Ready for Berlin!

So many updates and so little time!

The past few months have been an incredible rollercoaster of new projects, both personal and client based. I'm hoping to make a new "What happened in...?" post soon. But for now I wanted to share with you the exciting preparations for Pictoplasma Festival 2017! 

I will be again taking part with other amazing artists from all over the world, in a group exhibition during the Pictoplasma Festival. A week full of exhibitions, animations, workshops and lectures. Last year it was a huge inspiration and I expect nothing less from this trip as well. 

The piece I'm showing is inspired by Mexican legends of my childhood. It reads as a silent comic, following our main character who travels in between two stories. My aim is for the viewer to make its own version of what they see. It was exhibited in Amsterdam at the pop-up art exhibition "ExpoSarphaat" back in March. 

Here is a selection of some of the panels. 

I will posting updates in Instagram and Facebook. Today was the final day to send all the cool goodies to print! This has prompt me to think again of stocking my Etsy shop.

Well if you are in Berlin or have friends there please share the Facebook event and I prime more updates when I get back!  





Your Brain in Love

Even though I'm not a big Sn Valentines Day fan, I do find the science behind our feeling very interesting! Even though there are 3 main stages of "falling in love" where different hormones and chemicals are released, the attraction (stage 2) has the most effect on us. Three of our neurotransmitters get to work: adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin. 

This is for all of you who would like to know why we feel like we do when we are attracted to someone else. 



The engaged Visual Story Teller.

Last week we talked about the Ninja Visual Story Teller, and today we will look at the active part of VST during live drawing sessions. Engaging a VST to your activity can be very rewarding as it introduces a new dimension and a new way of thinking for your group. VST will most probably not be familiar with the specifics of your company, which is a great asset and here is why: 

When creating a visual, the illustrator needs information of the proces, key words and aims to understand what is the core message you want to deliver. For most people, the proces of explaining to an outsider what this message is, tends to be certainly a challenge. You need to really think and verbalise a clear message. 

With this in mind, lets look at some roles that a VST could have at your workshop:


 VST are frequently asked to help teams within a company to visualise their ideas to share with the group, or for an exercise such as doing a pitch on a new idea. These activities tend to include time constraints, which in turn mean communication is key. 

When being part of these groups I try to keep everyone in the path of our main goal: to fill our canvas with the most important points of their idea. As the team looks at the drawings, these trigger new connections. This definitively leads to team building and a sense of purpose in the group. 


Skill Sharing

VST can be brought in also to break the routine and add a creative input to your workshops. By integrating a visual notes workshop you ask participants to relax, step out of their comfort zone and to take the time to learn and use a new set of skills. 

Many adult have not taken the liberty to doodle or draw since they were children. During the workshop they first get to draw basic shapes and are encouraged to work with subjects that they use daily. Afterwards they have a small exercise to visualise their CV or a short text. Againcreative parts of your brain are activated and for many this can also result in a relaxing experience. 

So what are the perks of these services?

In a way itis a repetition of the previous blog post, but with some added bonus: 

  • Drives participants to think outside the box.
  • Encourages team work. 
  • Encourages creativity and a moment to loosen up your mind. 
  • It adds a creative and fun dimension to your event. 
  • People can see their own contributions which in turn also boosts the collective morale.


From grey to colours!

Today is the first Monday of February, and as such I would like to share with you some cool websites and finds I have made to make this grey month into a colourful one! 

Tip of the day! 

If you live in the Netherlands or Belgium then you can't miss Sabine Wisman's Monday Motivation posts! They are the best! They really make me start my week with a smile and as a creative freelancer, many of these tips I feel are perfectly aimed at me. Her illustrative style is really fun and seems effortless. Take look at her blog, website and Instagram and be inspired every Monday or every day!

(Also her workshops are really good too! Can you see I'm a fan?) 

Image by Sabine Wisman 

Image by Sabine Wisman 

Daily Productivity 

By trying to improve my productivity I am trying different techniques, such as bullet journaling (this is also an excuse to purchase different sketchbooks and agendas).

Until now the Daily Plan Bar has been working pretty well for me! Here's a picture of how it looks like. If you want more information on the Bullet Journaling phenomenon check out the website by Ryder Carroll. I might come back to this subject in the future!  


Drawing Inspiration 

In order to get to know better Procreate (a drawing app on the iPad) I wanted to draw more digitally. To avoid the typical "I don't know what to draw" dilemma, I've been using the Sktchy App. This is an app where you can find reference pictures uploaded by anyone in the community, you draw them and post them for everyone to see. It's like a smaller version of Instagram but dedicated to creative people. It's been a great way to do warm up drawings and try all the different brushes! 

What do you use as inspiration for warm ups or to learn better a technique or software? 

Types of Visual Story Tellers: The Ninja

There are many ways a visual story teller can help you and your business or organisation, so we will start with live drawing events. I have decided to split these also into two categories: passive and engaged. But because passive sounds, well…boring, I decided to pump up that name and call them Ninja Visual Story Tellers. And here is why. 

A good ninja uses the shadows as her cover but is aware of everything that is happening and can anticipate the moves of her targets. And when she finally attacks, the masterpiece is revealed!


This is pretty similar to visual recordings in meetings also called live drawing. VST take a seat in a corner or stand at a side and pretty much start working their magic. Listening to the presentation or workshop and taking that information that stands out. By using text and drawings, the VST can take advantage of each mediums strength. Written language which through word combinations can communicate the abstract of complicated concepts, while the visuals support the text and are easier to read and create a flow. 

The reason why it’s a ninja action is mainly because the VST goes to deliver a specific product and works mainly together with the organiser of the event. While the engaged VST adds their ‘outsider’ view to enhance certain types of events (we will get to this next week). 

Ninja Examples

Here are some other examples of Ninja VST activities which I have been part of:

From notes to visuals: where the participants hand over their notes with the facts they “see” as key.  These are made into small drawings or icons that can be placed as an overview. Some examples of when to use this activity: team building,  SWOT analysis, challenges vs opportunities. 

Ideas Overview: sounds similar as the example above, but by “ideas” I mean new concepts or products. Mainly for creative brainstorm sessions, where these new ideas can be compared, moved around and voted on. 

The illustrated A3 posters came in later - but due to privacy, I can't share those. 

The illustrated A3 posters came in later - but due to privacy, I can't share those. 

Quick Thoughts Visuals: this specific activity was a survey done for the Amsterdam municipality. It was used as a way to promote out-of-the-box thinking. A quick drawing on the spot was made of the answers given by the public.  



So what are the perks of these services? 

  • The work is visible to everyone 
  • People can see their own contributions which in turn also boosts the collective morale. 
  • The documentation of the event serves as group memory.
  • It can be shared with others as a framework or a guide. 
  • It adds a creative and fun dimension to your event. 

So are you a Ninja or are you in need of one? Leave a comment behind! 
I hope you enjoyed this weeks post! 

Next week on VISUAL WEDNESDAY:  The Engaged VST!

Why Visual Story Telling?

Hello everyone! (*scroll down for article*)

As the new year begins you might have noticed changes in the website, and if you are new here then welcome! 

When setting up or re-refreshing your website, I always find you start looking at your work in a more detailed manner. Why do you offer this service? How can it help others? In my head all these answers were clear, but when trying to write them down, I realised how all over the place my brain was.

One of the reasons it was hard for me to write down this information is because it comes mainly from experience and I wanted to add background information (as the scientists inside me itched at every sentence without a proper citation). And therefore I have decided to make this a journey also for myself.

I will be writing a series of blog posts to explain: What is visual story telling? Why are visuals important? Why is creativity important in the workplace and in our free time? How can visuals help us convey the right message? And other questions that I think are relevant. If you would like to add any to this list feel free to post in the comments section! 

What is a visual story teller? 

Let's start at the beginning! I have found there are many names for this role: graphic recorder, visual note taking, info doodler and other creative combinations of two key words: drawing and information. A visual story teller can either work remotely on a commission as well live during an event. Within this article I will use the term visual story teller to convey all of the above.


It is hard to say if this work branch is a new phenomenon or not. Since where do you draw the line between an illustrator, a cartoonist or a visual story teller? They all narrate a story through images. But in my opinion, a visual story teller works mainly with information that has to be segmented into chunks that are easier to grasp. By doing this, it enables new insights and helps to display data in new and different ways. Which leads us to the next section. 


Why should you use visual information? 

  • The human brain processes many different type of information, form which a large percentage is dedicated to visual processing. So it’s no wonder visual information has a great impact on us. As It’s no surprise why the typical quote is used “a picture is worth a thousand words”.
  • The brain takes visual information faster and creates links in other ways than using only text. It knows the meaning and scenario immediately. 
  • Visual communication makes it easy for us to explain, understand and remember information that is important to us. 
  • By visualising information, you can mix, match and identify opportunities. 


Below a quick example with Meerkat facts. 

These are just some examples, but we go deeper into actual question of "What can a visual story teller do for you?" in the following weeks during Visual Wednesday

Do you have any questions or comments, please share these below! 

References for this article:

Data Visualisation: Why (1of2)
The Rise of the Infographic
The Power of Pictures

Keep an eye for updates through Facebook!

What happened in October?

Yes, November is almost ending... but we can still look back to October!!! A month of challenges, halloween and accomplishments! 


1. Just Like Any Other Day

That is the title of my newest Zine/comic book based on the everyday life of a teenage vampire. Inspired by the INKTOBER and Drawlloween Challenge, I had to make a drawing with ink for the whole month of October.

I decided to start with a character and develop its story each day based on the words from the Drawlloween list. It was great fun and frustrating as well, since during these challenges you do get to experiment but sometimes the lack of time just makes you (me) do something fast. In the end I was proud with not quitting and decided to print out a booklet! Soon to be on sale at the Etsy store!

And if you want to read a proper awesome comic about a Space Vampire (yeah!) check out Luna the Vampire! 


2. Artist Wake up Call

October was certainly a workshops month! During the summer I saw that one of my illustration/infographics heroes Sabine Wiseman was giving a 7 week course! And it was (still is) exactly what I needed. It has touched subject about my creative life that are very important, and as a coach Sabine is amazing! I couldn't meet her eyes during the first live workshop haha! 

For people in the Netherlands, highly recommend you to check out her work and her different workshops! More on the results of this course in the next blog post! 


Sven, one of my new clients needed some fun icons and a mascot to push his new dream forward! He is starting a summer volleybal camp in Portugal offering sport, beach and fun. This was the inspiration for the simple but yet clear icons. We also chose as a mascot the lucky Portuguese rooster! You will see more developments in the next blog post! 

4. MATS Children's Book Course

Workshops number 2! I have followed Lilla Rogers courses already, but this one just promised to be great and it was! 5 weeks of intense work on developing a portfolio for children's book illustrations. There was a story you had to keep using during the whole course and mine was The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear. I really enjoyed the process, but not so much my results. I would like to go back to them and do them again, since one week per exercise felt like very little. 

5. Back to the roots. 

Some of you know I studied Environmental Resource Management here in Amsterdam at the VU. This month I was very excited to have been asked to make 4 illustrations to accompany scientific text! It's an EU project on water scarcity and floods in Europe, and it is divided in 4 segments. Each illustration explains what the researchers are looking at. It was definitively a new approach and I was more than glad to have contributed! 

Walking back into my old institute was very rewarding. Even after 3 years of having left with a certain guilty feeling I was very happy to have been able to overcome this personal challenge and tick off that "to-do" box! 

October ended on a good note and in a very busy way! November until now has been a certain rollercoaster, but more on that soon! 


    What happened in September?

    Hello dear reader!

    I have been inspired by various artist that I follow on a way to keep my blog updated , at least for a post per month! ;)

    I will be posting a "what happened in (insert month here)?" blog on a monthly basis so I can share with you what I've been doing lately. This is also great way to tell you about the work I do for companies, which due to privacy, I can't upload online. SO here's the first one! 

    1. The Summer! 

      Oh summer how I miss you! 2 fantastic weeks in the northern half of Portugal! From visiting Lisbon, to walking next to the fossilised footsteps of diplodocus (OMG!), hiking, getting lost hiking, camping and attending a wedding. I have to say it felt longer than two weeks! 

      There was also so much inspiration for drawing! I have found a new love for pencils. My sketchbook didn't get as full as in other trips, but I came back with energy to recreate some fantastic scenes. I hope to have these as prints soon! 
    2. Maggi

      Maggi was a fun team to work with! I first came in to help them visualise their ideas for new spice mixes, they had various teams brainstorming new concepts and I created the visuals live on the spot, so they could pitch it to the other teams. The A3 posters explained:  what problem does the customer have? How will Maggi fix that? How does this specific Maggi mix work? End result! 

      From there, the best ideas went to a panel of costumers. For the second round I worked mostly digitally to create new posters with the revised versions. I am very curious to see which ones make it to shops in the future!  
    3. Moonshot

      Another live drawing job, this time at TNT and with a team of 4 illustrators! We were assigned to different teams that had 1 hour to plan their pitch and we visualised their ideas on a huge paper that would be their background. Not only was it again fun to do, but working together with other fellow artists was great. 
    4. New Pictures

      Dave Pelham is a good friend who I met at a local network event. He is a fabulous photographer who did a series for Trixibelle and me a few years back. This time I wanted new head shots as well as just pictures for my about page and just.. in general! I have to say some are very funny but most make me feel very good about myself! 

    So with this picture I finish this blog post and I'll see you soon! (Specially because today is the last day of October! ha)

    Searching for Metstli (Part 3 of 3)

    I've been dragging this story for a while, and what a best time to write it than one year after I took part in the amazing Pictoplasma Academy! 

    In the previous posts I showed how all the little pieces were being made and the development of the characters, and this was all relatively easy ... the hard part would be to put everything together and finish it off. The big question was if the air-dry clay would hold on the wire and if the pieces would stick to it. There was only one chance to do this, and to be honest if this hadn't worked out I have no idea what I would have done ha! 


    The tricky part of this process is that I had to trust there were enough pieces - since it all had to be stuck into the air dry clay within 24hrs. Also I had an idea of how it would look, but it was still a big improvisation and "going with the flow" thing in the end. 


    And once it was all set, it was time to let it dry. When I saw it all set up in grey tones (except a few things I had painted to try colours) with the soft salmon, I actually really liked it! Made me re-think if I should paint it at all... And of course something had to go wrong. The next morning I found cracks - probably from adding too much water to the clay. This meant reparation time and definitively adding color! 

    Painting all the details that were already stuck had its own tricks. But In the end it was great to  be at the final stages! And when it was all finished it was just the biggest achievement ever! BUT it still had to get to Berlin! Carefully packing everything and taking it home was the worst. Thankfully it made it in almost one piece.. just some minor details that broke - but were easily fixed! 

    After intense weeks of work, sleeples nights and just talking to my dog.. I made it to Berlin. That week at the Pictoplasma festival was too full of emotions and experiences that I can't put into words. It was great to have such a diverse show, see completely different approaches to character development and to have professional feedback on my piece. 

    For some reason I am still not sure how to continue with Pali's world. I think I've been stuck in the idea it has to be something grand and amazing. Prints, a book, a comic too many options and too much of a personal project to move carelessly around it. I hope I can find a way to close this chapter as it has defined so much of who I am as an illustrator and where my passions lie. 


    To finish this ridiculously long blog post, I would like to thank everyone that was there during this amazing journey - special shout out to Matt who without I would have never applied to pictoplasma to start with and came to help at each crisis, Raul, Anna & Nathan my pictobuddies that are so far but yet so close and we pushed each other onwards till the end, the Pictoplasma team without this would have never been possible (Rilla thank you for your positive energy!), Ad who was a life saver with his mad welding and carpentry skills, Victoria for being there and having the guts to get that studio for us, Adam Szuly Photography who took the amazing shots of my work-in-progress and end piece (even when his back was killing him), Joost & Tjido my family and love. 

    Yep that was cheesy as hell... 

    Cacti & Tea

    This year I entered again the Global Talent Search organised by Lilla Rogers. (You can click on the banner below to check out the website :) ) These challenges are always a true challenge for me since I feel as I have to do what others do and stick to the market, colours, trends etc... Which in a way you have to, but that tends to cloud my path. 

    This year I took a new approach and wanted to show you a bit of the process and final piece. 

    The Challenge

    The aim was to design a cup, saucer and napkin for a fictional character called Sunny. Sunny has a pastry shop and wants to open a tea room - she likes fun interesting designs. The brief we got was pretty detailed and long. 


    In my head I thought having cacti themed cups would be awesome, and of course this is a recurring theme right now in my drawings! Also I decided to add an armadillo, who is the same in Pali's world. And some extra icons to move around.

    I did all the drawings with watercolours and some white pens to add the details. Wanted to add more texture. 

    At first I thought about making a mock up on a real cup. But this is where in previous challenges I felt the design wasn't mine anymore, so this time I went for hand drawn elements. This was perfect! I also made a small character to make it more fun. 

    Time for a spot of tea?

    The challenge also included text. I went for a very British tea time quote given to me by a friend :) heres the final piece and also a zoom in to the cup and teapot (inspired by my grandma's tea pot I have at home!).

    As you can see my original cacti & armadillo idea quickly became a more decorative part of the illustration and the scene and feeling became more important: having a fresh cup of tea with a scone! 

    I personally love the color combinations and how the details worked out! 



    Searching for Metstli (Part 2)

    In Part 2 of the "Searching for Metstli" series,  I want to show how the characters of my Tree of Life were made. I started with what I thought would be the easiest working towards Pali, the main character and most complex one. 

    I had first intended to make 6 characters: 

    • Metstli - The moon
    • The Coyote - young, fun and trouble maker 
    • The turtle - goddess of rivers
    • The wise lizard - old and full of knowledge
    • The Armadillo - Pali's friend 
    • Pali - your cactus spirit and main character!

    But it was quickly obvious this was too ambitious - so in order to be sure I would finish this piece I decided to cut down the characters of the tree to 4. This turned out to be a smart move! 

    The process

    For all of the pieces I started with a wire frame, for the bigger bodies some aluminium foil filling and then Super Sculpey.

    After the sculptures were finished and baked, I sanded the pieces and added a primer coat. They were painted with acrylics and finished off with a matte varnish. 




    A Bumpy Ride

    This process was not always smooth! I had problems with my little oven that didn't regulate temperature so well, and was too small sometimes. The most dramatic moment was when trying to attach Palis head and her body... She was burnt and one of her feet burnt! 

    IT BURNT!!!!

    IT BURNT!!!!

    Success with foil package! 

    Success with foil package! 

    Had to take a break... and after allot of interent research I found a smart way to cook my pieces: with an aluminium foil bag. It's slower but much better!!! Sanding and filling made the pieces slik again. 



    The Turtle

    Goddess of rivers the turtle carriers the depths of water in her and supplies rivers and other water sources with this basic element for life. On one of her journeys she came across the Coyote, who was thirsty and tired. She told him to continue his path and he would find water, but being stubborn the coyote (without recognising who she was) decided instead to eat her. After being very sick and thirsty, he throws up and now understanding who she is, he sows all the pieces back together. This is why her shell is made up of pieces. 

    A GIF showing some pictures of the process until the primer is added. 

    A GIF showing some pictures of the process until the primer is added. 


    The Coyote

    Symbol of youth and adolescence, his decisions are not always the smartest ones. He is known in many legends as a joker and trickster- so he wanders the deserts looking for amusement. He has a close relationship with the moon, since he made his friend, the hare, jump so high he landed in the moon. 



    Pali is our main character and hero of the story! She's a small cactus spirit that helps cacti buds grow and flowers bloom. She can do her job thanks to her magic poncho that channels the moonlight to increases her powers. She grew up with family of pigmy owls and therefore has allot of knowledge. Her home is a tall cactus, but she frequently visits her friend Armadillo who helps tak care of the cacti buds. 


    The Moon

    I don't have so many pictures of the moon as it was actually my final piece and I was freaking out slightly. On Metstli we can see the white hare, the image that Pali sets out to find in her adventure! Metstli comes out to play when the coyote howls to her. 


    This was just the beginning...

    Next post will be the building of the tree, painting and the finished piece! 





    Searching for Metstli (Part 1)

    Hi everyone! 

    Again one of my sporadic blog posts to talk to you about my latest personal project: the Searching for Metstli sculpture! I think I will split this story in 3 parts so you can look at all steps. 

    It all started, as you might know, in September of 2015 as I attended the Pictoplasma Academy, where I developed my "owl kid" character to have a story of her own and a world. After those epic 10 days, we had 6 months to work on our piece for the final exhibition in May. 

    Through the upcoming posts, I want to show you some of my work-in-progress and the story behind this colourful sculpture and my main character Pali! 

    It all started with tons of research, a trip to Mexico to visit family and an urge to use my heritage in some way, as I have realised that it influences allot of what I do. So this image bowl is what I send and my master plan... 

    I have been fascinated by "arboles de la vida" (tree of life) since I can remember! So many details and colours, its one of my favourite craft works from Mexico! But I had never really thought about how they actually make them... so that was part of my research as well as deciding which materials to use. I went for Super Sculpey, a polymer clay that doesn't dry until you bake (and I had previously worked with it during Pictoplasma). The base would be wood and the frame made out of wire. the traditional tree is made completely out of natural clay. 

    I made a sketch of what it should look like and started making a"list" of how many elements I had to make (this list was such an underestimation!!!! hahaha). And then, well I slowly started working on some pieces and seeing what was realistic and what wasn't. 


    Next time I will show you how the characters developed and when tragedy struck... 



    ZINE Workshop!

    Hi Everyone! 

    I'm excited to invite you to my first Zine Workshop being held at 020 Studio - I'm trying out their spaces which I found out about not so long ago. It's a fantastic area with allot of space and sunlight! 


    So what what's the workshop about? 

    In this workshop you will learn:

    What is a zine? A zine is a self-publishing booklet. It can be about anything, recipes, a story or just fantastic images. 

    How do yo make one? There are different ways and formats, but we will look at 2 which are easy to make at home as well. 

    Make a draft Once you have chosen your theme you will make a plan about which image goes where. 

    Make your own zine! Finally you will be able to make your final zine to take home or the printer to get copies and spread around!


    How & Where

    This Friday the 22nd of May
    From 10am to 12pm
    Costs: €12.-
    Rietwijkerstraat 27, Amsterdam

    Join us! 

    Click on the button below to sign in! :D


    Questions? Get in touch! or 0618949149

    Can't come? Don't worry. there will be more to come! Keep an eye on the Facebook Page


    Your Day with May!

    I had been meaning to write this post for a few week already! I'm presenting again a fantastic person May Bletz, who is a Dutch language teacher! May has travelled and lived in many places around the world, so she know "what it means to be an expat" and can relate to what new people in the Netherlands want and/or need to learn.

    May asked for a visual story to communicate the Dutch lessons she offers tailored to your needs, but also to show who she is, and how fun it is to have a day with May!  


    We already had the sketch, but we needed to wait for the winter break to pass. And then, May got the fantastic news that she's now officially an NT2 Instructor!!! Congratulations May! 
    For those who want to get in touch with her you can look at her website HERE and if you click on the about page you can see this image: 

    The Bunny Chow Experience


    Meet Njabulo owner of the fantastic food truck The Bunny Chow Experience! We met last year through the giveaway I did at the Locally Yours Facebook Page- Njabulo wanted to explain what is a Bunny Chow to his clients. 

    Bunny Chow is curry in a bun! It is a versatile South African famous street-food, since not only can you choose the curry you want in your loaf of bread, but how it came to exist, has also many versions. We integrated all this into this visual story and also made a menu version for the truck itself!

    It has been very exciting to see Njabulo and his business grow, and currently the website is being re-built using the icons from the illustration. I'm looking forward to the spring when his truck is back on the streets! Follow him and his food truck through Facebook and his website

    2016 a Monkey Year!

    Happy Year Everyone! 

    The beginning of the year is a great moment to look back at the challenges and achievements, as well as to look forward to new adventures!

    I personally love to read the Chinese horoscope at this time of year - and a few websites later - I have learned that 2016 is the year of the Monkey. This means it will be year full of energy where everything can happen! BUT is you go too far with this bubbly energy you might crash. (Yeah, I also love the generic predictions of the horoscopes :P)


    With this in mind I have written my resolutions and one of them as you can see is to update this blog with more frequency so I can share with you all the amazing projects I’m involved in!

    I finished 2015 in a very positive note and through this post I wanted to show you just some of the cool things that happened:

    Mr Red Panda Christmas Cards

    This was a personal project that pushed me to finally open an Etsy shop as well as to be more active in local markets! I used the cards also as a way to promote myself, and while I gave them away I got new jobs, for example now I will be designing new cards for my local pet shop (after they printed 200 of my christmas cards with a personal note for their costumers) yay!

    I had not done Christmas cards due to lack of time and planning, so this year I was proud to have gone through with the idea. Mr Red Panda is definitively a great character and I will use him in the future as well. 

    Siku and Little Bear 

    One of the biggest projects in 2015! A self-published children’s book by Patricia Fernandez (a Spanish writer and mom living in Haarlem). The story is about an Eskimo boy who finds a lost  baby polar bear, and they both go on an adventure to find the little bear’s mother. The book is available in Spanish and English and in the future there will be a Dutch version as well. Her Facebook Page is HERE :)


    The illustrations were mostly done with traditional media, brush pens and Ecoline inks. Afterwards retouched digitally. I am excited to see the printed version! 


    Petra Fisher's CV

    I met Petra through the Locally Yours Network since she was looking for a swap of skills. Petra is an amazing Linked In Guru! Thanks to her my Linked In has been updated to what I do, the narrative flows and it looks more than decent! In exchange I made a visual CV for her and this was again a fantastic way to get to know Petra and I love how everyone has their own ideas of how their personal journey should look. 

    To know more about Petra check her website HERE and see her about page and LinkedIn to see how this CV has enhanced her social media!

    Pictoplasma Academy

    This was just too amazing for words - I was admitted to the Pictioplasma Academy’s Summer school in September. The course was about character and story development, it was an intense 10 days course. I learned SO much and met so many incredible people, it was definitively the highlight of 2015. For some strange reason, after coming back I never posted many pictures of this event, maybe because it had such and impact its been hard to pin down how it has changed me. In may I will be going to Berlin for the Pictoplasma Conference and I will be part of the main exhibition together with my other classmates! You will see updates on this as well!

    Visual CV's!

    Thanks to the giveaway in May I met Rosaria the woman behind Wow Now, a consultancy aimed at "improving customer service and happiness through needs identification, empathy and empowerment". This fun and energetic entrepreneur wanted something to make her presentations POP, and after being inspired by a TED-talk she decided that a Visual CV was what she needed!

    A Visual CV shows within one image who you are professionally and personally and it's a great way to stand out. 

    Brainstorming for a visual CV is also a great exercise to think about what exactly do you want your client to remember? What is actually important in your CV? How does your personality actually influence your services?

    For Rosaria we decided to focus on Who is Rosaria? What is Wow Now? Why work with Wow Now? and How does Wow Now improve your customer service? From here the one-page story came out! My personal favourite is the story of Rosaria's journey to Wow Now! 

    I want to show some work-in-progress shots and the final version. 


    And Rosaria left a small testimonial:

    Aafke is a really talented designer. She really took the time to understand my vision and what my business is about and brainstorming together we found an excellent way to make it all fit in one A4. I’m totally happy with her work and with her capability to work along with the client, fully listening to my needs, with a “make it happen” attitude and with great results!

    Do you want a Visual CV? Get in touch and let's meet!
    +31 6 18 94 91 49

    Global Talent Search

    Before the summer vacation I decided to take part of the Global Talent Search organised by Lila Rogers. I guess I wanted to try it out since I've taken 2 online courses and I wanted to see if the art licensing world is a path I'm good at (until now I feel I'm not at the level as other people).

    The aim was to create a design for sneakers, for a specific demographic and there had to be at least one word in the design. Personally, even though I love hand lettering, I would never buy shoes with words on them... so that was a challenge ;)


    I don't know how I came to the idea of flying fish. I was in Denmark and on a windy day kids were trying to fish with nets and cute small fishing poles, so maybe that was the spark. I also created a character, but for the girl we had to design for I felt it would be too cute. 

    I had other icons such as stars, water drops and different water-colour backgrounds. But in the end it all felt too much. I went down to the basics and then the last day, a friend told me she had been in Paris and she had seen everything was now BLUE - like bold, navy blue (yeah I'm terrible at colour names). And this is how I ended up with my final piece which I think would look really good in real sneakers but due to its simplicity I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't make it to the next round. At least I am very happy with the entry and wish the best of luck to everyone who participated!



    Yoga & Giant Bubbles

    I wanted to share with you some of the results from the giveaways from May! There are still other 3 but I don't want to overwhelm the post. 

    First off, one side of a small flyer made for Levensgeluk  - Janvi offers an arrange of services she wanted to convey in one page. She wanted a simple layout and the colours of her logo. I personally enjoyed drawing the yoga poses, specially the Parent-Child one!  


    Next is a colouring page for SuperbellenShop. Esther sells a full kit to make huge soap bubbles! Fantastic for any children's party or a nice summer day! Not only are they fun, she also works with charities and provides 10% of her gains to different projects. Also the main material of her bubble-making-kit is made in India by women rescued through Justice and Care . 

    This colouring page was meant to include these details as well as provide an extra activity for children's parties. You can download the page here and colour it! Can you spot Tjido?





    Summer Shuffle

    As summer continues bringing sunshine, I decided to take a serious look at my website again and well... shuffle it all!

    I haven been meaning to do this, but as always, time seems to get away quite easily. One of the mayor changes is the simplification of the menu as well as the new logo! 

    First Sketches for the header. 

    First Sketches for the header. 


    I decided that I needed to create something for the header and a logo (even if its temporary) I could identify with. I'm happy with how it came out! Now I feel much more excited about my website. 

    On other news, before I leave for a brief summer vacation I wil share some of the results of the give-away visual story telling. Some are already on the illustrations page!