Maya Strobbe’s systematic graphic drawings are made with office materials

Taking her inspiration from logos and instruction manuals to scientific papers and infographics, the Brussels-based artists’ work has a “repetitive and methodical character”.

28 May 2024

Working across the intersection of drawing, collecting, graphic design and artist books, multidisciplinary artist Maya Strobbe’s drawings are wonderfully precise. With compositions reminiscent of graphic colouring books, the artist creates her works through the repetitive use of drawing stencils, office materials and archival systems, reflecting on themes of “bureaucracy, labour and production” in her graphic illustrations.

Often working on top of file dividers, Maya’s carefully constructed playing fields of shapes come together line by line: “I systematically build the same iconic forms over and over again: a table, a flower, a chair, a human”, she says. Achieving a particular and uniform style with this meticulous drawing process, is all part of a visual language, that she tells us all her work “revolves around developing and deepening”.

Alongside her distinct drawings, Maya has worked on her fair share of publications under the name Ramsdam Books since 2015, all of which have been documented in her recent project Quasi Alles: a catalogue of all her bookmaking to date. She describes this publication making as a “labour-intensive and meticulous endeavour”, where she often makes use of the analogue format of printed books as a tool to explore recurring subjects of “collecting, archiving, rules, and play”. Recently focusing more on publishing the work of other artists in the field of drawing, Maya’s publications are currently pursuing the display of “intriguing transformations; exploring the concept of regeneration through ‘imperfect’ reproduction”.


Maya Strobbe: A-YZ exhibition (Copyright © Maya Strobbe, 2023)


Maya Strobbe: From here to there poster series (Copyright © Maya Strobbe, 2023)


Maya Strobbe: On the same page (Copyright © Maya Strobbe, 2024)


Maya Strobbe: A-YZ book published by Ramsdam Books (Copyright © Maya Strobbe, 2023)


Maya Strobbe: Sketchbook drawings (Copyright © Maya Strobbe, 2023)


Maya Strobbe: RBR#001 (Copyright © Maya Strobbe, 2023)


Maya Strobbe: I hate illustrator and illustrator hates me (Copyright © Maya Strobbe, 2017)


Maya Strobbe: Flowers 1 2 (Copyright © Maya Strobbe, 2020)


Maya Strobbe: Too much time (Copyright © Maya Strobbe, 2020)

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About the Author

Ellis Tree

Ellis Tree (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a junior writer in April 2024 after graduating from Kingston School of Art with a degree in Graphic Design. Across her research, writing and visual work she has a particular interest in printmaking, self-publishing and expanded approaches to photography.

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