As an independent creator, you might find yourself in the position that you find it difficult to give a price estimate. Like you don’t know what your work is worth.

Illustration of a purple man checking out a site
Illustration of a purple man checking out a site

Neither overcharging and thusly scaring people away, nor undercharging is desirable. But if you keep the size of your own wallet as your reference point, I don’t think you’ll ever do more than just scraping by.

Fact is, many, many, many creatives underestimate themselves. A constant self-doubt and a very emotional attachment to those creations we bring into being. Therefore, we’d feel so relieved and honoured if somebody is interested…


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Being an independent illustrator/artist means you are your business. Things can get quite personal. But don’t think I’m only a formal business woman who doesn’t frown when I receive weird inquiries and comments. I’ve selected fifteen examples, for you to laugh (/cringe) at.

  1. Someone wanted me to draw them naked, on location, for free (!). I was also allowed to take colleagues with me, as long as they would work for free and were female. Despite a serious email as an aswer to their very vague inquiry full of errors (why do I take everything seriously?), I had to trust…

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Every now and then I interview creatives (with a focus on those who create images) about their profession.

Vocation: comics and illustrations, infographics

Interests: science, cooking, (kitchen) garden

Expresses himself by being: ambitious, social, empathetic

Web: squabe.nl

Where does the name Squabe come from? It was a nickname at the art academy, that’s what friends called me. I started publishing diary comics under that nickname, and they stuck. I see it as an combination of Abe and square: I make a lot of comics and comics are in square boxes. I still think it’s a nice name because I get…


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Disclaimer: this is my own story and interpretation of running a creative business as an illustrator. The taxes and regulations are those of the Netherlands, so some things may not apply to you.

You are studying at an art academy, or have been working as a autodidact in the creative scene for some time and are looking for some tips on how to start your own business.

This fairly long post is a rewritten version of the presentation that I gave on 14 February 2019 to fourth-year students of the St.Joost art academy (in the Netherlands). It’s about the things…


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People regularly ask me: how do you actually get illustration work? Sometimes these questions come from people who are not at all involved in this field, but are curious to know how it works. Sometimes they come from students who cannot yet imagine how they can land illustration jobs.

Below you will find a number of concrete examples, anecdotes of how I, as a Dutch illustrator, got certain assignments. I also asked colleagues if they had any interesting stories to add.

First off: there is not one, singular way (we illustrators are not Mandalorians). You are the independent illustrator. See…

Renée / neetje

Dutch illustrator and courtroom sketch artist.

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