DIY design vase

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Browsing through photos of my work from the past 10 years I found a little project I totally forgot about! A few years back I had a quarterly DIY item in Genoeg, a dutch magazine about living with minimal needs and made -among others- this funky vase!

And because one can never have enough vases, plants and flowers, here's the DIY design vase tutorial:

Material
+ old newspapers and toiletpaper
+ empty and clean plastic bottles in different sizes
+ chicken wire (but you can also use a handle from another bottle)
+ wallpaper glue
+ acrylic or wall paint
 (I used black and white but feel free to go nuts with colors)
+ strong tape
+ scissors, cutting knife 

how to

 
1.
Start with a large bottle, and cut elements from the other bottles to put onto the larger one. Cut holes the sizes of the extra elements. Make sure you place everything in a way that the vase can still hold water. Stick everything firmly onto the base vase with tape.


2.
Cover your vase design with about three layers of newspaper strips and end with a few layers of toilet paper (all layers and strips covered in wall paper glue) to make the surface smoother. Let it dry (this can take a few days).

3.
When your paper mache layers are dry, paint your vase. I choose simple stripes so it doesn't compete with the pretty flowers.




Father's day DIY for kids

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What better gift to give on father's day than a personally made peice of art? Kids art!

With my 3 year old I made a No. 1 Best Daddy Award for father's day (in the Netherlands it's father's day upcoming sunday the 18th). And, in case you are desperately seaching for 'what-to-give-this-year', I'll share the DIY steps with you.

Needed material
+ 1 wooden block
+ shells
+ left over material to make the daddy figure
   (we used a wine bottle cork, a small ball made of newspaper and tape
     and two small wooden bars, eye stickers, buttons and a peices of string)
+ fineliner
+ paint (preferably acrylic or wall paint)
+ small white paper card that'll fit onto the front of the wooden block
+ strong glue (or glue gun)

How it's done
1.
Decorate the wooden block on 3 (long) sides with the shells (glue them onto the wood).

2.
Glue the cork and ball together and add the wooden bars (or anything else you choose) as arms.
Let the glue dry.

3. Paint the figure and glue the eyes, mouth, nose, hair, etc. onto the figure. Then glue the figure onto (short side of) the wooden block.

4. Write 'No. 1 Best Daddy Award' adn the name(s) of your kid(s) onto the blanc card and glue it to th efront of the wooden block.

5. Done! Go give this piece of art to the lucky man!

paper illustration

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illustration detail 
 
 illustration detail 

 
 elements cut out of paper and scanned
 
Lately I'm drawn more and more towards cutting and assembling paper in my illustration work. Normally when making an illustration I would first draw every element by hand using fineliner or pencil and then put everything together on the computer. But since I started with the little portraits project - and got myself some pretty paper from my favorite shop Vlieger in Amsterda- paper is speaking to me ;-).

For a new commission for Maters Hermsen (a dutch company that publishes in-corporate magazine for a diverse range of clients) I made illustrations with only paper and computer. I started by cutting diverse elements that fit the theme (more about it later, it's not published yet so I cannot reveal all), scanned those and put everything togheter on the computer. As finishing touch I added a few pencil lines and structures.
I'm illustrating for 10 years now (oh my, it's an anniversary!) and over the years my style has evolved. Meanwhile, I can still make new things and surprise myself, hurray to that!



Mini Drawing Spark #2

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For Mini Drawing Spark #2 I'd like to ask you to zoom in on the beautiful world of insects. Now that summer is getting closer, it's the perfect time for taking a closer look at these pretty tiny creatures!

Look for beetles, flying creatures and other insects in your garden, park or even balcony. Take pictures or find photos of exotic insects online.
Ink and a fountain pen are great for little detailed drawings (if you don't have these, pencil or fineliner works too - as you can see in my example above- but ink is my favorite as it gives such pretty 'handmade' lines).
Pay extra attention to paws, eyes, wings and such, each insect has it's own perfect design.

Have fun!


little character magnets

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One of my fave things to draw are faces. I love making little people and characters. A few years ago I sold little brooch pins in my shop that all had a different personality. I made those from left over pieces of wood, and every single piece was unique.

I still had some small porcelain slices hanging around from another brooches project in the past. With these I started making new faces and characters, each -again- unique, handpainted and with his or her personal outfit made out of paper. I attached little magnets to the back to make them suiteable for sticking some messages on the fridge ;-).

So far, I've made 6 of them. I'm not yet sure if I will put them in the shop or keep them myself, as they started as just a personal project. What do you think, should I sell them?

Wedding invitation design

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With my own wedding coming up in august, I of course had to design my own wedding invitation.
The future husband and I wanted a design without the regular flowers/ rings/ wedding things and went for an abstract theme.
Because my dress is blush pink (scoop scoop), I choose a color palet inspired by the gown.

First, the shapes were made using markers, crayon and fineliner. All shapes can interlock (do you feel the theme here?) or overlap. After scanning the drawings, color and transparency were added.
Because the shapes are quite 'modern', I choose a more classic font.

I had the design printed by Peter Print, my fave digital printer who can print like it was offset (seriously, it looks like a very expensive high quality print, which unfortunately can't really be fully shown in a picture), on beautiful heavy paper with a slight grain.

The card consists of two components: the long 'main' card for the day guests and a smaller overlay card that can be added for evening (dinner) quests. Hold together with a drop shapes paperclip.
And tadaaa, our wedding invitation is ready!

The books that inspire

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On my bookshelfs a lot of art and illustration books but these are the books I keep looking at, that inspire me most.

top picture, from top to bottom:

1. Sometimes I think, sometimes I am - Sara Fanelli
Sara Fanelli has a lovely free way of working with (illustrative) materials and collage.

2. Camilla Engman - The suitcase series by Uppercase
I've been a fan since I first saw her work in 2010. Love Camilla's fun, sweet and also sometimes a bit dark characters.

3. Allemaal mensen - Blexbolex
It's intriguing to me how all his work looks vintage but in fact is all (well) done by computer. It's simple, elegant and very much to the point. His Seasons book is great too (and many others, actually all his work is worth having ;-) )

4. Olle Eksel - swedish graphic designder
All time favorite designer. The shows his finished work but also sketches and drawings, very inspiring.

5. Mark Hearld's Workbook
Inspiring collages, painting, lino's and more with a nature and animal theme
(what I love drawing too).

6. Al Mano - expressive lettering in the digital age
Although this book it a bit older (I bought it while in art school back in 2006), it still is one that I look into now and then when I need inspiration on lettering and such.

Mini Drawing Spark

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After years of teaching illustration I found that the one thing most people struggle with is to find time, ideas of what to draw and how to draw. Well, your searching days are over ;-) as I will provide you with little drawing tips and tricks!

I'll post a drawing tip, idea or suggestion regularly on the blog, facebook and instagram. It comes with the hashtag: #minidrawingspark , which you can add whenever you share your mini drawing spark results (please do, I'd love to see what your making!).

Let's start with the first!

To loosen things up a bit (read: to tackle that inner critic), there's a fun technique you can practice. It's called: blind contour drawing (or hand-eye coordination drawing).

What you do is: take a object (start with a simple thing like a mug or teapot) and place it on front of you. Then choose a point to start and draw the contour of the object by following the outline with your eyes and at the same time follow with your pencil. Key is not to look at your paper, only at the object and keep your pencil on the paper (making one steady line).
Try a few times, and if you got the hand of it, start adding inner shapes as well (still without lifting your pencil from the paper, you follow lines back and forth).

This is a great way to practice to look closely to objects and learn how to draw them. Because you are not allowed to look at the paper, you can not critique the process. The drawing can be wobbely, strange and funny but that is what it's supposed to be. When you practice this often, you'll notice you get better at it. At that stage you can start looking at the object now and then and modify your line along the way.

Good luck, have fun and share!


Paradise Birds Kids Art

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Today I teached an art workshop to 4 to 8 year old at two daycare centers in Purmerend, The Netherlands (via Cultuurhuis Wherelant). I'm always amazed (and inspired!) about the creativity of those little ones. Kids Art is the best!

We made 'paradise birds' with leftover material like cardboard, paper, plastic materials and wire. They choose bodies and head shapes for their birds and put it together with paper tape. After that it was time to paint. Wonderful rainbow colors and exotic combinations where the result (you can leave that to kids!). Some of them also added paper feathers to their creation for extra spectacular tails and headdress.

I brought a big branch and attached the birds to it so it made a nice exhibition piece in the daycare centre. Looks quite good don't you think?

(The toddler saw the pictures and is now very eager to make his own bird too, could be a nice project for the weekend... ;-) )

illustrations on culture and art education

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Last week I've been working my ass off ;-) on a presentation of my vision on cultural and art education (with a focus on primary and secondary education).
I've made illustrations using paper and cardboard, adding a slight 3D/pop up effect.
The illustrations were used in a powerpoint presentation as background for focus points.


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