Drawing for Furore #12.

Herwolt van Doornen is an Amsterdam-based graphic artist, illustrator, designer and photographer. His work has appeared in both mainstream media (Het Parool, VPRO-Gids, Vrij Nederland) and more independent publications (De Poezenkrant, Furore, De God van Nederland). Furthermore his drawings were published by The New Yorker magazine. He is one of the notable artists closely associated with the Amsterdam comics shop Lambiek since the late 1970s.

Early life
Herman Wolter van Doornen was born in Amsterdam in 1959. He started his drawing and design career in the suburbs of Amsterdam West. In 1976 he chose to explore the comic scene and got his first work published in Inkt, a fanzine on comic art with then Lambiek co-worker Flip Fermin as inspirational editor. In the years to follow, Lambiek's Kees Kousemaker (officially trained as an art teacher) much enjoyed being the sharpest critic of every new drawing that left Herwolt's drawing board. In addition, Herwolt helped Kees out with several odd jobs for Lambiek, including contributing to the Lambiek Bulletin (1977-1979). Together with Job Goedhart, he was also the mastermind behind Lambiek's iconic ZIP street sign and logo. Herwolt picked the now famous image from the 'Suske en Wiske' album 'Prinses Zagemeel' (as can be seen on the top left of this page), after which Job Goedhart made the eventual design into the format of a 'Suske and Wiske' album and Onno Docters van Leeuwen meticulously styled the composition into the sharp icon as we know it. As a true eyecatcher it adorns the Lambiek shop facade as well as its ubiquitous shopping bags from 1980 on.

After working for a year at Har van Fulpen's comic publishing company Drukwerk (then a meeting point of Tante Leny artists like Peter Pontiac and Aart Clerkx), Herwolt enrolled at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, from which he graduated in 1983 as a graphic designer specialized in the language of symbols. He started to design book covers and logo's and has worked as a freelancer for the Mijksenaar wayfinding experts studio. 

Spot illustrations courtesy of The New Yorker magazine.

In 1992 he presented a comic strip starring a family of ghosts, called 'De Familie Wittewas' on the back page of the VPRO-gids. In 1993 Herwolt entered The New Yorker magazine with a wide selection of small format black and white drawings which were published through the years as so called "spot illustrations". His work can also be found in issues of Vrij Nederland (2006-2007), newspaper Het Parool, the VPRO-gids, the Piet Schreuders magazines Furore and De Poezenkrant, the satirical quarterly De God van Nederland (2013-2016) and the 365 Pictures Book 'The Cat-A-Day Tales' (Rubinstein, 2005) on texts by Aletta Schreuders (wife of Piet Schreuders).

Images from 'The Cat-A-Day Tales'.

Association with Lambiek
Throughout the years, Herwolt has remained associated with Lambiek. In 1988 he shaped the design for the Lambiek stickers that were put onto "Amsterdammertje" stumps to help strollers find their way to Kerkstraat 78. Twenty years later a Herwolt drawing of Lambik as a knight on horseback made the cover of the commemorative book, '40 Jaar Lambiek' (2008), which celebrated 40 years of Lambiek. And in 2018 he assisted Boris Kousemaker, Bas Schuddeboom and Cyriel Koopmeiners in compiling the book '50 Jaar Lambiek' (Les Éditions Lambiek, 2018), which collects half a century's worth of drawings made for and about the store. The text was translated in English by Kjell Knudde

Tribute drawing for Lambiek's 25th anniversary (1993) and the cover for 40th anniversary book (2008).

Stadsboekwinkel Amsterdam
Since 2007, Herwolt is the manager of the Stadsboekwinkel Amsterdam, which is located in the monumental De Bazel building, that houses the municipal archives of Amsterdam on the Vijzelstraat. With the history and beauty of Amsterdam being his everyday working environment, Herwolt nowadays especially likes making plein air drawings and brush paintings along the Amsterdam canals and in Artis Zoo, which are presented along with his prodigious stream of street photography via Facebook and Instagram (#herwolt). A selection of Herwolt's pictures from the period 2012-2016 was published in the booklet 'Her en Der - Amsterdamse ogenblikken' by Piet Schreuders in 2016.

At the occasion of Herwolt's 50th birthday, a small exhibition was held in Gallery Lambiek in early February 2009.


Series and books by Herwolt van Doornen you can order today:


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