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Barbara van Druten is an'illustrative artist and designer. After Barbara van Druten graduated at the Academy of Visual Arts in Maastricht, the Netherlands (1999) having studied Visual Communication, she studied illustration at the artacademy (VSUP) in Prague, Czech Republic. Photo homepage: Elizabeth van Hasselt.

After these educations Barbara van Druten lived in London and in Cambridge where she gained more experience in the field of illustrative painting and digital illustration. Eventually she returned to the Netherlands. She has had exhibitions in Prague, Miami, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Sevilla, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Milan, The Hague and Leiden. Her work gained exposure by publications in different national and international magazines and newspapers, like the Scotsman, Elegance, Flair, Marie Claire and Haagsche Courant. Her work is part of different collections allover the world, like the collection in the Latin Art Museum in Miami. Her inspiration comes from daily life, travelling and cultural differences.

This photograph was taken by Renzo Candido

At this moment Barbara is working 100% freelance. She is owner of, and co-owner of The City Plug-in and Illustrative Art & Design. Clients are among others: Blaauwberg, Portaal, Burgy & Marcel van Dijk Architektenburo. She co-operates with Niki Koutouras. She collaborates with LASKOO and diverse online galleries.

Her creativity is expressed in ARTvertisements, graphic design, webdesign, paintings, digital illustrations, illustrations for childrenbooks, workshops and more. Colorful art in a colorful world is her motto. Her major source of inspiration comes from her wealth of experience with diverse people and cultures. As such, she tries to portray in her work the acceptance of cultural, religious and ethnic diversity that exists in our world today.
Her vision is perhaps best illustrated by the following quote of Kofi Annan: '...artists have a special role to play in the global struggle for peace. At their best, artists speak not only to people, they speak for them. Art is a weapon against ignorance and hatred and an agent of public awareness...'

Barbara van Druten used to work both as a freelancer as in paid employment. She has worked for example as a webdesigner at e-Vision, as an art director at PanelChannel and as a marketing/Photoshop specialist. Her jobs at the diverse (international) companies and organizations can be described as: continual acquisition, graphic design, design of merchandise, (digital) illustration, webdesign, visual manipulation, collages, marketing, writing press releases, editorial work and organizing workshops. She has also worked for five years as an art-teacher and student coach at different secondary schools (Lower General Secondary Education (vmbo), Higher General Secondary Education (havo), pre-university education (vwo) and special education).

Her work was published as bookcovers by the GLB-publisher. She has written and illustrated the books: ‘My daddy lives in Africa’, and 'Hello, who are you?', which were published and appeared in the Dutch libraries and shops. In these books she describes the differences between Nigeria and the Netherlands, through the eyes of a four-year-old, based on personal experiences.

Besides this, Barbara leads projects in co-operation with children and companies, in which the children or employees take part in the creation of a painting or other piece of art, for example a mosaic sofa!

She was a member and initiator of POPA ( POPA is an acronym for POsitive PAssion. POPA was an art-movement founded in Leiden, the Netherlands, the birthplace of the world-renowned Dutch artist Rembrandt. The vision behind this movement was that of three women, Barbara van Druten, Susana López and Soon Ja Terwee. POsitive PAssion otherwise known as POPA was a movement that wished to create positive feelings through an eclectic mix of creativity and art. Bright colours define the POPA-art itself. The paintings seek portray acceptance of cultural, religious & ethnic diversity that exists in our world today. The three artists have been donating 10% sales price of their works of art to different organizations supporting children.

She was nominated as Flair-woman-of-the-year and won the Siemens Contest. Barbara van Druten entered several auctions, like the one of radio 3FM, Rokpa or Ronald McDonald. From the money collected from the sale of her paintings, contributions were made to family-reunitions in Congo, children in Nepal and children with a severe illness.


Barbara van Druten