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Tessa de Graaf

"I like to color outside the lines. In my current work imperfection forms the main subject. Crooked lines or spots are often interesting afterwards. I try to work from the heart and not from the mind during the process to prevent my thoughts from stopping me from keep going when things don’t go as planned."

about the artist
Meet Tessa de Graaf

Tessa de Graaf

Coincidence plays a major role in her work. The wateryness of the East Indian ink and watercolor paint always give that subtleness which make her work so special. She completely relies on her intuition.

Tessamdegraaf Portret02

Tessa studied at the AMFI in Amsterdam, formerly known as Montaigne in Amsterdam. She also got a Master's degree in Fashion, Design & Strategy at ArtEZ in Arnhem. When she went to the academy, fashion drawing and model drawing were her favorite subjects. After an internship at Cosmopolitan magazine she immediately started working as a freelance stylist. She has been drawing her whole life, as a three-year-old girl, she was drawing puppets all day long and when she turned 16 years she attended various courses in model drawing. Illustrating was what she loved most. After a few years of styling she decided to change course and started working as an illustrator. She focuses on simplicity in her drawings, a few lines and spots can make something clear on paper. This is exactly where her power lies as a fashion illustrator. Coincidence plays a major role in her work. The wateryness of the East Indian ink and watercolor paint always give that subtleness which make her work so special. She completely relies on her feelings.  Although she regularly edits her illustrations in Photoshop for assignments, she prefers working with her hands and doesn’t want to sit in front of a computer all day. Tessa loves to works with materials such as ink, watercolor paint, chalk, pencils and paper. In addition to the work commissioned for magazines and (fashion) labels and brands, she loves to do live drawing at events. The connection between brand and customer when illustrating live is the most exciting thing there is for her!

made by Tessa de Graaf