Artist Spotlight: Rik Oostenbroek

An illustrator, designer, and art director whose bold, bright work with Adobe Stock catches the eye and the imagination.

by Adobe Stock Team

posted on 04-10-2018

Rik Oostenbroek is a Netherlands-based illustrator and designer. His sleek, futuristic abstracts and imaginative portraits burst with bright colors, multiple dimensions, and tons of energy. We talked to Rik about teaching himself design, his inspirations, why he uses Adobe Stock in his work, and what he thinks about current design trends.

Hi, Rik. Your art is incredibly colorful. What can you tell us about your creative background and how you got to where you are today?

I didn’t have a creative background at all until I discovered Photoshop around 2006. After that, I focused on jamming and coming up with abstract creations for a couple of years. When I went freelance in 2009, I decided that this was my passion. To make money out of it is simply a blessing.

I try to maintain my colorful work but at the same time expand my skill set, such as 3D, typography, photo manipulations, and vector illustrations. You can say I’m obsessed when it comes to creating things. Whenever I don’t have work, I still spend at least eight hours a day discovering new things.

Image credited to Behance

We see a lot of abstract ideas mixed with realism in your portfolio. How would you describe your style?

Colorful and organic. I’m not a big fan of dark-toned illustrations and geometric and sharp forms.

Where do you find your inspiration?

In life, I’d say. I just try to soak in every single experience I face in life. It could be a simple sunset or a nice trip abroad. Overall, I just get inspired by things I find beautiful. Music influences my work a lot as well.

What music do you like to listen to while working?

I like a lot of music. Not too much into Billboard stuff though. I love it when it’s Monday and my new Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify is out. It’s such a nice way to discover new artists and tunes. Last year I spent the most time listening to DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar, and the Soulection Radio show.

Image credited to Behance

What’s been your biggest challenge as a designer and illustrator?

I think going from being a hobbyist to being a professional — it was a struggle when I started out, and I focused too much on being attractive for clients. That was a hard time really, and I kind of lost my passion for my work.

I tried to reset that by doing random abstract creations again. Now, I ditch the projects that are too corporate and prefer the projects with more freedom. My passion has really become my work and profession.

What do you like most about working with Adobe Stock?

The quality of the photos. You really feel like you’re working on a sick collaboration with a professional photographer. The fact that there are so many different shots for the same subject makes it perfect for every project.

Image credited to Behance

I try to avoid trends as much as possible. I barely browse the social pages of designers. I just hope most trends will fade away a bit and people will instead focus on their own unique niche. But I do think analog blended with digital media will be a big thing.

Which artists and designers should we be following?

Hmmm. I do have some people I look up to, especially because they’ve been around for ages and keep on developing amazing stuff. I’d say Alex Trochut for sure. I also love Liam Wong’s photography and Merijn Hos’ colorful work.

Image credited to Behance

Many thanks to Rik for taking the time to give us the inside scoop on his creative life. This year, along with some inventive client projects, he plans to focus more on analog work, from canvas to sculpture. We can’t wait to follow his journey! If you’d like to see more of Rik’s work, check him out on Behance.

Learn more about the other artists who help us consider what it means to be a person — not a category — in our dedicated gallery on Adobe Stock, The Fluid Self.

Topics: Creativity, Design

Products: Stock, Photoshop, Creative Cloud