This month we partner with illustrator Lienke Raben, who is based in Amsterdam.  Lienke likes to focus on murals (she has a mural company called Wallnuts), hand-lettering, and character illustration.  She enjoys working with a bright and limited color palette.  Lienk says of this month's theme, "Integrity is an important value to me. I can be a bit slow with my thoughts and my feelings, but that is often because I want to figure out, first, what something means to me and how I feel about it, before sharing it with the world."


For a little more about Lienke, here's a short Q&A:

Where is home for you?

My own apartment in Amsterdam.  I like to be home and make my place cozy.  And it feels even more like home now that my girlfriend moved in with me. :)

What is your definition of a successful life?

I dream about traveling and doing mural projects abroad.  But, in the end, it’s just about doing the things that you like and spending time with the people you love.  That’s success for me.


Describe your perfect day.

Sleep in, brunch with croissants or pancakes (or both, even better), and after that it doesn’t really matter, because after a great start like this, it can only be a nice and chill day.  Maybe go for a walk in nature, go to a museum, play games or just watch a series.

How did you get into design?

I’ve just always liked drawing.  I joined every coloring contest as a little kid and I was always doodling.  When I was a bit older, I started to like advertising and did a project about the history of advertising for a dutch chocolate brand in school.  I thought I wanted to work for an advertising agency.  Right now though, I’m more interested in communication and explaining then really selling.  I love the design thinking methods, and to be part of a bigger project, working with a team.  Right
now, I’m combining this with being a freelance illustrator and mural artist.

Where do you find inspiration?

Color combinations, shapes and patterns - this can be in nature, clothes, interior, graphic design, etc.  And, just waiting for inspiration never works for me.  I just have to sit down and start and accept that it doesn’t always have to be nice and result in anything.  Sometimes a doodle, even an older one, can give me inspiration to make a new drawing.  Also, traveling (doesn’t necessarily need to be far away!) gives me a lot of inspiration.  I always keep a travel diary with little drawings and writings. I hope to be able to travel again soon.

What's your dream design project?

I actually just worked on my dream project that has been on my wishlist for quite a while.  Designing a beer label!  I worked together with Queers & Beers and hope to do more for them in the future.  Another dream design project would be designing the identity for a music festival.

Which designers or thinkers influence/inspire you?

I’m inspired by a lot of people I follow on Instagram. Here are a few that I love: Hedof, Malika Favre, Sebastian Curi, Tom Haugomat, Xaviera Altena, Lisa Congdon, Hey Studio, Rafael Mayani, Carolina Buzio, Maria Medem and, of course, my Wallnuts buddy Esther (Vonik).

What was the inspiration behind this design?

Funny enough, I made this illustration as a doodle on the word ‘Build’ for Inktober 2019.  I like the simple shapes and patterns.  And, I also like drawing hands. But, I actually think it works way better with the word ‘Balance’.


How does Integrity play out in your life?

Integrity is an important value to me.  I can be a bit slow with my thoughts and my feelings, but that is often because I want to figure out, first, what something means to me and how I feel about it, before sharing it with the world.  I find integrity a beautiful character trait in other people too. I think it’s brave if someone dares to be vulnerable, while the opposite is maybe often expected from the world around you.

At the moment, what is your favorite…

Color: Cobalt blue
Food: Ramen
Song: Stonefield - Sleep (Stonefield is actually the last concert I’ve been to, when it was still possible, right before corona!)


Thanks for sharing with us, Lienke!

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