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“Like writing, art possesses an element of surprise that can astonish even its creator, as if to say, ‘Look what it became…'”

From Childhood to Instagram Sensation: The Artistic Journey of Perla Schippers

Perla Schippers, born in 1984, is a versatile and talented artist from The Netherlands, with a natural affinity for both visual and literary forms of expression. With a background as a Technical Writer and Translator, she is known for her distinct abstract artwork that has captivated the imaginations of many. Schippers’ fascination with drawing and writing began in her childhood, offering her a sanctuary from the harsh realities of bullying. Her creations served as an escape to fantasy worlds where she could immerse herself in her imagination.

In her high school years, Schippers’ artistic prowess was evident, as she consistently received top marks in art classes. Yet, despite her skills, she amusingly admits that she has never been adept at producing realistic portraits. Schippers’ artistic inclinations were reignited in 2018, when her husband unearthed a set of old markers from his Mechanical Engineering studies. Spontaneously, she drew a simple black and white spider web pattern, and in that moment, she experienced a surge of inspiration that had been absent for years.

Embracing this newfound enthusiasm, Schippers delved further into her creative pursuits, experimenting with painting and crafting pixel art key chains. She began showcasing her abstract artwork on her Instagram page @LiefsPerla, which initially had a modest following of about 50 people. The remarkable pieces she shared captured the attention of art enthusiasts and helped expand her audience.

Leveraging Social Media: How Perla Schippers Captured Thousands of Art Enthusiasts

Perla Schippers first leveraged the power of social media in January 2019, when she initiated the ‘Zenuary Challenge’, which involved posting new artwork every day. This disciplined approach to showcasing her art paid off handsomely. Today, as of August 2023, Schippers boasts more than 70,000 followers on her social media channels, sharing her work with an ever-widening audience every few days. Her online presence has not only increased her following, but also afforded her opportunities to sell pieces, accept commissioned works, and even exhibit her creations at events such as the Kunstroute Heerenveen in 2020. Schippers’ talent was further recognized when she triumphed in a flag design contest with her evocative ‘Connected Hearts’ design. From that inaugural spider web zendoodle, she has produced nearly 1600 unique, handcrafted pieces.

Schippers is known for her distinctive abstract style, characterized by an affection for lines, black and white patterns, zendoodles or zentangles, architectural themes, florals, animals, and human forms. Her pieces are all abstract, yet still retain recognizable elements. Schippers occasionally introduces a single color element, adding a dynamic contrast to her predominantly monochrome pieces. Her works are created in a square format, a nod to the constraints of Instagram’s presentation format. This artist’s style is approachable, palpable, and optimistic. Schippers’ willingness to experiment with different styles lends her portfolio a rich diversity, ensuring that her art remains intriguing and engaging.

The Craft Behind the Creations: Discovering Perla Schippers’ Artistic Process

Perla Schippers’ creative space necessitates few materials: robust 300-gram aquarelle paper, a pencil, markers, and fineliners serve as the primary tools of her craft. Though occasionally employing rulers and compasses, Schippers primarily draws freehand. In the solitude that follows her work hours, she finds a sanctuary for her creativity, awaiting the arrival of her husband and daughter. During rare moments of artistic pursuit, Schippers sometimes finds herself in a state of hyperfocus, so engrossed in her work that she cannot cease until the piece feels complete. This level of dedication is evident even in her less successful drawings, which she chooses to share with the world. The satisfaction derived from navigating through the intense hyperfocus and completing a work is immensely rewarding. Like writing, art possesses an element of surprise that can astonish even its creator, as if to say, “Look what it became…”.

The surrealistic works and optical illusions of M.C. Escher have long captivated Schippers, who draws inspiration from his unique style. In the age of social media, Schippers has found further artistic stimulus from fellow artists on platforms like Instagram. One particular account, @Licosmoss, caught her attention with its intricately detailed pieces often laden with florals. The Instagram art community, for Schippers, is a haven of positivity, inspiration, and support, offering a warm embrace to creative minds seeking kindred spirits.

The Legacy of Zenleaves: A Tribute to a Father’s Memory and Schippers’ Artistic Evolution

In the extensive oeuvre of Perla Schippers, one piece of artwork holds particular significance – a large floral drawing entitled ‘Zenleaves’, created as a tribute to her biological father, whom she discovered quite serendipitously after spending years as an orphan since age 16. Her father, who had an affinity for the intricate pattern of the work, often expressed his admiration. Tragically, he passed away on Schippers’ birthday in 2021. In his memory, she crafted a new iteration of the zenleave pattern, a poignant representation of herself, her late father, and his other known biological offspring.

Schippers’ journey into the world of art began with acrylic paintings, but she eventually gravitated towards drawing with fineliners and markers. This medium offers her a greater sense of control and satisfaction in the final result. As a working mother, the relatively expedited process of drawing, compared to painting, is an essential consideration. Schippers’ works have garnered a following, with admirers remarking on the inspiration they derive from her pieces. In turn, many have shared their renditions of her drawings, a testament to the accessibility and universal appeal of this medium.

Schippers harbors an ambitious dream, one that sees her artwork showcased within the hallowed halls of a museum. Possessing a prolific collection of nearly 1,600 works, she envisions a comprehensive exhibition that would captivate and engage audiences of diverse ages and backgrounds. Schippers firmly believes in the democratic nature of art, emphasizing that it should be accessible and appreciated by all.

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