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Jochem VanGool - Artist Spotlight

Jochem VanGool - Artist Spotlight

May 14, 2024 - Author: Jessica Fisher

Welcome to Disney Lorcana Artist Spotlight! In this exclusive interview series, we dive into Disney Lorcana's fourth set, Ursula's Return, through the eyes of the talented artists behind the cards. Jochem Van Gool starts off our journey with the artist spotlights with his dauntless rendition of Donald Duck - Musketeer Soldier, who looks ready for an exciting new adventure.


Could you describe a Dreamborn or Floodborn character glimmer you would want to design?

Jochem: That's a tough one! There are so many amazing characters it's very hard to come up with one. Maybe an all knowing Dr Delbert Dopler from 'Treasure Planet' would be cool! 

Having all the knowledge of the entire Universe. He's able to use the cosmic energy and summon all the galactic constellations as his minions. He' d have multiple arms and maybe a third eye, surrounded by cosmic energy streams, wearing long draped scarves and robes over an adventurer's outfit with tools attached to tame the constellations who are floating around him. Jafar being my favorite Disney Villain, it would be amazing to design a Dreamborn or Floodborn character glimmer of him too. Maybe as  an almighty genie/sultan/robot casting spells form his double set of eyes while transforming the land around him to a swirling pool of eternal chaos with evil snakes or cobras sprouting from it. 


Villains or Heroes? Which are more fun to draw?

Jochem: Definitely the Villains! They usually have the most dynamic/interesting designs. Their proportions are more oftenly pushed. For example Ursula or Jafar or Clayton all look very unique. Where the Heroes are less edgy. 

Most Heroes have similar body types like: Tarzan and Hercules, all the Princes, all the Princesses... Even when the characters are animals. Sher Khan vs Baghera or Ratigan vs Bernard. It's easy to see which are the most interesting to look at. The design doesn't make them Heroes, their actions do. The best Heroes are ordinary characters doing something extraordinary. Unfortunately, ordinary characters don't look fantastic. 


What’s a favorite detail you put into a card you designed?

Jochem: In Shenzi ' Hyena Packmaster' from set 3 I put two hyena faces in the smoke coming from the geysers. The left one is more frontal and the right one is more in profile. I pointed it out to several people who hadn't noticed them.  

They are quite deformed to match a convincing smokey look, so they might be hard to spot! 


When you play the game, what cards do you like to have in your deck?

Jochem: As an artist I like to have cards illustrated by my favorite artists, which is not the best approach if you want to win a match! It's also cool to play with cards I illustrated myself.  

There's always a little spark when you draw a card which you worked so hard on to get it right. It's an instant flashback to the time you were working on it.  

I also like to play cards with multiple abilities. I love it when the characters work together like they would in the movies.  

Like Mickey and the brooms and Pongo or Predita with the Puppies. 


What’s your process to reinterpreting a classic character?

Jochem: First I try to get inside the head of the character. What would this character do in this situation at that location with this outfit or these tools? I know the characters and their personalities from the movies. 

 So I might be able to come up with a manner of how they would do things in specific situations. If I don't know the character, I do some research. With this mindset I sometimes take pictures of myself posing the way I would draw the character. Otherwise I'd immediately start sketshing until I find a drawing that feels honest and natural for this character. Then I try to keep close enough to the original model so there's absolutely no mistaking in what character I drew. I sometimes alter the style a bit to my personal taste, trying to achieve the most appealing result possible. If there's a new costume or other alteration on the character, I try to maintain the same look as the original film or franchise. All this of course in close consultation with the Ravensburger and Disney Art Directors. 


You can see more of Jochem VanGool's work on Instagram at @jochemvangool