We had the good fortune of connecting with Chloe Van Vreeswyk and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chloe, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think risk is doing something with an unknown outcome. For me taking risks can be accepting a job that I might not have done before, and have to learn as I go. I think it’s also accepting the fact that not being amazing at something right away can be embarrassing and usually really humbling, but that’s where the most growth happens. Deciding to start where you’re at and put yourself out there always has risk, but it’s also the most rewarding way to go about life. Without risk we wouldn’t have any sort of progression. As an illustrator, risk for me usually takes place in experimentation and trying out as many different methods as possible in order to discover a new avenue or style or way to develop an image. Without risk, my creativity is usually pretty stunted and overly cautious, and not nearly as fun or successful.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a freelance illustrator and graphic designer; I started out as a painter. I’m probably most proud of myself this year in terms of getting organized and really choosing to advocate for myself and my art. I think social media has become such a saturated and over-stimulated mental landscape that trying to put myself “out there” has often times felt like whispering in a crowded room, and sometimes it just feels like “why should I even bother”? But pushing past that negative voice and trying anyway, posting anyway, writing a caption that might somewhat expose a side of myself I’m not super comfortable with; these tiny steps have become crucial to me discovering that the universe gives back what you put out. The connections I’ve been able to make and the work I’ve been commissioned for this year have opened my eyes to the fact that you really never know what good will come unless you try, and you have to keep trying every single day, as gross and cliche as that sounds. I think what I want people to know about my best work is that it’s me attempting to articulate my human experience in the hopes that someone might resonate with it and be able to take themselves less seriously; its a huge gift that we have the ability to laugh at ourselves from time to time.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Honestly city life is just not my jam! If I were going to plan a trip with my best friend I would take them on a hike or out to the desert, somewhere really beautiful and away from people. I’m pretty much down for any kind of adventure as long as I’m with the people I love. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without the love and support of my friends and the inspiration I get from my creative community. That being said, some of the biggest impacts on me are from the work and careers of artists I look up to and don’t even know personally. Lisa Hanawalt’s work has inspired me to really work on stepping into my voice as an artist, and as a woman. Her work is so genuine, uncontrived, weird, (sometimes gross), and hilariously honest that it makes me feel less alone as a weirdo in a sea of people hiding from themselves. It’s encouraged me to be more authentic with my work as opposed to neutral in order to reach a “wider” audience. If it isn’t authentic it can’t really make a genuine impact on anyone.