Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dreamy clouds // water colored foxes // geometric crosses // cute little ballerina girls // My Little Hands - Australia

Usually I am working on new winter and Christmas themes during summer. But for a new client I sat down for some summer designs. When days are getting colder here in Holland Australia is warming up. Time to show off some new Australian summer designs for My Little Hands.

My Little Hands is an online shop, a place to find all things beautiful for your little one’s including bedding for babies and children, clothing, floor rugs and room decor including wall art, garlands and wallpaper.

The Australian company is run by the gorgeous Emma Colombera. She has a heart for true designs and asked me to create a range of products for her shop. We started out with a series around the water colored foxes. A cute simple repeat of these yellow creatures is now available on cute blankets and other MLH items.

We also have been working on a cute series of pastel clouds. This dreamy print is suitable for both boys and girls, available in soft pink, mint and baby blue. Emma told me she has a weak spot for ballet and also hand picked the Ballerina designs for her shop. Of course for this season some geometric designs are part of the series too. A cute crosses design with small aztec detailing. Sounds good? Well, take a look in My Little Hands shop and check the summer entire collection. Enjoy!

Monday, October 20, 2014

New winter collection of phone cases // Daily Objects

Another season, another batch of gorgeous Indian designs. For Daily objects India we just finished a new series of surface pattern designs just in time for the holidays. Browse through more that 200 designs and pick your fav gift!

The winter season is coming, so for this series of designs we have been making some cold woodland inspired design. Organic shapes and raw garden themes in soft colors. There are also some new Indian themes: of course some new peacock designs and some retro American inspired art will be part of the new collection too. Take a look on the Daily Objects website and order your favorite design.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sources of inspiration: New York Yay! Series // fabric // postcards // home decor

I was a dreamer at 15. I wanted to go and see the world and luckily my father supported the idea of studying abroad for a year. Just before my 16th birthday I took off on my first trip to the United States. Where I crisscrossed the country. We took a long walk to the Golden Gate Bridge. Ate a one foot high sandwich in Salt lake city. Yes that is to be considered huge in Holland… We crashed at some awesome peoples home in Atlanta and we went to see New York. It was the first trip that made me realize I wanted to see the world.

Although I never went back until last year this country is my first taste of traveling. Letting go of what you know. Go with the flow and pick up the different energy while moving from place to place. Enjoy simple every day things and go back home appreciating what you take for granted.

This year, after receiving Shutterstocks Grant Prize I decided to go back to New York. Working for a company that invited me to come and see the new Empire State Building office, it was all work no play of course.

I love the buzzing streets of New York, where your eye gets drawn to the high architecture and people are in a constant state of hurry, but also enjoy life in little moments by themselves in a park or coffee shop. The city surprised me: I always have this sense of restlessness within me, but when I visited New York, I felt this sense of easygoing peace and calm, like I was home. It's also visually mind-blowing. Street art and high-end designer shops go hand in hand. NYC is the ultimate destination for a designer like me, where constant movement is inescapable, there's room for both culture and business, and, if you set your mind to it, everything seems possible. A multicultural melting pot, which I love.

I love traveling alone and getting lost in places I have never been before. I stumbled upon an expo of graduation students, met some interesting young artists with amazing refreshing work. Goosebumps people! Another stroll from my loft to the high line brought me through the romantic streets of the West Village with it's beautiful brown stones with the typical soundtrack of New York in the back: spring sparrows. An old lady walked by and told me luck would be coming my way... It had already found me.

After I came back from this trip I have been making some new US and New York themes. Some for fabric, some for my pug loving friends back in Brooklyn and a new series for iphone cases and postcards. I still have to create so many things though. So yes, I call them my New York Yay series.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Christmas is on it's way // new seasonal prints & fabric

Christmas. It is on it's way. Decorations are already up in New York and when it's up in New York Christmas is on it's way. During the summer we have been working on new winter and christmas themes for surface pattern design, postcard designs and of course a great chunk of the new seasonal prints is also available on fabric now.

For me personally Christmas always has been a bit of a dreadful experience. With family clashes, angry grannies and weird presents I was always happy to return to school after two weeks of family awkwardness. Now that I am older I tend to flee the country around the holidays. But I love the seasonal vibe and decorations. I am always happy to work on new Christmas themes and the romance of the tale. Designing new prints with fun winter themes and Christmas icons. No, I adore making new seasonal work. Hope you enjoy the new christmas designs too.

Of course you can also do some Little Smilemakers Christmas shopping for your friends and family. Have you seen the new prints available via Daily Objects? I have been working with this company for a year now and there are over more than 200 cases available. They company sells iphone cases for also cases for Samsung, HTC, Nexus, just name it. Take a look and see for yourself.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Hello October // Colorful transition time

Hello October! My favorite time of the year. When leaves change color and a renewed buzzing energy fills up the working days. When temperature drops but we still pretend there is nothing wrong with getting a drink on a terrace, just stretching summer and enjoy every second of what's left of the warmth. October is a month of transitioning. Letting go & preparing for what is to come and don't forget: make room for new things.

Many things are happening! This fall the new Veritas collection will be launched. The fall winter collection contains new bags, scarfs, cosy home wear and lot's of new fun accessories. After the very successful collection last year I was asked to make an entire collection of prints. Can not wait to see it in the shops.

This past summer has been a crazy hectic one where we welcomed a few new customers from the UK, Poland, South Africa and Australia. Now we are approaching winter most projects get finalized. Hopefully the new finished products will be launched shortly. We have been working on some nursery collections, a new fabric range and cute little shoes for toddlers. It always takes a while before the prints are finished and the finished products are ready. Can not wait to see it all! Of course it will be up here too.

And of course. With every new season there are new designs in the Spoonflower fabric shop. New winter 14/15 prints are up. Make sure to order in time for christmas and skip the holiday rush!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Finished projects made by customers // DIY passport cover // Baby nursery home // Lion dinner set for kids

After a lot of hard work it is lovely to see finished items. Sometimes it can take up to a year before we get to see the final result. Here is a little piece about some of the great ways Little Smilemakers designs are used by clients and fabric customers.

There are quite some travel themes in the Little Smilemakers fabric collection. For asian themes to New York inspired illustrated patterns. A Spoonflower customer send us this little passport case photo this week. And as travel addicts we love to see this travel themed finished project made with Little Smilemakers New York City fabric available at Spoonflower.

La Millou has a range of Little Smilemakers designs in their nursery collection. The hipster design, the Parisien design, Foxes and one of our all time favorites is the Toucan Birds design. A colorful patchwork style print for both boys and girls. The print is available on blankets, pillows, little hats and lot's more!

For Triple 8 Design Studios in Australia we have worked on some cute bamboo fibre biodegradable dinner sets. One with Lions but also one with cute little dinosaurs. So much fun to have these on your kids breakfast table! And after these there is even more to come.

We are always excited to see the result! So if you have been working with Little Smilemakers fabric or if you have some fun items to show that are in your little kids bedroom or in your household please share your Little Smilemakers via the facebook page.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A graphic designer's worst nightmare // Family wedding invitations

I also have the occasional family invitation to make. This month my father will be marrying his girlfriend of 15 years. Finally they took some time to save the date and tie the knot. I created a batch of cards and invitations with some portrait illustrations of the couple and their little dog baby.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Open Monument Day // Top 5 historical places to visit in The Hague

As you may know already: nothing is more terrifying to me than doing the same thing day every day. Living in the same city for over 7 years now is quite the challenge too. So thank god for Open Monument day. One day in the year all Dutch Monuments are open to public. Amazing old buildings and historical landmarks open their doors for the public. A great day enjoy some new things in the city.

Usually I miss these kind of events that take place and only ready about it afterwards but this year, although it said Sunday on my calendar, I made it this Saturday! I love to explore new things and Open Monument Day is a great way to get to know your own city. The Hague has a lot of impressive architecture and a great history of politics and of course traces of the Royal Family. I think over the years I have gotten to know The Hague quite a bit. I try every new lunchroom that opens in town. Go to the galleries, museums and try to enjoy it to the fullest. This is a great day to explore the city without spending a crazy amount of money. So here is a little top 5 of places to visit while staying in The Hague.

1 Pulchri Studio // Art Gallery
This Art Gallery is my all time favorite in town. This well known art society dates back to 1847. Run by artists and art lovers this place keeps buzzing. The gallery is located in the beautiful historical district of The Hague and doesn't look too bad itself. Downstairs you can find some original interiors and upstairs the large glass panel roof brings in the daylight. You can see and purchase paintings, sculptures, photographs and, well, everything that meets 'Art' you can find here. Pulchri Studio has new shows every few weeks, is free of charge and is open for public 6 days a week. If you are passionate about art this is a great place to look around, find some new inspiration and enjoy a glass of wine on the terrace. If you would like to know what's going on check their calendar on the website.

2 Paleis Kneuterdijk // The Council of State
The Council is one of the High Councils of State regulated by the Constitution, which carry out their tasks independently of the government. The Council is situated in Paleis Kneuterdijk that was build in 1730. The palace was the home of several generations of Royal Family and changed into government offices around 1937. So the building itself is like a patchwork of architectural diversity. A must see is the gothic hall that was built around 1840. A room with stained glass windows and a dramatic arched roof.

3 Hotel Des Indes // Luxerious grandeur
This elegant hotel in the heart of The Hague was built in 1858 and first in use as city palace before becoming a hotel in 1881. The luxurious hotel has welcomed royalty and celebrities from Dalai Lama to Rolling Stones. The hotel is like a story book where great ball room dances took place and history was written.
The ground interior, lounge and restaurant is an extravagant place filled with colorful patterns and golden detailing, with vaulted ceilings and elegant draperies. If you want to experience the one of a kind atmosphere make sure you book a high tea or sit down for a glass of bubbles in the salon. You can also watch the Dutch documentary that was made about this iconic hotel.

4 Regentes // Art Deco swimming pool transformed into theater
This Art Deco building was built in 1920 and was the first indoor swimming pool in Europe at the time. Nowadays it is the home of Theater De Regentes. The interior still has typical swimming pool elements. Little signs with typography, the large pool is transformed into a lounge that still shows the original pool tiles and in the main theater you can still see the little dressing rooms on the side of the hall. I am a big fan of theater and performing arts and love to see what happens behind the scenes. The building is a fun mix of Art deco and creative energy. If you want to look inside, go see a play.

5 Kloosterkerk // Protestant church and concert hall
I am not religious but I enjoy seeing churches and temples where ever i go. The Kloosterkerk is a protestant church members of the royal family like Princess Beatrix visit frequently. The church has a dramatic exterior and the original foundations of the building date back to 1540. If you are curious to look inside you can attend a sunday service or visit one of their musical concerts.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

New quirky owls baby goods // Kalamati Poland

Once there was a penguin print that ended up being more of an owl design. Still this design is one of my favorite kids prints I have made this year. So of course I was very happy when Kalamati contacted me to purchase the license.

I have been working together with a few different companies in baby and kids textiles this year but this series of products is definitely one of the high lights. Kalamati is a company that specializes in baby and kids goods. As you can see the fabric is not only very handy at home or in your little ones crib but you can also use it outdoors during these last few days of summer. For now this design is only available in Poland and via their website. So if you are in love with this print you will need to hurry up to get yourself one of the blankets of toy animals.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Yoga & Meditation Retreat // Flyers & Posters

For a few years I have been working for a little Yoga studio here in the neighborhood close to The Hagues city center. The studio is run by Diana van Gelder who teaches Hatha Yoga classes and organized Morning Meditations on Saturdays.

My work keeps me working on my computer for quite some hours each day so I love to attend her classes and balance my body and mind. And after a few years of knowing Diana I started doing some work for her. Her studio flyer, beach posters. Right now I am working on a flyer for a little retreat Diana is organizing next year.

I haven't been doing too much graphic work lately. I have been very busy with illustrations and surface pattern design so it is nice to work with image and type again. The retreat is a combination of Yoga classes, meditation and massages and of course a lot of 'me' time to relax and enjoy the food and culture of the Algarve. A great way to relax and take it easy in an amazing area of Portugal. If you would like to know more about her Yoga & Meditation retreat, check her website for more information about dates and prices.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Veritas press event // the amazing new office // presenting their new end-of-year collection

This past tuesday Veritas had organized a press event in their new office to show their festive end-of-year collections of accessories and new fabric. I was invited to make a little presentation about the designing process of the new fall collection I created and show attendees the final result of the entire collection that will be in shops by the end of this year.

The day started with a little tour around the amazing new office. Vanessa Boel, head of styling and visual branding manager at Veritas, had the opportunity to shape her own office environment and took on the job as decorator. With little spontaneous threats of typography and inspiring quotes. Room for creative projects and workshops. Little nooks to hang out and create your own cozy bubble, the building now reflects what Veritas has stand for, for over more that 100 years. A company that stimulates individual creativity.

After a delightful Christmas themed lunch it was time to get something done. Press and bloggers were invited to join several workshops, get a little make over and also listen to my story about the new collection that will be in shops this November.

New woman's accessories, sewing supplies, cozy home wear and fabric. It will be all available very soon. I will keep you posted!

Although talking about my process and design workflow is not really my thing I have enjoyed every minute of it. It was so much fun to feel this great energy going around the building, talk to so many inspirational people. Thank you Veritas for an incredible day! And of course a big thanks to all peeps that came over to check out the fall collection.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Back to school // Time to start new crafty projects

It's that time of the year again. The weather is changing, the days are getting shorter and new things
are happening. I love this time of the year. When it feels good to stay in and watch a movie and you don't
feel like missing out on anything.

It is time to go back to work, or back to school for the little ones. My vacation is yet to come so I still have something to look forward to. This summer has been unusually busy so for me, my summer is postponed till September I guess. But with all new projects starting up that might be wishful thinking! So much to do! Since it is 'back to school' time I have been adding new fall and winter themes to the Spoonflower shop. I also have been working on some NYE themes and christmas prints already. So if you feel like starting new crafty projects take a look!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Bebè Casa Fabrics | Original Little Smilemakers designs for Kids fashion and home decor

So happy to show this new collection! I have been working for a new fabric company in Poland. A new start up with a collection of new fresh designs for kids fabrics. Jan, head of the company was looking for colorful prints after the birth of his new born. He saw my work via Shutterstock and approached me for the fabric license.

"From newborns to parents, we are set on a journey to help create an environment of joy through colourful, vivid fresh design that each will fall in love with. Original patterns curated by young, skilled, world-class designers." - Jan, Bebè Casa

As a start up there is so much to do, I know all about the complexity of starting your own company and how exhausting taking care of all those little details can be. But the first designs are now available. And there will be more to come in the months to come. So if you are looking for a genuine manufacturer of Little Smilemakers fabric in Europe. Stay with us for more and follow us here and via the new & fresh Bebe Casa Facebook page.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cultural season kick off | Cover design & illustrations // Uitagenda Rotterdams Uitburo // Stof Rotterdam

During my internship I was lucky enough to work as a graphic designer for Rotterdamse Schouwburg. Now, almost 10 years later, I collaborated with Albert (my former mentor during my internship) again. Meanwhile he set up his own design agency; Stof Rotterdam in Rotterdam and this time we worked together for Rotterdam's Uitagenda and this is the result. I was asked to make the Magazine's cover for this years start of the cultural season and a series of colorful kids illustrations for the Children's Agenda insert. I am a great fan of live performances, theater and music and I realized, while working on this project, I miss that creative energy going around, working in this creative energetic environment. Uitburo Rotterdam has also published a short interview on their website which you can read here. All in Dutch! Sorry guys.

So I am very happy I will be back working for performance theater this upcoming year too. I am part of a team working for Stills. A performance written by Caroline Rottier that will be part of the Art Brut project during Mons 2015, Cultural Capital of Europe 2015.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Happy birthday Dick Bruna // The man that made me follow my dream and inspired me to do what I am doing today // A short story about an amazing illustrator

I wanted to write about this man for ages but never got around to do so. This summer Dick Bruna decided to stop illustrating and enjoy retirement after 61 years of creating whimsical illustrations. And with his birthday today I thought this would be a great day do drop something about this warm Mister.

For those of you that do not know this man, a little introduction: Dick bruna was the creator of Miffy, the little adventurous bunny little toddlers all over the world get to know during their bedtime stories. But he has also made numerous other books and stories and started his career as a graphic designer.

During my Graphic Design studies we had to interview someone we looked up to. I knew that mister Bruna has had worldwide success with his great Miffy books but I also loved where he came from. A history in book publishing, designing book covers for years, yes I wanted to meet this man.

I wrote him a long letter about how awesome I thought he was. Yes, I felt like a teenage groupie going on 22 back then and I never expected a letter in return. He welcomed me to visit him in his Studio in Utrecht. So I prepared some questions, packed my camera and took a train to his hometown Utrecht to meet him.

When I rang the bell and Dick Bruna opened the door I remembered my first thought was; what a sweet smile, his eyes were twinkling and his mustache made his smile look even bigger. He welcomed me with a big hug and offered to make me some tea. While he was preparing our drinks in his studio kitchen he told me he loved interviews, because inviting people over would give him a good excuse to buy some of his favorite cookies. But why they were all so interested in his story he could not figure out. " I am just a man that has made some books, I am not any more special that a guy on the street."

"If someone takes the effort to sit down and write me a letter, sending a responds is the least I can do."

We sat down for a chat and I was caught up in his stories right away. He talked about his daily drawings for his wife before leaving home, how he took his bike to the studio every single day and I loved how he spoke about his fans. Little kids from all around the world sent him little artworks and drawings. Mister Bruna made room in his studio to save each and every single piece that came by mail and told me he sat down to answer all those expressions of admiration, letters, postcards, everyone got a personal thank you from his hand. After all these years, still making time to do so! I was so moved, a man would put so much effort into others.

He showed me his studio. With an impressive bookcase with all his Dutch children's books but also translations of the Miffy books, published all over the world. A little nook to sit in with cushions and kids artwork everywhere. He picked up some artwork "Look what amazing pieces of art. This stencil art was send by a little girl all the way from China, can you believe that?" He opened one of his cabinet drawers and showed me some folders and flyers, some logo designs and magazines that he had worked on. An entire very impressive portfolio was lying there, right in front of me. With his typical colorful illustrations and clean crisp typography. And then I saw his drawing table. His glasses, pencils and a large sketchbook. He told me drawing was not as easy anymore. His hands sometimes were too shaky and it took much more time to drawn clear clean lines like he used to. "But now it is up for your generation, nowadays the industry is much more competitive it must be a lot harder to make ends meet with doing what I do. But remember this, it is possible. If a small man from Utrecht can do it, you definitely can do it too."

It has been a great ride: 120 children's books and a respectable age of 87. Mister Bruna, please enjoy your well deserved retirement. Your work will influence many generations to come. And you have inspired me to follow my heart and take the risk to do what I love. I find myself working in my own studio, just doing what I love and people happen to pick up on my work. Thank you mister Bruna! You are an inspirational man.

If you ever visit Utrecht you can also visit the Miffy Museum: The Dick Bruna House, which is very close to Centraal Museum. It is a great place to visit with kids.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A brief visit to Antwerp // City of delicious beer // Jazz // Vintage shops and cultural heritage.

This summer I decided to house sit for friends of ours. I love working from abroad, working out of the office is a great fuel of inspiration and not having a vacation to look forward to, this was a great change. Now I have made a little short list of places I love. Of course there is no way you can bring it down to 5 but maybe you can keep these in mind while visiting the city in the future.

Antwerp is the first city I escaped to after finishing high school. A brief study of Fine Arts introduced me to this great city. My father was also living near Antwerp for over 13 years so I always felt connected to this city and so I have seen how much the city changed after 15 years. Of course this is the capital of fashion with top designers like Haider Ackermann and Dries van Noten but there is so much more to this city than just that love of surface.

Great museums like MAS, Muhka and of course the Beer Brewery Museum. Walking through the city you can see an amazing mix of architecture from the surface but there is much more to see inside. Stop by the old city Library, Henrik Conscience, a small library close to the cathedral, with an amazing collection of old books and a breathtaking interior. If you are a big fan of music you will find numerous places to enjoy live performances. The Muze, an old smokey jazz cafe. Do check out their live agenda if you plan on visiting the city. Great jazz musicians have performed here and this old building by it's self has such a vibrant energy. Antwerp is also a shopaholics paradise.

The city has a great amount of boutiques and shops. Eat your heart out! For vintage lovers: check out the Kloosterstraat for quirky retro furniture or visit the Kammenstraat and Nationalestraat for some old vintage fashion, this area has enough little shops to spend an entire afternoon. But well, down to my favorite top 5 of the city, before I go on and on…

1 Espoo Nordic Design // Vlaamse Kaai
Scandinavian design never seems to go out of fashion. During my trip to new York earlier this year I noticed it this European trend taken over design shops, fashion and furniture design there as well. This design shop was the first Scandinavian design shop to open in Antwerp. They have a great collection of Nordic brands like HAY, Ferm Living, Donna Wilson and Muuto. I love interior decoration and spotting new accessories. If you like clean, light and crisp design you will love this shop. They offer great pieces of furniture, lightning, but they also have amazing little presents and gifts. I founds a gorgeous little necklace here made out of copper. Unfortunately Scandinavian design remains pricy. For a designer like me most furniture is way out of my league. But a girl can dream!

2 Botanical Garden // Leopoldstraat
This little piece of green heaven was built almost 200 years ago next to the old hospital to grow medicinal herbs. Nowadays it is a small park in the middle of Antwerp's city center. Close to Mechelseplein. I love to sit down with a sketchbook and home made lunch and spend a hot summer afternoon in the shade drawing. The garden also has an indoor desert garden with a great collection of cactus plants. You can only visit the indoor garden during weekends. Well worth the visit, they are gorgeous!

3 't Stad leest // Steenhouwersvest
I am a big fan of book shops, in Holland every book stored seems to despair. Every time I visit Antwerp I go treath myself on a long afternoon of booknerding. This beautiful book store is located in a little street near the shopping city center and offers a great amount of children's book and design books. So yes, I love it! But they also sell paper goods, stationary and small home decor items too. A great place to find some inspiration. It also has 'real' books too, just in case you were wondering.

4. Cafématic // Vleminckveld
As a designer working from home I love to search for cute little lunch spots. I found this lunchroom near the Kammenstraat when was working in Antwerp last year during a theater project. This little place, filled up with vintage furniture, offers a great variety of healthy home baked goods. I am a big fan of the Chai Latte, of course. But make sure you leave some room for desert too. Cafematic is also a fun place for a quick stop while on a shopping spree. Antwerp is a city with delicious food so finding a place with good ingredients and a great menu is not very hard. I love this place because of the very friendly staff and the cosy atmosphere.

5. FoMu // Waalsekaai
One of the reasons I really adore Antwerp is it's cultural heritage and a great selection of museums. It is hard to pick just one but for me photography in one of my greatest passions so I would have to choose this amazing museum, all about photography and film. I have seen an amazing selection of politically engaged photographers. Where lot's of museums only show the photograph itself, this museum is uncensored. They tend to pick artists that have something to say over pure esthetic. I am always surprised to see how well documented the collections are and how much effort is but into the story behind the image. There is a big exposition about war photography including images of Richard Mosse, which is definitely worth a visit.

Photo info L/R: Cafematic // Antwerp central station // Botanical garden // Mas Museum // Historical city center // FoMu photograph by Richard Mosse // Espoo Butic

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Beach tote tutorial // Cacti Garden project

Spoonflower has had another Little Smilemakers feature on the blog this week. This week, Spoonflower's guest blogger Sara from Radiant Home Studio has been working on a tutorial including this teal & mint colored pattern. If you are curious about how to make this tote bag yourself just visit the Spoonflower blog. Sara also has her own blog on which she posts new sewing tutorials frequently. So if you are looking for some inspiration visit her website and take a look at all the gorgeous projects that she has posted so far.

I must say I am quite happy with the cactus trend going on in crafters-land. I have made this illustrated pattern a few years ago and now this print is one of my best-selling designs for fabric and paper goods. If you would like to purchase a piece of this awesome fabric just check out the Little Smilemakers fabric shop.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Shutterstock Contributors Drink & Draw Rotterdam

A few months ago I was asked to set up a contributors meeting for all Shutterstock Illustrator Contributors. Lot's of create people work by themselves from their home office so this was a nice chance to get some traction from outside of this usual working space. Meet colleagues, chat about work, illustrations and design and hopefully inspire others to also come and join.

Over 40 people showed up on our first Drink & Draw and to give contributors some more insight about the company they have been working for, Gerd had prepared a small presentation. About the company, how it all started, their vision and some information about latest trends.

It was such fun meeting contributors from all parts of the country. One of them told me she was so happy to finally meet other Shuterstock contributors. She had never met any other illustrators before our meet-up. And I understand how nice it can be to get to know others in the business. Learning form each other is so important. If you don't read the blog or forum, working in stock can be lonely, working from your home studio. But I think this is a great first step to get to know each other, people with same interests exchanging experiences and tips.

Hopefully we can do another Drink & Draw soon and keep this great energy alive.

I was amazed by all the positive responds, fun chat's and great feedback. Hopefully we can do another Drink & Draw soon and keep this great energy alive. And I hope to have more time to talk to each of you and to know all of you. Thank you Shutterstock (tnx Jennifer!) for letting this great event happen and a big thanks to Gerd for his presentation and 'props' and the Lungo Rotterdam staff for their great help.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Oh dear! Oh dear! I'm late! // Alice in Wonderland // Some long overdue fabric designs

When I was a little girl Alice in Wonderland was my very favorite book. I kept her story underneath my pillow hoping to dream about her adventures in this amazing country of smoking caterpiller's and awesome non-birthday parties. I was fascinated by the cat, the colors, the diversity of settings and places. Stuck in a hallway, lost in a forest. Her story seemed to take her a lifetime.

When Tim Burton made a movie about this children's book, oh my, I couldn't wait to see it. With Johnny Depp starring as the Mad Hatter. How could someone top that? Although I loved the screenplay, I am a big fan of Tim Burton, the new book I found was even better. Now, many years later I am still taken by this amazing trip of Alice and see myself buying a book for my little niece. Rebecca Dautremer has illustrated an amazing book of illustrations that tell this story in a visual way. Gorgeous drawings that go far beyond my imagination.

Feeling all 'wow' again about this story I decided to make my own little Alice in Wonderland set of designs containing 3 seamless patterns for both boys and girls fabric. Designs that will be available in the official Little Smilemakers Studio fabric shop at Spoonflower within a few weeks. I had so much fun making this. Hope you will like the prints too.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Crazy Cat Planner // Ankepanke brings 50+ illustrators together for her new project // Pre-order now!

"About 5 weeks ago it started to ‘itch’ again and I felt like creating a new planner" Ankepanke says. Maybe you’ve seen the GIRL or Pretty in Pink planner? This time it’s a Crazy Cat Lady planner! 50+ creatives from all over the world participate in this new project.

Ankepanke has taken initiative to, once again, bring all these amazing pieces of art together. Last year she already made the Pretty in Pink planner in which I was asked to participate as well. This year I send in my most recent Cat theme. You can now pre-order the Crazy Cat Planner in her Etsy shop. So sign up if you are a cat lady and you wish to get a copy. If you are curious about Ankepanke's work check out her blog.

Here are a few of the amazing illustrations that are featured in the planner.
Click on the images to go to the creators website.