The 3 Most Important Qualities of an Artist [An Exclusive Interview with Wouter Tulp]

The 3 Most Important Qualities an Artist Should Have - An Interview with Wouter Tulp

One of the big names in character design Wouter Tulp shares his secrets of what makes an artist successful. Wouter Tulp is a character designer based in the Netherlands and teacher at Schoolism. This year, he was a lecturer at Futuro 5 Digital Arts Festival and we had the huge pleasure to ask him a few questions about his work and art. Before we move on to the interview, let’s quickly share a few words about this amazing artist.

Wouter Tulp specializes in character design but he has experience in many fields of illustration: caricatures, book covers, children’s books illustrations, editorial illustrations. He graduated from the Willem de Kooning Art Academy in Rotterdam and has been working as a freelance artist since then. At Schoolism, he teaches two courses: Conceptual characters and Expressive characters, where he shares his finest techniques and best advice for drawing characters.


Who motivated you to start a career in digital art?

In digital art, it just happened, actually. I started drawing when I was a kid. And from there on, it was natural for me to make it my career. And then, suddenly, everything became digital. So that became part of the techniques that I use as an illustrator.


Digital or traditional art? Which one do you prefer?

Well, to me, it’s just technique. People can create beautiful work with any technique because I think art comes from a person. For me, personally, traditional is something I can express myself better in or something that I’m drawn towards. But for my professional work, I work traditionally because it’s much easier to do corrections and things like that. So, I do both actually.


Do you think digital art will replace traditional art in the future?

No, I don’t think so. Like I said, it’s just technique and people will create art in any technique.


Do you have a favorite project of all time that you have worked on?

Yes, but it never came out. What was fun about it, was really the team that I worked with. We had this great group of people and it was a really exciting project. But eventually, it got canceled. It’s a pity.


Oh, that’s too sad. And which was the most challenging project for you?

I think the most challenging project was for a theme park. The reason why it’s challenging is that there are a lot of people between you and the client, so there becomes a miscommunication and misunderstanding. And then you have to draw things over and over and you feel that you are on a different track. This is what makes projects complicated and challenging. Because the drawing itself is always fun to me.


Which are, in your opinion, the three most important qualities which an artist should have?

Let me think. Of course, you need to be able to master your craft which is both technique and vision. You should be able to be fun to work with, be a kind person so that people would rather have you on a project than not. That’s really a matter of being a kind person. And help others – you are not alone it’s not all about you. If you have success, if you have learned something, try to help others whenever you can. I think that this is an important trait for becoming successful.


Great advice for our audience. Thank you so much!

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Iveta Pavlova

Iveta is a passionate writer at GraphicMama who has been writing for the brand ever since the blog was launched. She keeps her focus on inspiring people and giving insight on topics like graphic design, illustrations, education, business, marketing, and more.

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