Marloes de Vries is a Dutch freelance illustrator and comic artist, based in Capelle aan den IJssel. She regularly posts autobiographical comic strips on her popular social media accounts, and provides illustrations and cartoons for books and magazines such as Flow and Flair. Since late 2018 she makes the weekly gag strip 'Lotta' for girls' magazine Tina.

Early life and career
Born in 1984 in Emmen, Marloes de Vries developed interests in several artistic disciplines throughout several stages of her childhood, starting with painting at age 5, then comics at age 9 and finally web design at age 14. At age 18, she was accepted at the ArtEZ School of Arts in Enschede, where she studied visual communication from 2003 to 2007. Her desire to switch to illustration was cut short due to bureaucratic reasons and the off-putting opinions of some overly critical teachers. She began her professional career working as a graphic designer for agencies in the provinces Overijssel and Groningen, before becoming a freelance designer, art director and wedding/portrait photographer in 2009. She ranks the illustrators Fiep Westendorp and Quentin Blake among her major inspirations.

Translation: - "Why don't pull that bag of crisps a bit nearer?" - "Because I'm doing a kind of sit-ups. I have to think a little about my figure, don't you agree?" 

Fulltime illustrator
De Vries picked up illustration again in 2010, when she participated in the Boekie Boekie Start Award, an international competition for up-and-coming illustrators. The positive feedback on her work gave her enough confidence to further explore this direction. Marloes then developed her skills as a storyteller through a Summer Course at the Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK. She began to frequently post her work on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, which led to her first picture book assignment in 2012. She has since then illustrated a variety of books for publishers like Leopold, Noordhoff and Zwijssen, as well as June Books in the USA. These are mostly self-help or Q&A books about subjects varying from ADHD, super powers, sexuality and growing up, aimed at either teenagers or parents.

2013 was a turning point in De Vries' career. She moved to Rotterdam and decided to fully focus on a career in illustration. Her ongoing assignments included illustrations (mostly handlettering) for Flow magazine, and working as a ghost artist on the children's book series 'Borre' for illustrator Stefan Tijs (2014-2016). Among her other clients are Ravensburger and TEDx.

Journal Doodles
De Vries also began posting her self-described "journal doodles" on her social media accounts. These funny and at times moving comic strips give an open-hearted and recognizable peek in the life of a young professional woman. Already in 2013 she self-published a book collection under the title 'Journal Doodles - the works'. Her daily strips went viral in 2017 after being the subject of an article on the website Bored Panda, which resulted in publications on A+ (Ashton Kutcher's online magazine), 9GAG and Forbidden Planet. A large selection of her diary comics is released by the Utrecht-based publisher Blossom Books under the title 'Volwassen Worden Is Optioneel' ("Adulthood Is Optional", 2019). Several of her strips are available on greeting cards through Ohh Deer.

Scene from the first 'Lotta' strip (Tina #1, 2019). Translation: "You know what, Bien? I'll just make sure I strike an unique pose on the photo." - Photographer: "Smile!" - Bien: "Well, at least you look unique, Lotta!". 

De Week van Marloes
Since 2016, De Vries makes a monthly cartoon for the union magazine NT Magazine, and writes articles about self-development for Charlie Magazine and Flow. In the same tradition as her journal doodles, she makes a monthly cartoon for the women's magazine Flair under the title 'De Week van Marloes' from November 2018 until mid-2022.

In 2018 De Vries was asked to develop a new weekly comic strip for the girls' magazine Tina. A dream come true, since she used to be an avid Tina reader. Her comic strip 'Lotta' made its debut in the first issue of 2019. The title character is a girl who does things her own way, and is not so much a "girly-girl". She uses her own childhood experiences as main reference, and hopes she can inspire young girls who also deviate from the norm.

Graphic contributions
In 2020 De Vries was one of five artists who made a collective comic adaptation of the dark story 'De Man Die Geen Saxofoon Mocht Spelen' (Personalia, 2020) by novelist Lilian Blom. The other contributors were Aimée de Jongh, Ibrahim R. Ineke, Juliette de Wit and the veteran illustrator Thé Tjong-Khing, who also initiated the project.

Other activities
De Vries has a large fanbase on Instagram (105K followers by late 2018), and posting on the platform has become her main source of acquiring new clients. She also uses the medium to give tips and advise to young and aspiring illustrators, as she has additionally worked as a freelance teacher at the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Enschede since 2015.

Series and books by Marloes de Vries you can order today:


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