Leonie Bos — The Dutch illustrator with an obvious love of architecture
It is always interesting to hear about a creative’s childhood, but not always for the reasons you might expect. Sometimes that person’s output seems to bear absolutely no relation to the story they tell about their upbringing.
When you do you think you can draw some kind of link between past and present, it can go in one of two ways – either their work now seems to be a conscious and deliberate reaction against their background, or their creative path has followed exactly the direction you might have imagined it would.
Leonie Bos falls into this latter category. The Dutch artist grew up in a house which her father designed and was presumably very aware of architecture from an early age, before maybe she really knew what to call it. She went onto study at the Academy of Arts before returning to Amsterdam where she pursued painting, living in a squat and protecting her hands from the cold with gloves while she worked.
Those different experiences of different kinds of spaces seem to very obviously feed into her current illustration, where she uses traditional printmaking techniques to create architectural images through a careful layering of texture, tone and colour. She also, again perhaps predictably, has an interest in materiality and incorporates the grain and colour of the paper on which she prints into her pieces.
What’s striking about Leonie’s work is that she is equally adept at conjuring up a modernist American motel as she is a cosy office space defined by what feel like very authentic, personal design decisions.
As her reputation goes from strength to strength and she is increasingly in demand from all manner of big-name clients, Leonie maintains a nicely accessible persona, posting work in progress and inviting feedback through her Instagram feed and her website.
This is her main outlet for interacting with the online world and there don’t seem to be many interviews with her out there on the internet. Even her name is enigmatic – she says it can be spelled either Leonie or Leoni, owing to a case of registry-office crossed wires between her parents. No matter what you want to call her; work this good really speaks for itself.