May 21, 2018
warm sunny days, Amsterdam is showing off and looking better than ever before. Time is filled with swimming, cycling and picknicks. So I have for you a perfect summery recipe. You will be ready in a few minutes and have all the sunny, healthy flavors you want.
It serves perfect as a ‘bring your own’ item for all those summer parties too! You can download the dutch version here: enjoy
May 17, 2018
Maybe it is day 44 or 43 of the 100 days project for Instagram and after a spring break I am back in it. Yesterday I was working happily, trying to make my own illustrations for postage stamps. I did not finish a design but found this fellow on my drawing table.
So not a bad day, but today and also quiet some days before I did not feel inspired at all and regretted picking up the 100 days challenge.
What helps is taking my notebook, sit at a different table and write down what I would like to do with all these 100 creative days. And maybe I should realize that I cannot ‘finish a piece’ in one day. I do not work that fast, so maybe show the process more? My sketches, inspiration? And check this page if I feel uninspired again.
ooo something went wrong with my ‘blog’ and I lost a lot of posts … so sad because I wrote about my gril and me working together: making stamps, following Lisa Congdon’s Creative Bug’s daily challenges.
Okay that happens. Today I’ll try to fix the last post that can be read: about the making of the illustration that went with articles about bullet journaling for Flow Magazine.
For me this was a difficult topic to work with. Flow is not about ‘you should do this’ but they want to focus on the ‘calm living’, making your own choices. So it had to be about ‘making less lists, living in the moment, enjoying the process of planning. My first idea was working with a knotted handkerchief.
A handkerchief with a knot is a Dutch ‘habit’: if you want to remember something you make a knot in your handkerchief. But it is a bit farfetched and old fashioned …and would not convey the feeling Flow wants to express. Still I liked the handkerchief so much I had to give it a serious try ;-).
Above you see my initial idea, and although I loved the vintage handkerchief and was eager to use it in an image I understood this illustration was not suitable for the theme bulletjournaling. It was a difficult one to let go, and find a better solution. So back to my notes and sketchbook: what is bulletjournaling about? Making lists, dots, combining your lists / diary / sketchbook / bulletjournal in a personal and creative way.
It may not be obvious but these visual notes lead me to the next step: a collection of different papers, snippets, lists, construct a cupboard. A place in your home to store things, things you want to keep and find back. You can use it to display objects, ideas or hide.
It is fun to collage this cupboard with postage stamps, photo’s, different papers and add details. notes, visual associations with list making such as recipes, daily tasks etc. Still something was missing: how could I convey the idea of ‘relaxing’? Simple! A lazy cat.
December • 21 • 2017 • • • podcasts • • •
Sometimes it is difficult to just stay in your chair and keep on working. At least for me. What works for me is listening to a good podcast. Especially the ‘whodunits’ are me favorites. It all started with Serial: this story about Adnan and Have Min Lee had me glued to my chair. I wanted to be Sarah Koenig’s -the maker and narrator of this podcast- best friend and chat about this case with her all day long. So I started looking for other nice podcasts and I want you to give you my list with some of my favorite podcasts and some on my wishlist.
1. Serial | this American Life Episode One.
2. CBC Radio | Someone knows Something | Adrien McNaughton
4. S Town
and I look forward a lot to listen to this one: Missing Richard Simmons.
I hope to have some serious listening time these holidays! If you have any other good listening tips please tell me.
December • 15 • 2017
Greenhouse blog is an online magazine with very handsome cast: all their pictures of flowers, plants and interiors are so elegant and inspiring.
a screenshot from Greenhouse blog
and they sell a collection of cards and prints I made especially for this blog.
Want to see more? Go to GreenhouseBlog and have yourself some warm little spring.
December • 8 • 2017
L O N D O N
Last weekend I went to London: on my own! That was something new for me. So I was a bit nervous about that. Especially since I signed up for something a portfolio review by lllustration Agent Matthew Shearer from BA Reps and Lou Bones from the Association Of Illustrators during the London Illustration Fair. Ai!
What was my biggest fear? That those cool Londoners and the portfolio group would find me somewhat pathetic. That elderly lady with her drawings looking for advice and wanting to make some new steps in her career. Of course all the other talents that registered for a portfolio consultation were nervous too. Matthew Shearer overheard us chattering about it. ‘Awh’ he muttered ‘it’s quite painless’.
It was. It even was one of the best talks I had about my work in years. Both Matthew and Lou looked at my portfolio separately and both had somewhat similar advice for me, which I think can be of benefit for other creatives as well.
• find out what makes your work special, focus on that work, make it better, use it more, show how it can be used in different markets.
• focus on the work you really love to make. If you believe you can make it work for the illustration market, go for that.
• only show the work that makes you special and you love to do.
For me they strongly advised me to keep on making work combing drawings with photographical elements. And they had some good things to say about that too. They advised me which other markets these illustrations could be used (and what I would have to do for that), how to make my portfolio richer (making series, just for fun like ‘hair’) and more interesting for a broad audience (e.g. make little time-lapse video’s while I am making such an illustration). And try to find some subjects I really would like to address and make work for that, not for a client or commission but to challenge myself and make my work ‘meaningful’, even if it is only for myself. When doing that, I would make convincing work: showing that the photographical elements are there for a reason and developing my own style.
There was a lot more advice and tips, but I keep those in my bag for a while. I’ll start working with these comments in my mind.
Some good advice, wasn’t it?
the London Illustration Fair
Three, four? floors filled with illustrators, work and some room for workshops. It was fun, a bit too much to absorb in one afternoon. But let’s name a few of my favorites: the magic depictor, ha now I won’t ruin the magic. You just have to step and and enjoy the ride.
Kristjana S Williams had the absolute most jaw dropping work to show.
photo from Kristjana S Williams website
And then there was the fresh and somewhat bold work of Aga Giecko that intrigued me. Her work was so much about the joy of drawing and making. It made me smile and wanted to pick up my pencil – or big markers – too.
screenshot of Aga Giecko’s website / sketchbook page
Yes worth a visit: Definitely! Check the website for next year’s event:
And the rest of the trip? I really enjoyed every moment of it. London proved to be the best city for the lonely traveller. Londoners are polite, cheerful and the best at ‘small talk’. My first stop was Tate Modern and when I left the guard at the door said: ‘see you tomorrow darling’. That brought a happy smile to my face and it never left during my trip. I made me feel welcome.
London looked festive these weeks before Christmas. Dolce and Gabbana did the styling and decoration of Harrods, it was like a colorful, crazy old Italian market. Gasp.
An other thing I really enjoyed was a ‘London walk’: it is easy. You look at the program and just show up at the mentioned underground stop at the appointed time. Pay the person you think will be the guide 🙂 and enjoy. I signed up for a walk through Little Venice. Maybe not the most interesting part of London, but the guide made it into a fabulous walk. He knew so many nice stories, sang some traditional songs or recited a good poem.
Tate Modern always makes me happy, the building, the work and the surprisingly views. I also visited the London Portrait Gallery: for me a good place to observe all ways people were depicted through the ages. I was lured into the gallery by the posters of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Prize. How to describe this? For me it was about emotion, not too boldly displayed but almost tangible.
a screenshot from the website of the NPG, with the winning photo.
July • 3 • 2017
There is a wonderful new store in Alkmaar: PopUpStore Handpicked by Anna & Renee. Anna is part of another duo: sheeped. Sheeped sells handmade rugs and cushions from South America. Renee -het groene thee huis- makes and sells tea. Good tea!
They handpicked other products they want to sell in their shop: handmade, ecofriendly, nice & good stuff. I was happy to be invited too.
7 June 2017
In May I went to Madrid, together with the best girl I know: my daughter Fee. We walked – a lot -, looked at art, watched people, laughed, cycled, ate good food, shopped, sat in the sun, drank sumos, had a fabulous good time and want to come back. pronto.
Of course we went to the opening party of the expo ‘When you are a stranger’ in the wonderful gallery Echale Guindas. I could sent two artworks to join the good-looking crew of arty strangers. I was so good to see my two smart girls on the lovely walls of this gallery.
It was even better to meet the ladies of Echale Guindas. What a positive & energetic inspiration! And good taste for great lunch. I wanted to open a gallery myself immediately. Si.
h a s t a l a v i s t a
way back in 2016
I received my new business cards: they are looking good! Anyone in the mood for a meeting?
27 January 2016
on 16 March 2018 I cleaned my blog, it uploaded so slowly and looked so messy but I could not remove this pic. It makes me so happy.
Efteling. With sleepover. Every year. We run from the Python to Joris and the Dragon, nog een rondje, it’s everything. the autumnlight, the fountains, music, my kids, Mr.Right, the smiles, the emperors’ new clothes. We are happy.