Eternal Child With A Curious Mind: Capturing The World With Roozeboos
When illustrators are not working in their studio, where do they go? For Roozeboos, she’ll be wandering around the streets with her sketchbook and capturing the world. So don’t be surprised when you find her sketching on a street corner. Based in Rotterdam, the Dutch illustrator is vivacious. She gains her biggest inspirations from her observational drawings, childhood memories — and 7 other female artists she shares her atelier with. It’s no wonder her work is so cheerful and energetic!
Read on to know the behind-the-scenes stories of her street sketches and what makes them heart-warming!
AWW: We love the pronunciation of your name and found it very interesting! How did you come up with the name “Roozeboos”? What’s the story behind it?
Roozeboos: Thank you! In Dutch you can pronounce it as 'Rose-a-bose', like the flower! It used to be a family nickname as a child. It doesn't really have a meaning and is just a playful phrasing of my actual first name Anne Roos. As I am always inspired by children and their wonderful, fresh view of the world I chose this as my artist's name. It reminds me to look at my work and my surroundings in that way as well; curious, open-minded and amazed by the smallest wonders!
AWW: Why did you become an illustrator? Now that you’re a professional illustrator, how do you feel?
Roozeboos: I have always loved to draw but I also had other hobbies I was passionate about like theatre. It wasn't until I was about 18 that I realized that being an artist would actually be amazing! Though I enjoy all kinds of art, illustration is really my favorite one. I love how you can create a whole world in an image, a world that didn’t exist yet. How you can enrich a text with a picture that tells a whole new story in itself, adding an extra layer. For me illustrating feels like magic! I am really so grateful to be able to be a full time illustrator now, I think it's the nicest job in the world! I love the freedom of being a freelancer and mindfulness that comes from drawing.
AWW: From your website, we know that when you're not working in your studio, we can find you on a corner of the street with your sketchbook, capturing the world around you. Any interesting street sketching stories to share?
Roozeboos: I love to draw from observation. It gives me so much joy and inspiration! I actually have had so many lovely little interactions with strangers whilst drawing. For example, last summer I made a sketch of two people sleeping on the train while on the way to Hamburg. Whilst I was drawing one of them woke up and asked me to see what I had made. He was so surprised and it made him so happy. He took a picture of my sketchbook with his phone and said he would print it and put it in his travel diary. I had created a little memory for him of a special moment that he will treasure later on. Small interactions like that warm my heart!
AWW: We know that you find inspiration in your own childhood memories a lot, do you remember your first drawing?
Roozeboos: I don't think I remember my first drawing but my sister and I definitely made a lot of fun projects as children. For example, on a holiday in France we drew an entire village of mushroom gnome houses! On the back of every paper you could see the inside of the little house and who lived there. I would actually love to create the project again or turn it into a little book! We also once made a calendar for my dad’s birthday, with a monthly drawing of him doing things connected to the season. I still like to look at it when I visit my parents.
AWW: What’s your daily routine in Rotterdam?
Roozeboos: I get up quite early as I really love the morning! I take my time making a nice breakfast and having a peaceful moment with coffee. Then I cycle to my studio, put on some music and start my work day with some free drawing in my sketchbook before I move on to working on commissioned projects. Around 1, I go for a little walk to the market or to post a parcel and then we have a nice lunch with the other girls in our studio. If I have time left I try to go out with my sketchbook around 4, if it's a nice day. I come home around 6 and then I always cook something; I love to cook! On Wednesdays I also give art workshops for kids at a refugee centre, which is very fun!
AWW: You work in an atelier with 7 other female artists of different disciplines. How did everyone get together?
Roozeboos: We have a really nice space above an art supply store, in the centre of Rotterdam. It's been quite an organic process of coming together with this group. Some I met in art school, some are friends through work or through different friends. We all have our own room to work in though, which was very convenient in lockdown times so everyone could keep their distance.
Everyone has a different art discipline, which I love! It's great to have some input from people who work with different materials and bring different insights to your process. One is a photographer, one is a graphic designer, another one is a jewelry maker!
AWW: Before starting your career as an illustrator, you worked as a part time barista for 5 years. Does this work experience help you when you create your work? What do you think you'll be doing in 5 years' time?
Roozeboos: I worked as a barista as a side job when I was in art school! I really enjoyed it. The atmosphere of the cafe, my colleagues, the little chats with customers — and I love coffee! I think it does help me having worked there. It has helped me stay chilled when I have a lot of deadlines. You have to keep your head cool if there's a gigantic queue and you have 15 tickets that you still need to make. And it made me realize I love the feeling of making small works of art that makes someone happy, whether it's a flat white or an illustration.
In 5 years I hope I will still be an illustrator! I'd love to do more observational sketching trips or maybe a residency at some point. We also have a wacky idea to start a print studio together with some friends. But I will definitely be drawing that's for sure. :)
To find out more about Roozeboos, please visit the artist’s IG account | @roozeboos
All images provided by Roozeboos.