Interview: Maria Lyng – Pointillism Illustrator

How did you get started doing what you do?
I simply wanted to do something I love and the pointillism drawing was just that. I work as a graphic designer where it’s kind of become a niche for me to design hand drawn logos which I really enjoy but when I sit down and do my pointillism drawings, listen to my work playlist, it’s like my own sort of meditation. I don’t think, I just dot away.

Interview with illustrator, Maria Lyng

How would you describe your creative style?
Delicate minimalism? Simple yet detailed? Never thought about it before… I remember one of my teachers once said I really just had “a great eye for a clean beautiful look.”

What’s your inspiration?
I always keep my eyes open for new and interesting things that inspire me for a new project. I can be inspired by something someone says or a rare fruit in the supermarket so I have quite an open mind. But sometimes I should really close my eyes because I have a long list of projects where I’ve started some and then had an epiphany and went straight to the next one. Too many unfinished projects but I still want to finish them all. And I will. At some point.

Interview with illustrator, Maria Lyng

What does your typical day look like?
No alarm clock! I’m a night owl. I can easily start a new project at 1am. I just started a new organ project at 1:30am (yes, I’m drawing organs). It’s the perfect time because I have no distractions. People are sleeping, stores are closed. It’s just me, my pen and paper and perhaps a glass of wine (in safe distance of my paper of course). Depending on the piece of course, I sometimes work on it for just 1 hour drawing up the outline and then get started on the more detailed areas. Yet sometimes I can’t seem to stop the motion and I dot away until 5am – but then my hand is also cramping. I think I like waking up in the morning knowing I’m already in the process and I don’t have to start something new when I’ve just woken up. But yes, then I dot away on my own project or work on projects for clients. Usually I work from my apartment but during summertime I have the advantage of being able to use the Parisian parks as office space – tanning and working at the same time – who can complain about that? Winters in Paris – I stay inside.

Interview with illustrator, Maria Lyng

How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
My small daily Instagram drawings take minimum 1-2 hours. It’s a very time consuming process. So far the biggest piece I’ve finished is the Triumph Bonneville that took just about 40 hours. It depends on the blackness of the piece. The motorcycle with a lot of black areas is gonna take a lot longer time than a light silver colored object like the Leica camera I did. You just go try and draw a little square of 1x1cm and make it all black with a 0.05 nib pen. In my latest illustrations I’ve used a 0.03 nib. So stupid. But I can get a lot more details on my tiny drawings so I guess it makes sense. For my new organ series I took a wise decision and went with a 0.3 nib. Ok, now I’m being nerdy about it.

Interview with illustrator, Maria Lyng
Interview with illustrator, Maria Lyng

How do you keep motivated?
It’s quite easy when you love what you do. Plus I need to pay my rent. And travel.

What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
Have more faith in yourself. Yes, there’s probably always gonna be someone who’s better than you but like what you do and do the best you can. God, I was so insecure and shy when I was young… I stuck to my doodles in classes instead of talking. But it gave me a lot of practice I guess.

Interview with illustrator, Maria Lyng
Interview with illustrator, Maria Lyng

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
“Do what makes you happy.” It’s simple and straight forward. Why do anything else? It has led me from designing jewelry, to studying photography, to doing webdesign, getting a bachelor degree in Graphic Design, packing up my life in Copenhagen and moving to Paris.

Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
I have a big one! I’m planning to do an exhibition next year and the pieces are gonna be in quite a larger scale than my usual instagram drawings. I’ve done a test of a small one in 7x5cm and that took about 4 hours – the objects draw are also what I would call quite detailed… I plan on doing a drawing on a 1m high piece of paper. Maybe just a tiny drawing on a BIG piece of paper. No. I can do it.

Interview with illustrator, Maria Lyng

What’s your dream project?
Living in Paris and walking by Colette at rue Saint-Honoré several times a week I’ve seen some of the amazing work that different designers have displayed in the big windows. I remember thinking that I would love to decorate it at one point and exhibit a special collection of drawings inside the store. So at this point it’s definitely my dream project.

What art supplies do you use?
Well I’m quite new to doing this professional so I’m still trying to figure out what works best for me. But I love my 0.03 Copic Mulitiner pen. For my big illustrations I’ve bought some nice acid-free 250g/m2 Laurier paper at the best little Dutch paper shop in my area called Joop-Stoop.

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