Illustrator Eline Van Dam on being flexible with style

Having carved out a career in editorial illustration, the Dutch creative talks about her process and how it’s the journey of creating that matters to her, more than the finished product

When working on an editorial commission, Dutch illustrator Eline Van Dam sets out to find and create visuals to enhance the deeper understanding of a text. If the subject doesn’t allow her to directly translate it, she’ll find a more graphic approach to make it interesting. Either route, it’s this challenge of unpicking a piece and contributing to something bigger that appeals to her.

“It needs to be read fast, so the idea has to be understood as fast as possible. Also the wide range of subjects keeps it exciting,” Van Dam tells CR. “I like that feeling of searching and feeling like I’ve solved a problem. The relatively short time frame and the absolute deadlines make me really committed to the process. It teaches me to make decisions fast, fix things, and that’s where creativity is most exciting.”