Denise van Leeuwen

denisevanleeuwen_photoDenise was born in 1981 and coming from a creative family she knew at an early age that she loved drawing.  She studied at the Willem de Kooning Academy and graduated in 2005, she was the first illustrator to join EW Agency in 2007.

She creates her drawings with pen and pencil and her work is incredibly varied – one day she can be drawing a set of illustrations for the Department of Home Affairs, the next a portrait for a wedding invitation and the next a hyper realistic person for a commercial project.  But despite the variety, something retains constant throughout her work – she is a master at drawing, eyes in particular, and this is what immediately strikes anyone looking at her illustrations.  The pieces may be simple but the eyes always have depth and life, it’s her signature.

Her commission for CJP meant that her illustrations achieved a lot more exposure and she now regularly works for ELLE, AvantGarde, Lof and Rails magazines.  In 2010 she was commissioned to produce a set of illustrations for Planet Adventures, a children’s book by the Dutch author Krista Izelaar, the beautiful coloured pencil drawings depict a fantasy world that is enthralling to children and adults alike.  She has also created a series of animations for KPN, Royal Dutch Telecom.

Denise has said that for five years she was struggling under the judging eyes of her tutors, trying to figure out whether to use her drawing talent in illustration or graphic design, but for now she says it’s illustration.  With complete devotion!

Denise lives and works in Rotterdam.