On adventure - sneak peek poster

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Hello to you all!
After a few days being stuck to the bed due to the flu, I'm happy to be behind my desk again (although I must confess I will take a little nap after posting this... ;-) )

Above a sneak peek of the third poster for Menudos Cuadros. A adventurous striped little chap strutting around the forest. More about it later...

Hurray a give away!


Because it's summer, because I'm sorting my studio*, because I feel like it... a GIVE AWAY!

It includes:

3 Flow weekly (Dutch version. They're previous issues but no dates in it so usable for any week)
1 package with 7 beautiful letter pressed gift tags by HappyMakersBlog.nl & letterpers.nl
1 wooden keychain with girl face

Leave a comment below and I'll pick a winner friday july 31st. Of course you are most welcome to share this give away!

* I always receive a copy of every issue of every magazine I've illustrated for and so you can image things are piling up a bit here in the studio. Although I enjoy these copies and gifts very much, I feel it's time to pass on a few of them.

Super Hero comfort box

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Instagram Followers might already have spotted this in the making... A new comfort box design is here to save your day! This time a super hero brown bear with blue mask and suit saying: 'you are my hero'. A perfect gift to give someone that extra boost they need or to show your appreciation.
Not the text you were going for? No worries, I've also got a new service in the shop (for all boxes): the 'custom text' option!

You can find the Super Hero Comfort Box at my etsy shop.

Color the Hood - the Utrecht coloringbook

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Musing about places to live, I realized I've lived almost 1/3 of my life in Utrecht! I moved there one year before I started studying illustration at the Utrecht art school and live there (in 4 different houses) for 10 years. When I moved to the tiny village I live in now (just above Amsterdam) it took me about a year to get used to this new environment and not missing Utrecht all the time.
Now I can say I really enjoy living in my (not so) new (anymore) town but I still have a soft spot for Utrecht.

So when a few days ago I opened a brown envelope that popped in my mailbox, I was very excited! The envelope contained a copy of the Color the Hood coloring book for grown ups, a project three of my former students were working on (remember?).
They made beautiful (and detailed!) drawings of their neighboorhoods in Utrecht and looking though it was a party of memories. I remember picknicking with my friend in the Lepelenburg park (the colored picture), close to my home and cycling by lots of the illustrated buidlings.

I'm so super proud of Maruga, Anne and Karin who took the efford to make this wonderful book of the city of Utrecht. The book is printed on heavy paper that not only is suitable for coloring with pencil but also does very well with water color.
Very well done ladies! ;-)

Do you want a Utrecht coloring book of your own? You can purchase it in Utrecht at (among others): Broese bookstore, Keck & Lisa, Rachmaninof and the VVV. Or via the Color the Hood website.

posters for Menudos Cuadros


A while ago I was contacted by Menudos Cuadros, a spanish webshop that focuses on kids room decoration. They asked me to design 4 posters for them and today I started on the first one!

First I painted a few structures in blues and whites with guache paint. Normally I scan those into the computer and then cut the shape digitally. But today I felt like a more manual approache and cut and colored (shadows and such) the animals with the good old scissors. Then I scanned it and assembled all elements to the painted (and also scanned) background.

I'm thinking about different animal themes for every poster. This first design will feature a...?

Natural Histories - a book review

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A while ago I was browsing through the art books at the Amsterdam public library and found a book about Maria Sybilla Merian (1647-1717). She must have been quite a spectacle in her time as she was one of the very rare women who illustrated and studied nature.
Mrs Merian was mostly facinated by the metamorfosis of carterpillars into butterflies and was the first to draw them together with the plants they lived on. She made a book (with her daughters) about the insects and plants of Surinam. Later in life she lived in Amsterdam where she continued her work.

I am quite facinated by this woman. Imagine her in a male domitated scientific scene breeding and studying her own carterpillars. She must have been looked at as a bit weird at the very least...
Therefor it's even more inspiring that in a time when this was quite an uncommon thing to do for a woman she kept following her own path.

This brought me to another book, in which she is featered which I found and purchased online:
Natural History - extraordinary rare book selections from the American Museum of Natural History Library

This book contains a wide range of funny, beautiful and interesting illustrations of animals, plants and other discoveries. It comes in a beautiful box with a selection of prints of the featured illustrations in the book.
The pictures are lovely and so are the essays about them but there's one thing that I wish would have been different: the paper of the book.
The prints and box are printed on beautiful paper that has a slight grain and therefor a natural look and feel. The book however is printed on this shiny paper in a very common A4 size and I so wish it would have had a more natural feel.

I quess I'm a bit neurotic about paper ;-)
But other than that, it is a wonderful and inspiring book to have!

Pressed flowers for Illustration course


I'm pressing flowers and leafs (so much fun!) to build a collection that will be used for an illustration assignment in my Analog & Digital Illustration course that starts in september.
The last few weeks I've been walking around my neigbourhood to collect all sorts of flora to press. When they are totally dried I put them on a white sheet of paper. Hopefully by the end of the summer I'll have a big collection for my students to illustrate. :-)

Wanna join the illustration course I'll be teaching? See the UCK website for more info.
This is a 'live' course in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Do you not live nearby? See my webshop for an online illustration workshop.

New letters for The Machinery

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I've added a whole bunch of new letters to the alphabet I'm making for The Machinery. They're now available at themachineryshop.etsy.com!

The alphabet is almost finished, only the X, Y, Z and a & to go!

Sugarfree yoghurt-redcurrent pie

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Another recipe from my sugarfree favorites, a super easy, no bake true summer treat! This one was made with redcurrant from our garden but every red fruit will do.

Before we start: I'm not sure to call this a pie or cake. This pie is like a cheesecake (but with yoghurt) but technically it's not a cake so I'm going for pie (just so you know).

- 600 ml of yoghurt (I prefer goat yoghurt but every yoghurt will work)
- about a handful of redcurrants or other red fruit
- about 6 tblspoons of rice sirope, honey or another natural sweetener
- 100 ml of applejuice
- 200 grams of wholegrain biscuits, sugarfree (I used cookies by Molenaartje)
- about two tblspoons of coconut oil, melted
- 6 sheets of gelatine (you could also use agar-agar but see the box for how much you should use)

Soak the gelatine sheets in a big bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes.
In the mean time, put all cookies in your kitchenmachine and mix untill they have become very fine crumbs. Add the coconut oil and mix again. If you feel it's still a bit too dry you can add some more coconut oil. Spread the cookie mixture on the bottom of a baking tin and push it firmly with a spoon untill you have an even and firm pie crust. Put it in the fridge.

Put the applejuice in a small pan.
Take the gelatine out of the water and squeeze every sheet firmly. Then add the sheets to the applejuice. Heat the mixture slowly while you keep stirring, untill all gelatine has dissolved. Add the rice sirope (or other sweetener) and stirr untill everything is mixed. Take it of the heat.

Put the yoghurt into a large bowl and add the applejuice mixture. Stirr untill it's all mixed.
Take the pie crust out of the fridge and add the yoghurt mixture. Make sure it's spread evenly.
Put it in the fridge again for at least two hours.

Take you pie out of the fridge and put the fruit on top. You can drizzle some extra honey on top and finish it with mint leafs or lemon zest, whatever you like!


Another nursery mobile in the making

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I'm working on another nursery mobile, the perfect decoration for your little one's stylish nursery.
In this little flipagram stop motion: all the handpainted wooden blocks are waiting to get assambled ;-)

Hopefully I'll be able to stock the Kim's Little Monsters Etsy shop next week (with 4 mobiles, a bit bigger than the previous ones).

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