We Catch up with Illustrator Mieke van der Merwe

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What have you been up to since we last featured you?

Since my last feature I have participated in three group exhibitions at Salon91 in Cape Town, at Wolves in Johannesburg and a pop-up show withBetween 10and5 at Cape Town’s First Thursday’s art walk.

I also took part in a traveling Sketchbook exhibition in New York called the Sketchbook Project. In between the freelance work I have also started doing my master’s degree in children’s book illustration and is currently working on my first book.

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Tell us about your new project?

One of my new projects are my sketchbook submission for the The Sketchbook Project. It is a global, crowd-sourced art project spearheaded by the Art House in Brooklyn, New York. To participate, an artist have to purchase a 32 page sketchbook online and fill it with illustrations according to a chosen theme. Once completed the sketchbooks are sent to Brooklyn where they are individually catalogued and barcoded, according to artist name, location, and theme. After this process are completed the sketchbooks go on a interactive travelling exhibition through North America, in a caravan, where people are able to borrow and browse through them.

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What was the inspiration behind your new work?

For my book I chose to do the ‘Greetings from’ theme to introduce American readers to South Africa and to give them a glimpse of what it is like to live here. Most of the drawings consist of my travels through the Klein Karoo during my December vacation, architecture, South African products and all the things that make me, me. When I made the illustrations I used all kinds of materials such as coloured pencils, watercolour, pen, gouache and collage. I tried to make each spread different to portray the uniqueness which South Africa has when it comes to culture and race. I really enjoyed participating in the project because it forced me to finish the whole sketchbook within a certain amount of time, and I would definitely recommend it to other artists struggling to finish a sketchbook without a deadline

19.Graaff Reneit roadtrip copy

Whats are your creative plans for 2014?

For the rest of 2014 I would like to do some more freelance work and finish the children’s book that I am currently writing and illustrating. I also started experimenting with oil paints and would love to create a body of work that will challenge my artistic skills to new levels.
Where can our readers follow your work?

I have an online portfolio at www.behance.net/mieke, a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/miekesdoodles, an Instagram and twitter account @miekevdmerwe and a Pinterest account at www.pinterest.com/mieke_merwe/

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18.We live in apartments not huts copy

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16.Purple turtle

 

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