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).