How I helped Maja Magazine give a friendly face to finance


In illustration projects, testimonials Posted

One of my main passions, next to illustration, is personal finance. I grew up as a daughter of a dad with love for investments and economics, and a mom who taught me how to use budgets. Needless to say, I was thrilled when Jennie Gielen approached me to work on an editorial illustration. Jennie is the Editor in Chief of a wonderful publication named Maja Magazine. My work would be used in a column about personal finance. For a little bit about this project and how it came about, continue reading!


What was the project about?

I was asked to illustrate a character that represents the Dr. Money column. She is the go-to girl when it comes to questions about money – like her name implies.


What was the project process like?

Jennie found my work through my instagram. Having seen quite a bit of it over time, she thought it was a “perfect fit with the vision she had for Dr. Money”. I drew Dr. Money in my sketchbook in several different poses at first. Jennie had given me clear directions on her desired personality and appearance, so this part did not take long. We quickly landed on an illustration we liked. After doing some quick alterations to the coloring and outfit of the character, we were both happy with the result.


The process and communication were to my liking. All the documents were neatly organized in a shared Drive folder. Because of that, I could easily access our agreement, the sketches and the final illustration. Anna Lena replies quickly to my correspondences, helps think of new ideas and sticks to the agreement and deadlines. We are happy to have made this investment, because it was totally worth the money. Our column Dr. Money now has a face, and we will most certainly work with Anna Lena again in the future.” – Jennie Gielen, Editor in Chief of Maja Magazine


Maja Magazine

Photo by Samantha Bosdijk


How did I make the illustration?

The entire illustration was made digitally, using Procreate and Adobe Photoshop. For a project like this, I prefer to start my sketches on paper to form a flexible idea of the character my client is aiming for. It leaves room for happy accidents, quirks, and interpretation. It’s a good tactic for keeping an open mind in illustration projects!


I love using Procreate on my iPad Pro because it allows me to work anywhere I like. Some of the early work I did on this digital illustration was in the passenger seat of my car. That was when we were driving back from a trip. That was, I could immediately start work as soon as I felt the inspiration hit. The time lapse below shows the illustration process! It includes the different stages and explorations of the Dr. Money illustration.

What are my takeaways from the project?

I’m proud I have been able to contribute to Maja Magazine, and in a column that speaks to me on a very personal level. I really believe that information on personal finance should be accessible for young women. Jennie definitely opens doors when it comes to this, and I loved being a help to her team.


If you are thinking of using illustration to support the story you’re telling, reach out to me – we might be a great fit.

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