You must have at least wondered once “How does Cointelegraph do their artwork?”

Surely it’s not just the Bitcoin’s sub-redditers asking. We sure get asked this a lot: think Cointelegraph, think illustrations.

So we decided to interview Cointelegraph’s head illustrator Dennis Spaans and find out a little more about the +3500 drawings made so far about the colorful, dramatic and innovative world of fintech and crypto-currencies.

Cointelegraph: Hi Dennis! Ok, let’s get straight to the point: how do you make all these drawings for Cointelegraph?

Dennis Spaans: Not much is needed to create a Cointelegraph style drawing. A computer, drawing pad, which in my case is the Wacom Intuos 4, a mobile phone’s camera, and a couple of good ideas, and I’m set.

CT: Does anyone else help you with the drawing or is it just you?

DS: I would not be able to handle this workload by myself. We have a team of artists with whom we discuss each article and select the best idea to be put on the electronic canvas.

CT: Where do you get yours ideas and inspirations from?

DS: Usually, the inspiration comes during the drawing process itself when deciding what type of stroke to use, how to draw a particular line in the best way possible etc.

This is the process that I’m most interested in. For inspiration, I also like to look at the work of other artists, both old and contemporary ones. Then I try to imagine and understand the whole process in order to achieve the desired result and add my own twist.

Music is also an important element as it helps me concentrate on the process and completely insulate myself from the outside world. There’s also whiskey, which also does the trick, but moderation is key.

CT: Can you tell us a little more about you?

DS: When I was little I started to draw and I dreamt of becoming an archaeologist. But since I didn’t have any dinosaur fossils in my backyard, I had to do what I was best at and that’s drawing.

I drew a lot of pictures and then finally studied to be an engineer where I couldn’t draw much besides graphs. So I decided to drop that and focus on drawing something more interesting.

I wandered the city streets, often with a bottle in hand, earning pennies drawing portraits of people living in the street until I came across Cointelegraph. This was a new chapter in my life – a more sober and honest one and with a capital ‘B.’

CT: You must be pretty well informed about Bitcoin by now right? 

DS: I’m very interested in modern technology and I enjoy following the latest trends. But while I have known about bitcoin for some time, I only recently started to really immerse myself into the world of Bitcoin.

CT: And you’ve probably illustrated every key moment in Bitcoin since you started over a year ago. You must have a library of portraits of all the most influential people in this space? 

DS: I have drawn almost everyone’s portraits and some people even more than once. I enjoy when people see a picture of themselves or someone they know and realize that I didn’t work for nothing. This makes me want to keep drawing, keep creating, but the problem is that not everyone has their photos freely available on the internet, myself included. It is hard to make a quality drawing based on those photos! 

CT: Do you have any plans to do something with all these illustrated moments and people in crypto-currency, such as an exhibition?

DS: Not in the near term, that’s for sure. However, it will be interesting to see whether my work being displayed on a wall will cause a different reaction from people compared seeing it from a computer monitor.

CT: Do you have any favorite illustrations?

DS: It’s hard to keep track of how many I have drawn for Cointelegraph already and it’s even harder to pinpoint my favorites. Asking an artist what his favorite work is like asking a parent what his favorite child is. There are no favorites.

After a drawing is complete, I often later realize that it could have been better or a bit different, or I find a mistake somewhere. I can even look at a piece of work a month later and either I want to fix it or hope that I never see it again.

Without self-criticism in this craft, it is hard to improve.

CT: Thank you Dennis!


Below are some of our favorite illustrations and you? Feel free to share yours in the comment section below!

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