Monday, December 28, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!

Now excuse me while I drive everyone crazy with too many Burl Ives christmas songs.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

and the winner is...

Okay, this turned out to be quite a bit more Jon Klassenish (I.e. more blatantly ripped off) than I had intended. But here we go, the five lucky people to receive one of the five Kip en Kuikenshows are:

If you send me an email with your adress I will mail the books to you as soon as possible.
It is of course entirely in Dutch, but I hope you will enjoy looking at the pictures.

Thank you all for entering, it's nice to know so many people want free stuff.
I mean of course, it's nice to know that you all like my doodles.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Forest persons

forestpersons, originally uploaded by groene_inkt.

Something I made for my agency's garage sale in Rotterdam. I painted them with gouache on bark, just so you know.

Monday, December 07, 2009

New Book and a giveaway!

Hey all,
continuing with the catching up, here's another post regarding recent goings on. This saturday while engaged in sawing and hacking wood all day (for the stove) the mailman delivered a box filled with the last book I illustrated.
I made it this summer, well actually it should have been spring, but I was in America getting engaged to someone wonderful and that somewhat lessened my productivity.
But the art director didn't mind my tardiness (so much), and here it finally is.

The book is about a young boy whose mother has won the lottery, so naturally some bad guys decide to dress up as tv-show presenters and kidnap him under the guise of taking him to the studio. It's all very exciting, and the end is happily as happy it can be.
Oh and there's an important part for a guinea pig too.

I was trying out all sorts of new things while making it, which is also why it took so long. I'm not entirely happy with every illustration in it, but there are some pictures in it I'm quite fond of. And I learned a lot while making it.

Now, since I don't exactly need 25 copies of the same book (my bookcases are full enough as it is) I've decided to give away 5 of them.
If you leave a comment here and tell me your favourite book about kidnapped children or boys and pets, I'll pick five winners.

- Alright I'm changing the rules a bit, as I can't actually think of any childrens' books about kidnapped children myself either. So it's just boys and pets.
I know plenty of books about that, so I'm sure you have a favourite one as well.
So I'll pick five people who comment, with a little preference maybe for those who can name a good book about stolen kids.

The deadline is next monday at midnight (14-12 western european time).

I'll announce the winners next week.

Here's what you can win:

Sunday, December 06, 2009


Big Crow

While working on the Fiep project (I can't help but calling it that), it was my intention to create some animations. Obviously I never made those, or I'd be crowing it from the roof. With the lack of time I had this year I never got further than some storyboards and a few puppets.
I wanted to make stop motion animations, as those have always been my favourite kind.
Throughout the years I had made puppets, so it seemed a good fit. But my usual way of making puppets was by sewing them or moulding them out of tissue paper, wires and rubber cement. None of which had the desired qualities I wanted.

Which led me to needle felting, with that I could get them exactly as I had in mind.
So I bought some heeps of wool and a couple of needles and got to work.
The animations remain unmade, but the puppets were some of the best fun I had working on the project. So for months I've been needle felting when I get the chance.

I've made some characters for the Fiep project, and some for my friends. Last week my agency had its annual exhibition/garage sale and I felted four puppets for that.
I was smart enough to take pictures of them, as three of them are now gone.

Which I guess means, that I should start making more.

Three-eyed tater

The rare Arboreal woolly mushroom-jelly fish




The lot

A little less than a month ago I finished and presented the project I did for the Fiep Westendorp Foundation, or rather the project the Fiep Westendorp foundation gave me the opportunity to do.
Long time readers of this blog may remember me making reference to having been awarded one of the three Fiep Westendorp stimulation awards in november 2007.
Now two years further down the road the project has been finished.

But those circumstances are of course just the framework. The grant they gave me allowed me to devote my time to working on a project of my own invention. A dream opportunity for any illustrator, so when I heard about it I jumped at it. The only thing was that I had no idea what I wanted to do. The only project I sort of wanted to work on was a picture book about Saint Nicholas, a murderous inn keeper and a boy who was pickled and brined. Not something I felt would have been the most suitable way to obtain the grant.

So over the summer I came up with a project proposal that included my favourite things to make and draw, yet remained vague enough so as not to bog me down to one thing for to years.

The project I proposed was a picture book and a stop motion animation. It was to be a collection of stories about a set of characters. I described it as one half Winnie the Pooh and one half Jan Svankmajer.
Amazingly enough they actually thought this was a good idea, or at least that I showed enough promise to succesfully turn this into something worthwile.

Which meant that I had to actually get to work. And I discovered that making a book when you basically have every option is a lot harder than it seems.
For a year I sketched, doodled and wrote, and collected enough material for probably two books.
I took the stories I liked best and got to work on making the final versions in january this year. My intention was to work on it in the spring so I could devote the summer and autumn to an animated short.

I could have started earlier of course, were it not for two important objections; namely, first I am a procrastinator of enormous prowess, but mostly it took me a long time before I felt I had a good sense of what the project should be.

In the year I had worked on it, I had had a lot more work as an illustrator and consequently developed my work a lot. So my conception of the project had developed along with it. For the better too, as the final result is far better I think than what I had initially in mind.

But in February I had a terrible circumstance happen in my family that swallowed up a lot of time. I was engaged in lots of arrangements that needed to be made and every inclination towards drawing was snuffed out anyway.
So when May came around I found myself going back to America and having to do the illustrations for a childrens' book first.

By the time I was home again and ready to get back to work it was july.
I feel I'm starting to make this sound like a list of excuses, but basically you have my year in a nutshell here: a long series of distractions, some awful, some absolutely wonderful.

For most of the time past couple of months I worked on the book, drawing and redrawing the stories. I found out that I was the hardest client I ever had. Never satisfied and always changing his mind.

Then about a month before the presentation my appendix almost burst and I had to go the hospital for several days. Completely interrupting my schedule.
So the nice brisk stroll towards the finishing line became a last minute dash.

However in the end I managed to finish the project on time and basically the way I wanted it to be (just a shame I had a blackout during my speech).

Now I know, that none of you come to this blog for the text, so here are some of the illustrations for the project. It's called Tales from the Marsh, which is a dull English translation of its Dutch name: Kleine verhalen uit de moeraskoffer.

You can find nearly all the illustrations on my site:
(it's gotten a complete redesign).

Monday, October 26, 2009

Confounded evolutionary remnants

Not much by way of updates lately due to a very uncooperative appendix. I've been in the hospital for a couple of days and the whole recuperating thing is a bit more messy than was expected. So I won't be updating for a while as I've got a very busy schedule until the 13th of november.
After which I'll have plenty of new things to share with you.
Untill then, here are some mushrooms I did not make up.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

In other news

The Terrible Yellow Eyes exhibition at Gallery nucleus is apparently quite a succes. So If you're in the Los Angeles area and haven't seen it, you absolutely must. And If you have 350 dollars to spare, you can still buy my drawing.
Cory Godby did a write up of his adventures visiting the exhibition, you can read about it and see pictures of what must've been a most excellent evening on his blog:
(His blog is worth a visit anyway, as he's a great artist and he always has something interesting to say about his process).

More Boekie boekie

Love in the cake

This is an illustration I did for the new Boekie boekie. It's for a story called Love in the Cake, which sounds a lot better in Dutch.
Oh well

(Here's a bigger version)



I've always liked making puppets, but have always used rather idiosyncratic materials such as tissuepaper, rubber cement and straw, apart from more normal fare such as fabrics, and while I've usually been fairly succesful. The results were never what you might call very cuddly. But a couple of months ago I discovered needlefelting. For those who don't know, it's a technique whereby you shape a fairly solid mass from wool by repeatedly pricking it with a special needle, creating a shape of felt.
It's a very enjoyable thing to do, I imagine the same way knitting must be. And the results so far have pleased me no end.
Currently I'm working on several puppets which aren't finished yet. But here are a couple of my first critters.

Needlefelting experiments

It's Wumpus!

Underground tea and mushroom cakes

Underground tea

Doodles by the oodles

More than a month without blogging! Unforgiveable almost,
but one is so busy and one comes down with the flu every now and then too.
But to get things going again, here are some recent doodles and sketches.

(I've been rewatching the old Star Wars movies, hence the ewoks. And one of those litle guys is supposed to be Cat Rackham, one of my favourite webcomics by Steve Wolfhard)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Terrible Yellow Eyes - III

Cory the enterprising founder of the Terrible Yellow Eyes blog has managed to arrange an exhibition at Gallery Nucleus in California. They're going to be showing a selection of work from the site and mine is among it.
Have a look here:
(the picture above is by Cory, go visit him at

And now, so that this isn't too dry a post, here's the new trailer for Where The Wild Things Are.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Oh my!

A while ago I made a drawing inspired by Maurice Sendak's beloved book Where the Wild Things are. That was for the blog Terrible Yellow Eyes. And last week I was inspired to do another. I'd been working on drawings on the computer for days and wanted to take a break and just put some pencil on paper.

Now as you may be aware of Spike Jonze, the director of the brilliant Being John Malkovich, is set to outdo himself with a movie based on the book. As a very wonderful promotion tool he started a blog called We Love You So. It is of course about all things Sendak, but also tons of other interesting stuff. I every now and then take a look there and today I was very much surprised to find my drawing at the top of the page.

When he came to the place

I'm very thankful of course, it's not something you expect. You can see it for yourself here:

Friday, August 14, 2009

A book with my name in it!

Ik wil een naam van chocola - II

And the names of lots of other people. I was was asked by Ted van Lieshout, the writer, illustrator and national treasure, to do some illustrations for an anthology of children's poetry he was editing.
I made three in total, you can see them in my portfolio. The one above is my favourite.
The book is available now and you should absolutely go out and get it. If not for me, do it for the poems by Hans Hagen, Linda Vogelesang or Edward van de Vendel. Or for the illustrations by, among others, Gerda Dendooven, Jaap de Vries, Benjamin Leroy, Ingrid Godon, Willem Lagerwaard.
And then there's the cover By Sebastiaan van Doninck.

So, hop to it! Go support the starving illustrators of Holland and Flanders!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Globus Magnificus

This was going to be a long post about this picture, but blogger ate it. But I did this illustration for Boekie boekie in April and I forgot to post it. I think it's one of my favourites,
though I still don't know about that fist.

Globus Magnificus

Friday, August 07, 2009


Here is a link you must click on: Here
It's the trailer for the new film by Terry Gilliam, which I hope is enough reason for you to go see it immediately.
If not, it's followed by the trailer for Wes Anderson's stop-motion adaptation of Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr. Fox.
That's basically my two favourite filmmakers in one go.

This is going to be a good autumn.

Edit Here's the trailer, embedded and all.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Adventures in Boekie boekie land

This is the third version of an illustration for the cover for the next Boekie boekie. I was approached to do the cover and in my enthusiasm I drew an illustration that would wrap around the front and back.

I based my first version on that sketch, essentially I elaborated on it. The issue was to come out around the time of the national week of children's literature (de kinderboekenweek), the theme of which this year is food. (I have something else coming out around that time which is also all neat and themed) And the Boekie boekie editors said this issue was to be called "Hungry like a wolf". Being a big fan of Red riding hood and wolves in general I was more than happy to do something with that. I have to say though that they always have great stories and ideas to illustrate, so I'm generally very pleased to do something for them.
And I was very content with the way the illustration turned out.

Unfortunately being in Oregon at the time I had forgotten that the back of the last Boekie boekies had been taken up by something which wasn't a cover illustration. So my illustration was to be cut in half: 'or' did I 'want to redo the picture, to make it fit?' So after a load of reshuffling I've now arrived at this new version.
I still like the first version a lot, but I'm pretty chuffed with the new one. It's probably my favourite completely digital thing.
As I was not at home when I made most of it, I lacked a scanner, so going digital was the best option.
Anyway, look for the issue when it comes out in october (I think)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Did I post this already?

It's the Scone cat (sort of, he's never looked less like that picture these days).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Boekie Boekie and other projects

So I've been pretty busy lately, working on a new book for Pica which is finished now, after much scratching of the head and going back and doing things over. More on that will follow when the book will be published, so not for a while.
Meanwhile here are some details of my illustrations for the next Boekie boekie, which I think will come out in the 'kinderboekenweek'.
Also out by then will be a children's poetry anthology, with poems by a great number of Dutch poets and writers and illustrations by a host of illustrators (does anyone know an appropriate collective noun for illustrators? A blotting perhaps, or a scrawl?) All edited by the venerable Ted van Lieshout. I made three illustrations for it, so those will be uploaded at some point as well.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Terrible Yellow Eyes

Having stayed in the United States for rather a long while, I'm now back in the Netherlands. I had a roaringly good time, and quite a busy one too. In fact things can now be called frantic, but that's beside the point.
Mainly I wanted you all to know that you should go to, a wonderful blog devoted to Maurice Sendak's amazing book Where the Wild Things are (or Max en de Maximonsters for those who know the book by its Dutch title). The talented Cory Godbey has been putting together a collection of pieces from illustrators all inspired by the book, and he was kind enough to let me contribute. It's an amazing site, with work by some very wonderful illustrators.

Some details.

Another idea I had.

The Goat boy is kind of my favourite.

These guys don't really have to do anything with this, but I had fun doodling them.