about this character because he has curly shoe laces. And it’s it’s not something you might think of initially. But it can be something typical for this story. And it might be something this story needs.

Iva 11:26
Yeah, definitely. Can you maybe take us through some of like, if you’re starting a bigger project? How do you maybe do your research and what is your process some bullet points? How do you work?

Wouter Tulp 11:38
Well, first thing I do is, is try to understand the story to understand what story we want to tell. And that often is is really hard because in many cases when I’m brought on a project, that the story is in the very, very early stages So I sometimes it’s just a couple of words I need to work with. So then it’s really hard. But on the other hand, then it’s up to me to come up with ideas of what the story could be. And also the development of the character helps the story artists to, to come up with ideas that the story artists come up with ideas that helped me so it’s, again, it’s really collaborating. What I do is to, to come up with, you know, I put on paper it can also be words didn’t even have to be drawing, but just the very first things that come to mind because then and very often, those are the things that everyone thinks of, if I say to you, you know, an old wizard, we all see this Gandalf kind of character and but I do want to put it on paper because I want to get it out of the system. I want to avoid that. The obvious and then I start to Associate more, you know, in a broader way, so, you know if, if this is a wizard, but maybe, you know, he has, there is something in the story that reminds me of spiders, you know, I don’t know, but and that can be something that that’s there because I have an experience with spiders that nobody else has. So I come up with well maybe, you know, a pattern on his head that can have to do with spiders and maybe there know can be all kinds of ideas that that and you combine elements that are not necessarily obvious, but they can help you to tell the story of this character in a way that’s, that’s more unique. So that’s really what I’m looking forward to, to take the element that we all think of, because that’s, you know, cliches are the good thing about it is the We all understand that we see that character, we instantly know who this is because we all know this, this wizard character, but maybe we haven’t seen him in the shape of a spider before. So if that works for the story, then that can be an approach that we might you might use. So I tried to. And and it’s funny how it works because when you sit at your desk and you try to squeeze out the ideas, it you kind of get to a certain point and then the ideas stop and then I go for a walk and I just let it go. And, and then if you if you don’t push, try to push the ideas out and then suddenly, your mind starts to connect things and that’s where the creative ideas come from. So what the process really is to to understand what story is about, and then fill my head with as much ideas as I possibly can. And then try to combine those ideas in in unique ways.

Iva 15:00
Yeah, and do you when you’re designing the character? Do you spend more time on one character with different variations? Or do you put them as I like character cast, and the and just work with them and going back and forth from different characters?

Wouter Tulp 15:13
That really depends on the project. And

I have learned that well, you know, often you just are assigned a certain character you we want you to work on this character. So then that’s what you work on. But I really have learned two very important things. One is you have to think of more than just the the character that you’re working on. So if you come up with an idea that is outside of this character, then you put that into because everything that can help to to help the director tell his story, that that’s useful. And then the other thing the ideas, you know, the designs that have Foundation, that is an idea. Those are usually the designs that a director loves more than, you know I can do. If I want to draw an elephant, I can draw big, small elephants, purple and pink, I can draw all kinds of elephants. But if I have an elephant, and you know he’s floating, and I said, Well, he has to be floating because in this particular story, that is about Wait, we need an elephant that that needs to float and, and if I can explain why I came up with this idea, those are the ideas because in a story, there is nothing there yet you’re creating a universe that has his own rules, and you have to in a situation where everything is possible, you have to create some kind of reason for things to be in a certain way. So if the design to create tie in with the story you’re telling they have a purpose that really helps to make this world a believable world. Does that make sense? Yeah,

Iva 17:12
definitely. Because you need to have kind of like a big round story or how everything is tied together. And maybe even it’s not drawn or like kind of explained in the story, but you connect the dots while watching or reading or see something. And so, what helps you develop your skills, you know, because you go draw outside a lot as well. And, but, you know, like, if someone just decides, like, Okay, I will go draw outside and it might be really overwhelming for them. So maybe what helped you to do maybe the simplification or did you take some classes on this specifically, or?

Wouter Tulp 17:49
Well, I think what is really useful for me is the fact that I don’t have to be able to do it. Everything I want to be able to do right now. So, if, if I, well, an example is, is piano playing, I did not play know how to play the piano. And then I bought a digital piano. And, you know, I couldn’t play but I wanted to play a piece by Beethoven. And I just started note by note, and, you know, after a week, I could do the first court, and it takes a long time, but it’s not in, you know, I’m going to try this, I fail and I quit. But it’s really, you know, I, I can’t do this, you know, it’s, it’s a difficult piece and I don’t even know how to play the piano. But if I start one step at a time, and, and I dedicate myself on, you know, even 10 minutes a day, that’s it, you know, because a lot of people, they, they they overestimate what they can do. In a week, or you know, they think, well, I’m going to do this and then it doesn’t work and they stop, but they underestimate what they can do in five years if you do five years of life drawing, and you know, even if it’s 15 minutes a day, if you do it for five years, then you will see a big change. And if you do it, you know, two hours and and you think, well, I can’t do this and you stop then nothing will happen. So I think long term dedication is is really something that’s important. So that’s something that I tried to, to incorporate in my daily routine you know, I start with with the life drawing I did you have to YouTube channels where you have people posing or YouTube videos or, and just do quick sketches, just, you know, to get warmed up and also to make it a routine that, you know, every day before I start working, I have already drawn you know, a couple of people in different poses so it is still part of my system and and also you keep developing it’s it gets easier. No The first time I did this when you have these poses, the one minute poses no the first time. Yeah, just and it’s gone and and over time you It’s like you’re stretching this minute, you know, you see much more and you’re better at capturing the lines that are really important and and so that’s the other thing that’s that’s I think is really important is to be your own worst critic. Not to be a perfectionist, but really to to see when, when things are not working. You fix them and you don’t leave them in. So and, you know, the thing is, you might, you may not easily be satisfied with the work you do. But if the focus is growth and Improving, it’s not really a problem. If the drawing isn’t perfect. It’s not about doing the perfect drawing. It’s really about learning something for me that’s, I am addicted more to that than to do a perfect drawing to the, to the feeling of, wow, I can do this. And I couldn’t do this a couple of months ago. And now I’m just becomes easier and easier. So that’s what I’m focusing on for myself. And that’s, I think, a mindset where you will achieve growth.

Iva 21:32
Yeah, definitely. Because you learn basically the whole life and yeah, we should never stop improving. Yes, definitely. And so you mentioned that you work from home right? And also when you work with the big studios Do you sometimes fly there or everything is from your studio?

Wouter Tulp 21:48
Sometimes I fly there but in most cases, I just work from home.

Iva 21:52
Nice, nice. And so when you mentioned as well, so they discovered you through social media, or was it like Instagram or was it Somewhere else when you were presenting all of your, you know, sketchies and the whole

Wouter Tulp 22:06
Well, I think these things don’t happen overnight. So it’s it’s, I was doing freelance illustration in the Netherlands for over 10 years before I even started working for movies. So I already had my experience working with clients and I had my experience, you know, developing my drawing skills. And starting to work for studios is is also a process that had happened gradually I started. They were doing a 2d animated feature in the Netherlands. That was the first movie I worked on and then from that, some someone saw that in in Germany and then I worked on a German movie and then CTN started happening. I went there and showed my portrait folio and and met with people and then you know what what you often hear is people don’t get the jobs because they apply for the job but because they know somebody who says, well we need someone for this project might be something for you. And that happened for me too. But it’s it’s the result of putting effort in it over a longer period of time. It’s not just calling someone up and then you know it does. It’s just something that you want really bad and you put all the effort in it. And then at some point where preparation and opportunity meet, then this happens.

Iva 23:47
Yeah, yeah, definitely. Because you already showed that you can keep the deadline that your character designs are strong so they know what to expect right away. Just Yeah, it’s not like oh, yeah, I can throw but yeah, if you can win Within the theme and all of that will be mentioned. Yes. So what do you leave from right now? Is it more mainly the working with clients? Or is it the books are also you started teaching? Right? So how do you combine your income streams

Wouter Tulp 24:15
with my main

my core business is really working for the studios. And then I teach at school ism. So that those are the two main things that I do and and and the other things I do from time to time. So those are the, you know, that’s what I consider more works.

Iva 24:42
Perfection. So in the networking world, you still do is it mainly the conventions are you go only to CTN? Or maybe what are the other networking type?

Wouter Tulp 24:53
Well, I have considered networking as a freelancer, a very important part. of what I do because you know you need to if you just make a beautiful drawing and you put it in a drawer nobody will know about it. So I’ve always posted things on luck shooting posted things online what i what i created our tried to meet with people or doing conventions. So I am you know, I know that when you do social media having a really tight structure works really well. So people who post every Friday a tutorial and every Monday work of art know those are the, if you want to generate a following. Those are the things that really work for me. I don’t know if it really matches my personality, but it’s it’s such a struggle to keep those deadlines. So for me, and also I You know, at a certain point, I really started to get health issues, trying to keep up with everything and you just can. So for me the social media is really, when I have something I feel is worth posting, I will post it and sometimes that means if something every day, and sometimes it means it’s quiet for a longer period of time. But I think that’s for me the way to, to post things that are honest and sincere. I don’t want to post just for the sake of posting or for the sake of Oh, I need to keep up with my followers is I just want to do it on my own pace.

Iva 26:47
Yeah. Because also most of the work with you create for the studio they cannot show anyway. Yes. So that’s a bit tricky. Then you throw the whole day and you cannot throw anything. Yes.

Wouter Tulp 26:56
I know. Yeah. Yeah. Especially now when it’s when it’s really Busy then it’s it’s hard to do stuff on the side.

Iva 27:04
Yeah. And so what are your thoughts on the personal branding and kind of the the art style development? Like so that the artist is recognizable? Maybe what were you thinking about these when you were growing and improving every day? Or was it mainly about the skill?

Wouter Tulp 27:22
Well, I think

what you want as an artist is to end up in the place where you can be yourself. So I would you interviewed lowish also, and she has really this, this recognizable style, and I think when it comes to marketing and branding, that’s working really well for her. But I don’t think you can force yourself into something like that, if that’s not who you are. And I think the thing to keep in mind is what are you selling? What are What? So, if, you know, for me, I love the, you know, I was recently contacted to do a children’s book series. And the idea was to do one book each year and I turned it down because I just know for me, that’s horrible, you know, to, to now define a style and then for years to come to have to do books in that same style for me that, you know, the focus is always on learning and progressing. So I love new projects every time and to dive into a new world and come up with new ideas and I don’t want to be stuck in some and I tried this because this is something that you know, is people talk about a lot and and that has always been the case and I tried it you know, in the past where I thought I’m going to be a caricature artist and I will only do caricature for not from now on And I did two or three of them and then I was miserable because I wanted to do a landscape and suddenly I couldn’t do a landscape anymore. So I, I need this freedom and I think now it I just turn it I’ve turned it around because I am now the person who can help in projects with character design or sometimes it’s a little broader when it’s also environments where I can come up with ideas that that helped develop the story. That’s a different quality then then to be really good as a as an artist and recognizable for that I’m recognizable on a different level, maybe so it’s really important what what is it that you want to sell and the most important thing to keep in mind I think is, you know, what are you passionate about because that you will be able to do in the long run. You know you need to understand what it is that you How do you say this? You know there are people who who are shy of other people and when they have to spend the day with other people they’re drained and they’re exhausted and there are people like yes yeah and there are people they just charge when they see other people and they can spend the whole day talking to people and they they don’t want to stop so both exist and you have to find out who you are as an artist. And what you get inspired by and and what you want to do. So some people they they are know really well at finding this one thing they love to do and sell that and other people they they are all over the place but they have in there is a quality that I think also has its place.

Iva 30:55
Yeah, but it also takes years as us like mentioned before, so it does Doesn’t have to be stressful for a starving artist. Like, I don’t know what I want to do, because it just comes over time. Right?

Wouter Tulp 31:06
Yes. And and well, I want to add something to that. Because

the way you say it is,

you, if you look at it like that you are waiting for something to happen in the at some point in the future and I think it’s important to have goals, you know, that’s

Unknown Speaker 31:28

Wouter Tulp 31:29
Yes, that’s it that’s but more as a direction because everything is available to you right now to enjoy what you do and every time you will be in a situation where there are goals in the future that you have not achieved yet and other people have and you can look at that and feel miserable. But at the same time, you are somewhere right now and you know, that’s, I think is the beauty of it. You know, you just need a pencil and a piece of paper and That’s what you need to be happy. And whether you use that to, you know, do a drawing for yourself or work for Disney, it doesn’t really matter if, because it’s it’s that source of inspiration where you need to get it from

Iva 32:19
when you were starting out, did you have some side job before you got your first art job? or How did you start out with that right after school?

Wouter Tulp 32:29
Well, there was a situation that no longer exists anymore. When I got out of art school, they had subsidy system where I could receive some money every month, which was below the minimum wage, but it was enough that if I had just one or two jobs, I couldn’t make a living. And I use that for two years and I use that really to build My network and from then on, I could make a living so, but that was a luxury but because it doesn’t exist anymore, so I was lucky.

Iva 33:11
And so what do you consider is like the hardest art career moment because usually from those moments we learned the most. Can you like take us through that story or just like what what was the What happened?

Wouter Tulp 33:24

that was a moment where I struggled because I felt that I was good enough to do drawings for a while at the time magazines and newspapers, and book covers, you know, I felt I could do better than the things that I saw in the in the stores, but every publisher I visited, they said, Yes, I can see this is good stuff. But we are already working with an illustrator or, you know, why would I start working with someone who’s just out of school, when We are working with someone we have been working with for years. So and they didn’t want to take the risks. So that was hard because you know, you they even agreed that sometimes that my work was better than what they had but still they didn’t want to work with me. And it just took a while and and to persistence and you know,

what do they say?

quitters never win winners never quit.

Iva 34:30
So they can be like hundreds no and then there is the first year and then

Wouter Tulp 34:34
Yes, Yes, I think so. If you

if you believe in what you want to do, then you know maybe you will get there another through another path but and it may even take on a different form than you would have expected but if you know what it is that you are passionate about, then you will find your way to that. I think

so yeah, definitely.

Iva 35:05
And so you mentioned that you like pencils, or do you have maybe some tools you cannot live without, you know, like maybe favorite pencil or favorite software?

Wouter Tulp 35:17
Well, actually, I love to, to try different stuff all the time. I will just like I said, for me, just a pencil and a piece of paper is is enough to make me happy. I do love working traditionally. But I do that mostly just for myself. Because for work often, it’s just easier to work digitally. But still, I I go back and forth between different media. But, you know, Photoshop is something I couldn’t do without because it’s just so it’s the digital tools. For me,

Iva 36:00
yeah, like industry standard, right? Yes. Yeah. And can you maybe pinpoint one pencil maybe you use recently? Well, this is

Wouter Tulp 36:09
this is some pencil I can. It’s blackwing

Iva 36:13
Yeah, yeah, I use that one as well.

Wouter Tulp 36:15
Yes, that’s that’s a really nice pencil. So

Iva 36:18
cool. Good. said it’s really nice to try different things. So I like to always ask about the Yes, just to try it out and see what I like.

Wouter Tulp 36:27
I, I use this one. It’s a it’s a Copic multiliners. And it’s, it has this brush. Let’s see. This is brush tip. And the nice thing about it is that it’s really made to work with Copic markers, so it doesn’t dissolve when you add markers on top of it. So that’s also really nice.

Iva 36:51
Oh, very cool. And you maybe also have like a favorite book you’ve give as a presence to your like creative friends or you know something

Wouter Tulp 37:00
Well, yeah, well, I have a couple of books here that I can just quickly go over, because I think they’re all really cool. But so many, you know,

Iva 37:13
big file. Yes.

Wouter Tulp 37:14
Well, I just show a couple of them. I think this one is really cool. It’s it’s not even directly related to our discolor the art of learning. But I think, you know, besides just the technical part of drawing as a freelancer or also, you know, just as an artist, you you go through a mental process as well. And I think this is really a great book that deals with the the process of learning. So that’s really cool. The talent code I like that. It’s really because Have you read it?

Iva 37:50
No, no, this one No, but the learning Okay, yes.

Wouter Tulp 37:54
Oh, yeah. This one is about

you know, as artists, you Often god why you’re so talented and and people were by why I could never do that I can’t draw. And this book really

says the opposite you know, it’s, it’s

it well greatness isn’t born, it’s grown. That’s the subtitle of the book and it really has some great points I think about, you know, the myth of talent and that, you know, it’s so much about just putting in the work because you know, there may be a difference in you know, the abilities we have, but you will never know until you put in all the hours and effort, how far you you can get So, well that’s this interesting to this one. I love this is dream worlds. It has some great information on production design for animation. This one really great painters alla prima is really a great book. This one is really cool. The animators survival kit, probably well known by anyone who deals with animation. This one is great about movie of all this is a film directing, but it’s it’s really interesting. It’s a little technical maybe but it you know, just as an introduction to filmmaking really

Iva 39:31
by shoot, right yeah.

Wouter Tulp 39:33
shot shot by shot. Yeah. So, Stephen Katz, this is a nice book. Vivian Myers it’s, there’s a documentary about her, which is really cool. It’s, she took these photos and nobody even knew about her and they just after she died, they found all these photos but they are really really amazing and beautiful storytelling compositions. It’s It’s really inspiring. Well, I can’t I have to show this one of course john Singer Sargent, for everyone loves painting. Well, there’s just too much well this one may be drawn to life Yes, they also one of my favorites. Really cool for you know, gestural drawing. Those are notes by Walt stanchfield. And won’t know I have much more, but those are really,

Iva 40:28
really interesting books. Perfect. We can put it also in the show notes. So everyone in the audience can check it out. And yeah, I have some new books to add to my list as well. So cool, cool. So let’s go right, perfect. Perfect. Definitely. Because it’s always nice to like read more and yeah, just find out more tools and how we can progress. And so if we talk about maybe future and what are your maybe future projects you would like to work on? Maybe some dream scenario in like five to 10 years if you cannot fail.

Wouter Tulp 41:07
Well, actually,

the project I’m now working on is really amazing. I think, you know, the both the project and the team I’m working with is probably the best project I’ve worked on so far. So if it’s up to me in five years, I’m still working with these guys on the same project, but I think that the movie should be made by then.

Iva 41:33
Easy, but confidential what you are working on?

Wouter Tulp 41:35
Yes. Yeah, I guess I can’t say anything about it. But as soon as I can, I will. I will post it. But it’s actually you know, I’m now doing exactly what I set out to do. And you know, it’s funny you know, you you were asking about difficult situation throughout my art career. And I always think it’s very hard to really come up with them, but because I’m just a happy person, and I know there are ups and downs, but I even forget that the downs may be. But a while ago, I, I decided to take a year off and just to go and paint and for some reason I’ve always had in my mind, you know, I actually I am a painter, and I should do a gallery show. So now I thought, well, I’m really going to do this, I’m going to take a year off and just paint and I took three months before I would actually stop working those three months. I thought a lot about this and what will I do and by the end of it, you know, the moment I was going to start to take a year off I just figured, you know, this isn’t an idea. I’ve always had that I was a painter, but now that I you know, thought about it. And explored the idea of it. I just love what I do right now much more than, you know to be in a studio painting all by myself. So I do love to paint but I, you know, as a job I just loved, you know, doing character design working with a group of people telling stories, I think I love it even more. So that’s something that I learned a lot about myself. You know, it’s, it’s, I think it’s really important to know yourself and what, what you want. And if you know what you want, you can just go you know, directly to your goal. Yeah. And so that’s where I am right now. And if you ask me, what would you want to do five years from now? I’ll probably do the same thing I’m doing right now.

Iva 43:44
That’s perfect. And what about like hundred years from now? What would you like to be remembered for?

Wouter Tulp 43:52
Yes. I always think that that’s a hard question because you know, the, you know, if you

Someone like Napoleon or you know, we remember them but actually nobody really knows who they were anymore. Nobody knows what their voice sounded like or if they were funny or so in the end we will all be forgotten and I think for me, it’s much more important to live a meaningful life right now. You know, with my family and hopefully I’ll inspire people and if you know if something of me continues I hope it will be because of the actions I do in my life and that you know, that that I live on in that way but I don’t really care if my name will be remembered that much,

Iva 44:44
but I’m sure you’re already inspiring so many people with your characters and with your Colossi so please continue doing so.

Wouter Tulp 44:52

Iva 44:54
perfect. before we say goodbye, maybe you can share like key takeaway and like last piece of it Advice.

Unknown Speaker 45:02

Wouter Tulp 45:04
Well, I think something I mentioned already that, you know, stay true to your passion. I recently visited the blender Institute, they they do the CG there’s this open source CG software. And they had the the founder of it they had a saying, if everybody does it, it must be stupid. And I thought it was really funny. Because it really says something about you know, do what you love, even if it’s something nobody else does. You know you if you follow your own path. It might be you know, even the system as it is right now you have character design and this and this, but if you look in reality at a studio, you have a couple of character designers, but one of them is really good at coloring and rendering the other one has this has this way of doing all pen drawings and we all have our specialties and it’s it’s not you know and and the studios they will use you just for what you’re good at so it’s Don’t try to fit into a mold that someone else created but really no. Carve out your own path and and people will come to you.

Iva 46:25
Yeah, yeah, definitely I definitely agree and it was super nice oh can do so many great tips and insights.

Wouter Tulp 46:32
Thanks very much.

Iva 46:33
Thank you. Thank you really again for taking time for joining. And also thank you so much for everyone who joined today and watch the listen and see you in the next episode.

Wouter Tulp 46:44
Thank you.

Iva 46:48
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 art side of life.com. Just type a guest name in the search bar. There is also a couple of free ideas 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 reach and inspire more artists like you. If you want to watch the interviews, head over to art side of life.com slash youtube you continue to inspire each other and I will see you guys in the next episode. Bye.

Announcer 47:26
Thanks for listening to the art side of life podcast at WWW dot art side of life.com


Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am a full-time self-taught artist behind Art Side of Life® and a Top Teacher on Skillshare. I have 15 years of experience in the creative field as a concept designer, illustrator, art director, and now freelance artist, content creator, and art instructor. My goal is to help you get your creative groove on with Procreate and make awesome art through practical classes, tutorials, Procreate brushes, and guides on art tools, supplies and resources. About me »

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Hey there!

I am Iva (rhymes with viva), and I'm the artist behind Art Side of Life. I'm all about helping you get your creative groove on with Procreate and make awesome art! So on my website, I share Procreate classes, tutorials, brushes, and guides on art tools, supplies, and resources such as these interviews. Ready to create and make amazing art? Then explore, join and have fun ♡

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