Interview: Bianca De Jager - Drawing From Observation
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Interview: Bianca De Jager

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Getting to Know Bianca De Jager

1. Tell DFO a little bit more about yourself

I was very fortunate growing up to be supported by parents who wanted me to express myself creatively.

My Grandmother was an Artist so I always had a love for it and would spend as much time as I could in her studio watching her. It has had a big influence in where I am today & the style of work I currently do.

While in my final year at The Open Window School of Visual Communication I started working at Ogilvy & Mather.

This is where I learnt and grew a lot in a short while, but also quickly realized that the corporate world was not where I wanted my main focus and energy to be directed.

I took the leap to start my own little studio & go freelance. While the uncertainty at times can be scary it has been the most rewarding journey creatively. To also just trust in your craft enough and follow your instinct with creating for people and yourself.

2. From an art perspective: What are your biggest weaknesses?

They say an artist work is never done, and I think this is where my weakness comes in.

I have always been a perfectionist. It unfortunately trickles down in all the aspects of my life – and art isn’t always where one want it. It can make it very difficult to step away from a project or to feel as if a painting is done.

I have learnt that you will never be 100% happy with everything – as long as you feel you have given your best & the client at the end of the day is happy. We all need to learn to take a step back and look at our work through other people’s eyes, not our own critical eyes.

3. Be bold – tell us: "Where do you see yourself in five years?"


Happy with my craft. Happy with my success.

4. Out of thousands of artists in SA, why should people appreciate your art?

I am a vessel

There really is so much art around us, and I love that because art is subjective and you take from art what you need. I try to remain as authentic as possible, and I think it shows in my art as well.

You will quickly pick up if the artist is trying too hard – the artwork won’t flow. You need to give yourself over to the work, to the medium and let it guide you, become a vessel to your art.

5. Why do you want to be an Artist?

Art has so much power.

With all the different forms it transcends languages, religions, political views. It can bring people together and heal. To know that you could possibly create something that holds so much energy is truly remarkable.

So to me being an Artist means so much more than just what it says, it is also being able to affect peoples lives on a deeper level and actually leaving a mark behind.

6. What do you consider to be your biggest creative achievement??

This is a difficult one.

As one looks back there are different moments that stand out throughout your career. The most recent one is the work I’ve recently been doing with Cotton On AUS.

2018 has been Nelson Mandela’s centenary year celebrations & for that they commissioned a few digital T-Shirt designs. It was a lovely opportunity as it’s not my usual illustration style. That is the fun thing about art/design you get to play around and explore.

Other ones that come to mind are being at The Loerie Awards for Packaging Design during my final year studying, doing illustrations for a Childrens Book and being commissioned Watercolour Paintings for The Ranch Protea Hotel.

7. Tell us about the last time a client, family or friend questioned your art or creativity. Elaborate on what happened.

Funny enough my Father is usually my biggest critic.

He also has a very sharp eye for detail, but not often seeing things my way. It is good to hear other people’s opinions, especially when you are the only one staring at your work the whole day.

As someone in the creative industry I have learnt a long time ago that you can’t take it personally if someone doesn’t like something that you do, as taste differs. I usually take what is being said onboard – will have a look at the work through those eyes and see if adjustments need to be made.

Sometimes I am stubborn about a piece of work or design & won’t listen to anyone, other times that little change makes all the difference.

8. When working on art "describe your definition of done."


When you feel content stepping away from the piece you are working on.

9. Define your creative/drawing style?

Quick and easy.

I have many artist that inspire me with different styles, I just know their instagram handles, I know, I’m horrible, but hey, it’s 2018. Maruti Bitamin - Koyamori is my favourite artist, but I know nothing about this person.

10. When creating, what kind of work environment do you like best?

I create the best when I am in my own space, surrounded by my things. It’s where I almost get into a meditative space while creating and feel safe. The best work will come out of me then.

11. Define your creative/drawing style?

I mainly work in Watercolour.

I will also use Pencil & Inks, but there is something about Watercolour that gets me so excited. For someone like me who loves being in control it’s quite strange, because you need to give all your trust over to the medium.

I let the paint work for me, instead of working the paint. Just dropping pigment onto paper that has been lightly wet and watch it run is one of the most beautiful things to experience. I will then often go over with a more dry technique to create more detail into the painting.

12. What can we expect from you in the near future?

More digital work.

At the moment I am working on more digital work with Cotton On, so keep an eye out for that. I am also stocking up on some paintings as they have been put on the back burner. Planning to create some beautiful products from them – so excited.