Finding Perfection in the imperfections by Margot Van Huijkelom by Patrick Morgan
When did you first get into drawing?
I knew from the time I was 6 years old that I wanted to become a fashion illustrator and painter. My mother gave me a roll wall paper and ink-pen and I would cover it all with line drawings. As a child, my best friend and I would create fashion magazines filled with our illustrations and sell them in our neighbourhood.
Why did you choose to make fashion part of your inspiration?
"Fashion is a great playground for a setting to draw and paint women. The representation of fashion on the catwalk is extremely dramatic and the exaggerated attitudes are inviting me to draw. The garment is a wonderful element to accentuate the attitude or the emotion."
The sensuality of the fabrics can hide or show the female anatomy as a reflection of her expression. Although female beauty can't be reduced to the cloths she is wearing...
What is your particular working day as a creative?
I take pictures of everything I see and that is inspiring me, my daughter's expressions, the frost in the forest, people passing by, the haute couture shows, a waving skirt...
I'm sketching them and hang them on my mood board as a huge patchwork of ideas.
I will choose a sheet of handmade paper with its subtly grain and prepare my mediums. I will experiment with all the vibrant pigments and mediums that I could use to express the essence of the subject.
I will study how delicate brushstrokes could be combined with textures on the handmade paper.
But, before starting to apply I will scratch away and grasp my brushes before grasping the character, Immersed in a concentration bordering on meditation.
"Because if my line deviates one millimetre I have to throw that drawing away...
What tools do you use when creating your images?
In Japan, I discovered the properties of handmade paper, Each sheet has its colour, personality, roughness and imperfections. However, all of my research focuses on matter or rather on materials. To represent skin as well as muslin, fur, leather, embroidery, diamonds or linen I'm applying a complex mix of techniques.
I'm using multimedia with a predilection for the association of abstraction and precision, interlacing pencil line with watercolour, combining transparent Aero-spray with opaque paint or pigments with 'Liant' binder. with all the techniques that I've appropriate myself during all these years I have the choice to pick the most adequate medium to express myself. The lines are executed in pencil, brush or pen, with a broad gesture or, on the contrary, with great thoroughness.
Who or what has influenced you over the years as an artist?
After graduating with a Master degree at Artez (Acadamy of arts) I left Holland for France to discover the world of Parisian elegance that influenced my work as an art-director, designer and fashion illustrator.
I was inspired by the french women. As Arsène Houssaye said, "A Parisian woman is not fashionable. She is fashion."
As a designer I learned to understand the garment and the fabrics but I also learned to observe. In the beginning my illustrations were a tool to express my ideas which has been primary to my career as a fashion-illustrator.
Strong ties to Japan began 20 years ago when I started to work for Vogue Japan and a Japanese fashion brand.
The boss of the company I was working for showed me his rare collection of 17th-19th century original Japanese "UKIYO-E (woodblock prints) from artist such as Hokusai and Hiroshige, dramatic kabuki actors by Sharaku and Toyokuni, and elegant beauties by Utamaro. I went to an art supply shop in Tokyo and bought handmade paper and Gansaï paint and I will never be able to do without.
What advice do you have for younger artists looking to be part of this industry?
Most important is to believe in yourself. I have been seeking for years to finally realize myself that I knew it already when I was 6.
Today it's easy to get lost in this overwhelming cyber world and my best advice to young artist is to be inspired by the real things that are happening in front of your eyes and to go out and chase 3-dimensional experiences instead of focalizing on what others create on the flat screen. See, taste, feel and keep close to you intrinsic values and beliefs, close to what you really are.
What are you drawing today? Music are you listening to? Books that your are reading? Favourite artist/designer at the moment?
At this moment I'm painting portraits of 10 different ethnical women ( beauty lies in every origin) and they will be exposed during a
group exhibition called;
« Face to face »
36 bis Grande rue 77630 Barbizon France,
12 dec - 17 January
And in the little time that there is left on the day I go for nordic walking in the Forest of Fontainebleau to keep my mind focussed positively and I listening to beautiful music while I'm cooking good food and drinking great wine to reward my self for hard working ... ( one of my favourite songs is « Landslide" of Fleetwood Mac )
You can see Margots' solo show of 35 paintings and drawings until 16-02-2021 In « I Love Illustration Gallery » Amsterdam.