The Prime Belgian Doodler You’ve Never Heard Of

An in-depth analysis of the works of Belgian illustrator Vince Okerman

The first time I had the pleasure of writing about the work of Vince Okerman was a time where there was no information available about him elsewhere. It was in the early days of the magazine last January 2015 where the 12th follower of Doodle Arts Instagram account was actively tagging his works to us. It was Vince Okerman using his first handle name of @vexx_art.

Doodle Arts has been proven impartial and fair when it comes to featuring artists on social media, website, and the magazine. Apart from disregarding the number of followers, experience, achievements, and fortune, the magazine platform has a collective talent of instinct on choosing promising artists for features.

At that time, Vince had only more than 1,000 followers and he worked using simpler and ‘basic’ looking doodles on his tanned notebook. When I saw his doodle artworks, I was immediately drawn to his great line art, cartoon-style characters, and vibrant use of color, all because of instinct. I archived his email and invited him for a feature. He replied: “Thank you, I would love to be in the Doodle Arts Magazine!”

As I scrutinize Vince’s work, I knew there is something special on what has urged me to pitch his name for the feature. My own understanding of Vince’s art style has developed since those early days of persistence and through a prolonged period of annoying him through email for interviews, updates on his commissioned pieces, and great hours of chatting about several matters. I’ve come to know him and his work much better and certainly enough to validate our instincts one at a time.

As Doodle Arts editors described Vince as “a seminal icon of the doodle art movement in Belgium,” we were perplexed by how hard it was to find anything more about him to support this sentence. It was a risk that may affect our credibility as art journalists, but hopefully, that’s all about to change. With his trademark style that defines his artistic ego, our instinct was right once again when he wowed us with his emerging character and astounding work improvements in just a short period of time.

After five months, his followers jumped quickly to over 35,000 with average post engagements of 500 to 800 appreciations. It came as a surprise to us especially that he lives in a location where doodling isn’t too popular. And yet, he’s too eager to go beyond and be a better artist similar to the artists he continuously looks up.

Like many of his inspirations, Vince’s first drawings came from the established artists. “I look up to Will Terell, Jake Parker, Lei Melendres, and Kerby Rosanes. It’s really special to see them work together. As I look up to them, it would be such an honor to collaborate with anyone of them in the future. They are amazing!”

In his growing years, Vince was able to channel his interest in trying different art styles within a serious and playful environment. He takes his regular school lessons while doodling and making art videos during his free time. It was through this developing interest in brand-making that Vince reached another spike on his online reach.

Another five months have passed and his followers have doubled to 80,000. It seems strange to think of Vince, who is just 17 years young last 2015, has seamlessly attracted an active vertical market in the art field that will give him a massive organic reach.

The thing that really distinguishes an artist from the other is the way they handle their image after they have drawn it. Even without using a professional DSLR camera, he has a great sense of photography before he posts an image. All of these make his work in a similar style that emphasizes clarity, precision, and remarkable doodles with artistic sense.

With his approach to Instagram, Youtube, and other interests, Vince now has a body of work large enough to intimidate even the freelance giants of his generation.

Back then though, Vince was still finding his feet with his hashtag #VexxArt, until he launched his own Youtube channel. From an overly serious and striving hard artist, an undeniable humor on Vince’s image exudes a playfulness that is tangible and infectious. He’s more relaxed to see his Youtube account grow faster with over 300,000 subscribers and an Instagram account with over 200,000 followers.

So while Vince’s plans for the future may still be indefinite, surely he has endless possibilities to choose from. The only thing that is certain is that he will continue his craft to be an influencer for everyone to appreciate art.

In case you’ve missed it, Vince just turned 19 as of this writing and he can be found on his new and simpler Instagram name of @vexx. Watch out for the third quarter release of Doodle Arts where his works will be featured on the front and back page.

Cheers for more years!

Categories
Artventure

Martin Cosme is a professional art director with interest in curating art, producing events, and writing stories for Doodle Arts. He writes stories from international personalities that brings readers to inspiration with feelings, always informative interviews from those on the frontlines of artmaking. He also works at Doodle Art Enthusiasts to promote his advocacy of art education.
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