FAQ : Frequently Asked Questions


I never expected it to be necessary, but after almost two years of mails I would like to ask everyone who wants to drop me a line to bear in mind that there are some simple rules to make correspondance a lot more pleasant: First of all - as in all letters that are sent - it should be no more than normal to start your mail with some sort of a greeting (ranging from "Hi there!" to "Dear Henning Janssen") before the main lines of text and to end with some kind of identification, alias or name (or even regards???), which enables me to respond in the polite way that everybody expects.

The amount of languages I can decipher is somewhat limited, though I do have a fair amount of foreign dictionaries. Please send mails in English, Dutch or German. Nobody is perfect, so I have done a fair bit of interpreting gibberish during the years past, just, please, try to be as clear as possible.

email: Henning@henj.nl

General Questions

May I use your picture(s)for my magazine / my website / my book?
In the first place I really prefer people asking before they just do something with my artwork. I am very fond of surfing through the net and hate sites where there is a lock on images. I would like to keep this site the way it is, so that someone who wants to use an illustration as a background or just save the file because (s)he likes to look at it or study it can do so. Spreading the files already is getting a different matter, but let us not decend too deep into the depth of copyrights now.
Now to answering these question:
Generally speaking, if a person asks politely and does give sufficient information about the use I tend to answer positively. General terms would be a reference to me as the artist and owner od the copyrights, a link and copies of that print as a reference. If there is any kind of money involved in this matters are different and need to be discussed as all serious publishers will know and understand (otherwise - fear the wrath of my lawyers when I find out. Muahahahahaha!)!
Copyrights infringements are criminal acts! ©

Can you make a drawing for me? Do you take commissions?
In most cases it is most likely that I would be capable of it. As a drawing usually does take time, please consider if and what you intend to spend on an individual illustration. I usually do have a very tight schedule and all sorts of additional commissions may take several months before I can tend to them.

I am writing a book! Can you draw pictures for me?Probably, depending on my schedule. Will it be published? Please give as much information about your project as possible.

I want to have a portrait painted of myself / a friend. Can you do that?
Yet again, another flattering question. I am capable of making portraits. The two earlier stated answers also apply to this kind of work.

Can you paint the wall of our livingroom?
Make a wallpainting? I guess I could. I must say that I do not have much experience with it and there might be other artists in your region who are more skilled to do that. I only know one artist in the Netherlands who does this quite frequently.
I am not to fond of the idea of painting on walls. I always suggest constructing a huge board in front of the wall. Think about the possibility that you might have to move or sell the house. Painting it white again would be a pitty and in conflict with tha artists rights to present his work.

Can I purchase one of your drawings?
Some are available. Just specify what you are interested in and I can tell you. Please consider that the fact that I do enjoy my work does not mean that it is for free. I do hope everyone experiences a sort of satisfaction in her/his occupation, but you wouldn´t expect your accountant to do your tax-returns for free either, would you?

Would you place a link to my website/gallery (please?)?
I hope you will understand that I want to keep the selection of links limited. It might be worth considering, though I do not intend to display en entire encyclopedia of art projects, elfwood or deviantart members. What is required generally is some sort of personal connection.

I like the pictures on your site. Do you have any idea who painted them?
... *Sigh* ... Actually, I do have a very clear idea about the artist´s identity. Should you have come across them anywhere else it would be nice if you could send me a message stating the internet site (URL) of the site. Usually if it does not display my name or link to this site it is not very likely to be authorized.

Can you give a lecture?
Please specyfy on what subject you want me to talk and if my time allows it it can be discussed.

Who inspires you?
Oooooooh ... that really is a very long list. I am inspired not only by a great number of other more or less famous artists , but also by things, stories, music. Giving you a list would be pretty senseless. Go out and experience life yourself. I can´t do your looking for you, and looking, enjoying and analysing is half the job, really.

What materials do you use?
I am working with all different kind of materials, most common being:
Pencil, coloured pencil, ink, watercolours, markers
Also experimenting with CGI colours
Oil, airbrush & acrylics yet to be explored ....

Would you take the time to have a look at my work?
Odds are: I would eventually. If you value my opinion?

I want to become an illustrator. Can you help me?
Congratulations with your decision. It is a nice but haunting passion and as there are plenty of people out there who can hold a pencil (and in not too few cases even use it properly) it certainly is no easy path to follow if you intend to make a living of it. What advice can I give you?
Be sure you can afford spending time on your chosen career.
The more gold a client promises the less he will pay.
Learn to listen to your gutt-feeling. If something feels odd - don´t even consider it.
Don´t try to be cheaper than everybody else. A battle like that might work with airlines but in the end it will only turn you into a slave.
Promises of great publicity hardly ever work out. Most people do not even have a look at the name of a novel´s cover artist. So don´t expect anything from that.
A certain specification always is helpfull. Be unique rather than just another anonymous person copying the iconography of manga (no offence - just as an example)