Tim Boelaars is a designer and illustrator who lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He specialises in iconography and has created icons, logos, and graphic illustrations for a plethora of big brands and magazines.
Boelaars was born in Santpoort-Zuid, a short drive from Amsterdam. As a child he was inspired by the art his grandfather would make. Every Wednesday, his grandfather would set aside time to teach him how to draw, sketch and paint. As he got older he developed an interest in graffiti and its unique letterforms. As he entered college, illustration became the centre of his enthusiasm. A little older, he developed an interest in design while studying interactive media at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.
After interning for a short period, Boelaars started to pick up clients of his own. Often working for next to nothing, and sometimes doing work for free. However, he was fortunate enough to be able to freelance full-time. Shortly after the site Dribbble launched, Boelaars signed up and started regularly posting his illustrations. Thanks to Dribbble, he picked up more work and landed his first “big client,” Wired UK.
Continuing to develop and refine, Boelaars’ crisp, simple graphics have been used for branding, marketing, and editorials. He has worked with large companies including IBM, Google, Sprint, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Esquire, and Nickelodeon.
Every illustrator reaches a point where they want or need to draw with fewer lines. Breaking elements down to their purest and most recognisable. Boelaars spend his days doing just that. Taking everyday objects and simplifying them. Arranging the few lines in a geometric and appealing way. The end result may be simple, but the process takes discipline and a keen ability to look at the world differently.
“In my work I try to always find the right balance between simplicity and aesthetics.”— Tim Boelaars