Roel Ottow

Ottow | Roel Ottow



Roel Ottow has been involved in design and drawing his entire life. He continued drawing throughout high school and, instead of going to university, he chose to attend an art academy; thus was he able to turn his passion into profession.

Client Diversity

Roel primarily works as a graphic designer and illustrator for magazines, publishers, and advertising agencies, but organizations can also directly approach him for books, board games, brochures, posters, and the like. For example, Roel has drawn for VNO-NCW and the ministries of Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs for years. He cares little for grandiloquent talk about designs and illustrations. "Sometimes too many fancy words are used. My motto is: Don't whine, just color." After all, it is about creative concepts in image and text, and they have to work.

Exports to Kenya

From 1988 to 1991, Roel worked as a designer/illustrator in Kenya for literacy projects, among other things. His neighbor there printed t-shirts for tourists and that is how a long collaboration began. Roel: "It's quite precise. You have to create drawings that appeal to people but are also technically feasible." Unfortunately, this translation was not obvious for Kenyan designers. The contact with the former neighbor continued even after returning to the Netherlands. Roel regularly goes to Kenya for new designs, and new designs are still being made - a total of nearly 200. Nowadays, they are also sold in neighboring countries and the illustrations find their way to other applications.

Artist and Entrepreneur

Roel is both an artist and an entrepreneur. Roel: The difference between an entrepreneur and an artist is that an entrepreneur says, "If I don't do it, someone else will", and an artist says, "If I don't do it, no one will". My work lies at that intersection: "No one else does it the way I do!"

Export countries: Kenya, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Congo, and occasionally Belgium, Germany, England, and Sweden.