For the past 20+ years I’ve been working as an artist, writer and illustrator. I made it, in all sorts of ways, until I thought I couldn’t and didn’t want to anymore.
I massively burned out.

On my Substack I write very honestly about my experiences, insights and tools to create a mindful and healthy life as a creative being. It ranges from personal stories to advice for mental well-being to practical tips on how to run a freelance business.

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Who are you?

My name is Marloes (pronounced ‘Mahr-loose’) De Vries. I grew up in the North East of the Netherlands, in a working class family. Books and art were never mentioned in my family, yet I have been determined to become a painter since I was four years old.

I moved to Rotterdam 11 years ago, a big city where I had more chances of making it as a creative professional. I did make it, like I mentioned above.
I call England my second home: I’m there as much as I can, because it’s the place I feel most at home. North Yorkshire is my favourite.

I recharge my battery by long walks in nature, I love collecting books and reading them (in that order), sharpening pencils, watching British crime dramas, and I’m always in awe of any pink sky.

What do you do?

I draw, paint, illustrate and write, mainly. I’ve been working as a creative professional full-time for over 16 years, but I started working for clients over 25 years ago.
I went to art school, became a graphic designer (although I really wanted to be a painter or illustrator), and took a leap in 2010: I left my job to become an illustrator. I’ve illustrated picture books, non-fiction books (for adults and kids), wrote and drew hundreds of comic pages, wrote a non-fiction book and so much more.
I won awards and from the outside, it looked all well but I overworked myself because I never felt I was doing enough and I didn’t honour my boundaries. Eventually, I burned out and got very ill. I started this Substack to share my experiences and how I’m finding my way back to my creative self.

Read more about me
→ Find me on Instagram: @marloesdevee (illustrations and books) and (paintings and art)
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Ponderings and pictures by a burnt out artist and writer. Join me if you're into finding balance, connection, rest and creativity.


Artist and author, spending life in the Netherlands and the UK. Illustrated and authored over 40 (children's) books and written 1 non-fiction book. Sharing candidly about being an artist and creative life.