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3x Reasons to visit The Art Department

Who among our readers knows The Art Department? If you work in films, animations or games, you're probably thinking: hell yeah, already got my tickets! But for everyone outside the scene, the festival is pretty unknown. And that's a shame! Because during TAD you can easily meet renowned designers and filmmakers from all over the world. Makers who worked on The Lion King, Wolfwalkers, or for The New Yorker. In an intimate setting in the Klokgebouw building, they talk about their experiments, successes, and inevitable failures. And you can go too!

This year The Art Department will be held on April 18th and 19th. We asked three visitors (a student, a professional, and an illustrator from Eindhoven with 1.6 million followers on Instagram) what makes The Art Department special. In style, they included an illustrated self-portrait.

Zef Oosterhof  is pursuing the bachelor Visual Communication at SintLucas. Two years ago, he went to The Art Department for the first time during a study trip. (Conclusion: 'This is super awesome.').

‘What has stayed with me the most is the contact with other makers. You have the talks, but there are also booths where artists show their work. I found the conversations there super interesting. My main focus is illustrations, but I'm also experimenting with 3D techniques, textiles, music, and sculpture. I don't know where it will lead me, but I trust I'll find my way. I will also be giving a presentation myself during The Art Department. It’s fantastic to get on the stage as a student. I'm not necessarily a fan of anyone in particular. The coming together of people who like to make things that's what I like best.’

Rachelle Slingerland is a visual design artist. She illustrates stories for commercials and films ('I mainly draw a lot of puppets.'). The Art Department played an essential role in the work she does now.  

Usually, you can only find a festival of this caliber abroad. So it's really cool that there is such an event in Eindhoven. I'm from Rotterdam, but I immerse myself in Strijp-S for two days during the festival. My heroes from the film industry come to TAD. I know most of them online, but here I speak to them in real life. They are all lovely people. I owe a lot of commissions to the makers I met here. This year there is also an expo where you can see the sketchbooks and original puppets of famous animations. That's also interesting for a broad audience, I think. I wouldn't hesitate to take my mum there.'

Laura Brouwers, a.k.a. Cyarin, is an illustrator with a huge online reach. This year she is one of the festival speakers (reason enoughto visit TAD, if you ask us). In her talk, she'll dive into finding your way in the industry off the beaten track.

'I love Eindhoven. I live at Strijp-S, and am a big fan of The Art Department and the people who attend the festival. That I get to speak at this year's TAD feels absurd. Unlike many artists in the creative industry, I didn't do a graphic design course or anything like that. I was thirteen when I left school. Through an intensive journey with care institutions, I started doing business at 19. In my talk, probably in the form of an interview, I will share how I found my way as a self-taught professional. Social media plays a vital role in this, although there are also challenges. For example, how do you keep up with the algorithms without losing your own voice?

The Art Department takes place on April 18th and 19th (2024) in the Klokgebouw at Strijp-S. Ticket info can be found on the website. This year, you can visit the Artist Studios for free.