The Heroine’s Journey of Ymke van Gaalen

What is the best thing that I love about my work? That no project is the same. Every project is a new adventure.

What is my idea of happiness? That I am able to do what I want. Walk in nature, do what I like and write and draw stories. And to be always in good health.

What is my greatest fear? That I am no longer able to do what I like.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I’m sometimes a bit too reluctant to go up to someone.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? Tricky one. I admire most of the old goldies like Rembrandt, Vermeer. Especially with Rembrandt. It is very theatrical. But this same thing I can find in the amazing work of Chris Van Allsburg and Greg Hildebrandt. I love them. Their drawings show so much color, fibe and admospher. You feel it is cold, you feel it is a creepy place.

What is my greatest extravagance? My enthusiasm. I can be very enthusiastic about things. But it is pure. Not faked.

On what occasion would I lie? Hmm, I think when I feel that I am trapped.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? The time I have to spend on accounts and invoices and when I got to kick some costumer in the butt for paying to late.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? When I started my own company and can work on illustrations for books and movies.

If I could, what would I change about myself? To be more daring. To have the guts to sometimes just walk up to people and tell what I do.

What is my greatest achievement in work? That I make money of my own company and can be a part of a amazing Cartoon project.

Where would I most like to live? In a nice characteristic home with a garden where I can see the birds and a place with lots of nature around me.

What is my most treasured possession? A history book of my grandfather.

What is my most marked characteristic? Joyful along with youthful enthusiasm.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? The dijk and the meadows.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? A place called Oranjeplaat. It is near the harbor.

What books influenced my life and how? There are a lot of books I love, but the one that I read over and over and over again is: The Phantom of the Opera of Gaston Leroux. It is a tragic love story full of mystery but also a lot of philosophical themes. There is not always a happy ending or love at first sight like in fairy tales. Life also has his darker moments. So appreciate what you have.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Hmm, I never thought of that. Maybe just a nice Jazzy song. Not too sad.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Sherlock Holmes

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? My dad and my mom. They always supported me and they will do a lot for me. But the same goes for me.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? Metropolis of 1927. This movie laid a starting point for all science fiction movies to come. Like Star Wars, Doctor Who and Blade Runner. But also inspired a lot of music artists. But the film has a lot of big themes that we are dealing with today.

What role play stories in my life and work? A lot. They inspire me. They let you see things differently or make you think.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me? It gives me inspiration. This sentence is true: You can just sit about and do nothing. Just watch your life go by. Or …., you can go out and discover.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My twin sister.

Which people or companies would I like to work with? Oh that is a tricky one. I love to work with other animation companies and publishers.

What project am I looking forward to work on? To draw illustrations and animate a youtube channel intro.

Where can you see me or my work? Online, on websites. But also in bookstores. And even on peoples walls.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? It goes on and on. It is a way of breathing and living. If the passion goes out, then there is no life for me. Then you have no motivation…., nothing.

Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story? Oh dear. I have really no idea.

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