Arifur Rahman: Hi, and welcome to Toons Mag. We would like to hear your story tell us about yourself 🙂
Mitch Leeuwe: I’m Mitch Leeuwe. Born in the Netherlands and am now living next to Amsterdam. Currently, I’m a freelance artist working on art for games, animation shows, and toys. A big part of my work is teaching and making tutorials on Patreon, Instagram and Ebooks I sell on Gumroad. The teaching part is currently really growing and starting to take a bigger part of my working time. Before this, I worked at different game companies. My goal was always to work for big animation studios, it still is my main goal and I try to get there a bit closer every day.
Arifur Rahman: How and where did you learn to draw?
Mitch Leeuwe: I started learning to draw from copying Disney movies and the old looney tunes cartoons. I never really knew what I did but I still learned a lot from it. Later I learned a lot from the internet. It really started to go faster after I did an internship at an animation studio. I met there people who gave me some tips about drawing. Then I started to read all the professional art books and followed online courses where you got feedback from professional artists.
Arifur Rahman: What was the first cartoon that gave you recognition? How long have you been working as an artist?
Mitch Leeuwe: I was 19 when I was an intern at an animation studio and worked on an animation show called Kika and Bob. I got to work with some great artists there. And that was a real turning point for me. Before that, I was thinking of a career as a graphic designer.
Arifur Rahman: What work do you most enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?
Mitch Leeuwe: I currently love making tutorials covering different topics. I also love to game and watch movies. But now all my time goes to drawing and the little time I have left I try to spend on my wife, friends, and family. It’s fine to work hard, but I think it’s also important to have a social life. For your mental health but also for inspiration.
Arifur Rahman: Which genres of cartoons you like to draw?
Mitch Leeuwe: Cartoony. I like to play around with proportions and shapes. I like to create different dimensions. I’m a big fan of all the big animation studios, especially the ones who try to take risks on style.
Arifur Rahman: Do you think that nowadays the art students are affiliated with more opportunities than in the past days?
Mitch Leeuwe: Yes it is. There are now so many opportunities. At the same time, there are also a lot of competitions. And when you look on Instagram it looks like everyone is an amazing artist. But don’t forget everyone is on Instagram, there is still space for your voice!
Arifur Rahman: How was your early life as an artist? Who is your inspiration in the world of arts?
Mitch Leeuwe: For me, it was all Disney and looney tunes. When I was a kid I already wanted to become a Disney animator. But I didn’t know what that meant and there wasn’t any real internet where you could find that out. Nowadays you can find it everywhere!
Arifur Rahman: Color and structures pattern from the ancient history of arts to now has gone through a lot of changes. What is your opinion about it?
Mitch Leeuwe: I’m really drawing in a style of these days. But I love the golden age of animation. I would have loved to work in a team of the old looney tunes cartoons. I think it was really amazing what they did there.
Arifur Rahman: Even in this 21st century many parents don’t want their child to take drawing arts as a profession. What do you want to say about it? Did your family members happily welcome you when you let them know about your dreams?
Mitch Leeuwe: Follow your own path. My parents were supportive but also didn’t really understand this world. I think I worried because of that too much money. If you work hard at becoming a good artist you can find work in a lot of places. Don’t forget that everything needs a design.
Arifur Rahman: Do you think artists are not being patronized as the way they are supposed to be?
Mitch Leeuwe: I hear a lot of artists complaining about this. And yeah it happens. But it also important to make a stand. Maybe it’s easy for me to say, but don’t take on jobs that don’t pay or little. If they don’t pay you can better spend that time on your own work.
Arifur Rahman: Where was the first exhibition that you attended?
Mitch Leeuwe: In the Netherlands we have playgrounds and outside of the Netherlands the first one for me was IAMAG in Paris. It was a great experience and I can recommend everyone to visit something like that.
Arifur Rahman: Tell us about some of your favorite pieces of artwork. Do you feel our young generation are talented enough to hold up their passion for arts, drawing?
Mitch Leeuwe: My favorite piece of artwork is the Incredibles. Of Course, it’s a movie, but for me, it’s something I would love to work to. I think it’s great to work on such a great movie and gave so many people a great two hours.
Arifur Rahman: Do you think that more and more exhibitions should be arranged for promising new artists all over the world?
Mitch Leeuwe: Yes there can’t be enough of that! At the same time, Instagram and other platforms are also so big.
Arifur Rahman: As an artist, what is your biggest achievement in life?
Mitch Leeuwe: Earning my living as a freelancer and helping all these peoples with my tutorials. I still can’t believe all those numbers on social media.
Arifur Rahman: Any advice that you want to give our struggling young artists?
Mitch Leeuwe: Work hard and don’t give up. People overestimate what they can do in 1 year and underestimate what they can do in 10 years.
Arifur Rahman: From Toons Mag we wish you good luck and success.