Search for unique style

  • Jesse Strikwerda / Illustration Design

I reflected a lot about my own art and how I am positioned in comparison with others, perhaps more so than the average illustrator. I see things around me that I like, in the work of fellow students, on the internet or in books: I compare my own work to this, but at the same time ask myself whether I’m conforming to norms that perhaps aren’t my own. So my search for individuality is accompanied by an enormous amount of doubt.


I’ve made this the theme of my work. So now it limits me, but at the same time it’s also what drives me.


“Queeste in voortuin” (Quest in the front yard) is a visual report of my search for insight into myself, life, the art of drawing, good images and more. To keep my quest in motion, it was important that I didn’t spend too much time making the drawings visually appealing or polishing them. This is why the pencil drawings are sometimes rough and direct. I haven’t yet reached the “finding” stage to be honest, so in that sense you could view the “Quest” as a start of something. I made fifty drawings in all, which I’ve compiled in a book.


I was nominated for the 2013 ArtEZ academy award. The following was said about my work:


‘The lines in Jesse’s work appear to have conformed to the narrative forms with eager enthusiasm. These are confirmations of an energetic force of a strikingly talented illustrator who has not shunned the “quest”. Instead of complete answers, we are confronted with an imprisoned wanderer. This oeuvre takes the form of a self-portrait, a narrative regime of snapshots, like a pair of gentle cows glancing around skittishly yet always on the verge of jumping.”