Last couple of weeks I worked in Rotterdam on my project ‘Trashures’ in which I make paintings of found objects and graphic shapes on worn wood. I like to show the beauty in things people mostly don’t notice. An ode to the ordinary, because beauty is everywhere. Also in common, dirty, nondescript stuff lying around on the streets.
Normally it is something I do in between (illustration) jobs. Whenever I have the time. It seemed like an interesting experiment to experience the effect of some solo Trashures workingtime. I brought with me a big box of materials.
My appartment there felt like a second home soon. On day 1 I started making a shape collection. I drew the found objects I had brought. This collection, which will only be growing in the future, will help me designing new ‘Trashures’.
It was interesting to experience what an ideal workingday was for me (a slow starter who likes to work late). To feel that flow, without worrying about cooking or groceries or whatever, was so nice. I experimented with new materials, styles and techniques. I read books that I wanted to read for a long time. I tried to focus not on the result but on the fun of creating. Without the pressure of wanting to make something really good, the best things happen.
These weeks were a usefull reset that filled me with new ideas and energy to continue working on this at my homestudio. Some distance now and then, changes your perspective, which is good. Also, talking to and meeting collegues (they’re everywhere in Rotterdam!) can be so inspiring.
(PS Apart from all the shapes I have drawn, I also made a new work on worn wood: Trashures 1.15. Inspired by a ceramic shard I found during a walk and some beachfindings).
Trashures, small pieces of art on worn wood of found objects and graphic elements, can now also be found on Instagram. So if you’d like to be kept updated and if you enjoy a peak behind the scenes now and then, this is the place to be.
‘De steen en de tijd’ is out now! The picturebook tells the poetic story of from a boulders point of view through time. Starting 150.000 years ago until now.
It is one of the twenty CPNB themetitles.
You can order it here.
Looking for an original present? Perhaps you’re moving or renovating and you’d like to have a reminder of what once was? Photographs of the location can be ‘Stop:watched’ by me.
Please mail me for more info.
After my visit to Lille earlier this year, I visited the city again this october to do the same but this time at ‘L’Institut pour la Photographie’ in Vieux-Lille. The museum just recently opened. There are several (photo)expositions, they serve delicious food and during the weekends there are DJ sets. All is free accessible.
The building will be renovated next year. Because they want to save something of the old building before everything is gone, they invited me to work with a group of kids (8-15 years old) for a couple of days. After an introduction and some games they took photographs of the place. Some photos were selected and printed. With paper, glue and scissors the photos were ‘stop:watched‘ by the kids. These photos will be a lasting memory of how the place used to be. They can be seen until the end of the year at the museum.
I proudly present you ‘Blekkie bestaat echt’, my newest picturebook with Judith Koppens! A couple of years ago Judith and I got the idea for this book. And now it is finally there!
Blekkie bestaat echt’ tells the story about a girl and her imaginary best friend Blekkie.
De Boekenbus has arrived! A childrens book filled with twenty (dutch) rhymes about travel and transport. Written by Rian Visser and illustrated by me. You can order it here.
Because of my project Stop:watch and my books ‘Dans la ville’ and ‘Dans la rue, L’ institut pour la photographie Lille invited me to work with a group of 9/10 years old at Diderot elementary school.
The first day we started with a short introduction and some warming-up games. The second day we went outside to take pictures and the final day the kids worked on their printed photos with collage technique. What I do with Photoshop, they did with paper, glue and scissors. The results were really great as you can see on the pictures!
For me it was an exciting week, speaking and teaching in French. The kids were so enthousiastic and really involved, Alice Rougeulle from the Institut was marvellous guiding me, taking care of everything. And the teachers made me feel very welcome. So merci à vous.
DICHTER. is Plints Dutch poetrymagazine for kids aged 6 to 106. Each number ( four issues per year) contains almost 75 new poems by almost 30 poets. One illustrator gets to illustrate one issue. I was asked to illustrate the spring issue made in cooperation with De Domijnen in Sittard-Geleen (NL). There you can visit the expo ‘Tijdsbeelden’ (01/27/19 – 04/2819). Some pictures of objects shown in the expo can also be seen in DICHTER 11. Topped with a Stop:watch sauce of course. DICHTER. can be bought at Dutch bookstores or online at Plint.
My dad was a true collector and I think I inherited that from him. In my studio I have this big wooden box in which I keep most of the stuff I find: branches, stones, shells, all sorts of things. Most of it is very common, but there’s just something about it I like. The shape of it, the colours. And then I have to take it with me. I made compositions with a few of those objects and I painted them on (found) pieces of wood.
In 2015 French publisher Le Diplodocus published my Stop:watch-book ‘Dans la rue’. In 2018 they asked me if I wanted to do a second book. And now, here it is! It’s called ‘Dans la ville’. For this book I made a roadtrip in March 2018 with our campervan through Belgium, France, Italy (where I also visited the Bologna Childrens’ Book Fair ), Switzerland and Germany. On the road I took lots of photos. A selection was used for ‘Dans la ville’.
‘Dans la ville’ can be ordered at le Diplodocus. They also made a fun video of the book which you can view here.
Windowlicker is a vertical silkscreenproject and is initiated by the Cowboy Killers. On the windows of twelve buildings in Leeuwarden screenprints were made by several artists, including Helehelena. We took photos of several objects in coffeecompany Blikspuit and used those to make a design. We printed them on the top windows of the company.
Helehelena is also on instagram.
Some new books have been published. I just counted all the books I illustrated and at the moment there are 123 books on my shelf. From left to right: Niet bijten! Stefan Boonen (uitg.Zwijsen), De dokter is kwijt, Bianca Antonissen (uitg.Personalia) and Dat mag niet weg! Annelie Ansingh (uitg.Zwijsen). I posted some illustrations from these books on my illustration page.
In collaboration with Dutch publishing house Loopvis, Mara Piccione and I (aka Helehelena) designed and screenprinted a series of 3 limited edition notebooks.
Get them here (€8,95 each and €24,50 for the set).
April 14 – May 19 Shop Around presents in cooperation with Concerto and Record Store Day: ‘Vinylize’! Several illustrators and artists will create new artwork on top of an albumcover they picked for an expo at Concerto, Amsterdam. I picked this Lady Gaga album. Not really my cup of tea music-wise, but that pink hat just begged me to be turned into a pudding. Afterwards all covers will be put up for auction. The profits of that auction will go to The Ocean Cleanup. There are plans for a book that contains all albumcovers. The profits of the book will also go to the Leonard Cohen Stichting.
Very pleased to show you this animation for a new mobile application for carpooling called Toogethr. (via Shop Around) Enjoy! (Dutch only, sorry)
Photography & Art Direction: Corriette Schoenaerts | Animation: Nina Spiering | Illustration: Tineke Meirink.
Last june uitgeverij Snor, a Dutch publisher, received the keys of a supernice warehouse in Utrecht (NL) now called the Snorfabriek. To Claudette Halkes (uitgeverij Snor) it seemed like a perfect Stop:watch location. And it was! Three weeks ago I went there with my camera and walked around for hours. So much to see! From the photos I took I made a new series of Stop:watches, or Snor:watches if you like. These Snor:watches were shown last weekend in the Snorfabriek at the 3rd Snorfestival. I enjoyed it so much. Met a lot of nice people and got lovely comments. The Snorfabriek officially opens half november. If you have the chance you should definitely pay them a visit. It’s worth it.
The theme of the Dutch Week of the Children’s Book 2016 (de ‘Kinderboekenweek’ is an annual event to promote children’s books) is grandma’s and grandpa’s. Because of that a new Appie en opa book has been published by Gottmer publishing. For this I made twelve new illustrations.
Rian Visser (the author of Appie en opa) also took care of the bookdesign and designed a nice bookdisplay.
Earlier I wrote about Trashures and how it all started. Now I can officially announce the book is in stores! And already spotted in the Stedelijk Museum shop in Amsterdam this week. Online you can order it here. At the end of August there wioll be an official booklaunch at ABC Books (Spui)in Amsterdam. Please check our Facebook-page for the latest news.
For almost two years I’ve been working at Studio Push & Pull in Groningen now. I share the studio with Madeleine van der Raad and Mara Piccione. There’s also a sreenprinting workshop in the studio. At artacademy the printmaking workshop was my favorite place in school (besides the bar), so a workspace with nice collegues and the possibility to screenprint seemed great. And it is! I really like working there on my commissioned work as an illustrator but also on my own projects like Stop:watch and Trashures. Recently a new project can be added to the list: Helehelena. Last year Mara and I organised an international silkscreen testprint expo called ‘A Beautiful Mess’. This collaberation was such good fun, we decided to continue working together. So now there is a name: Helehelena, we focus on screenprint (artprints and zines) and murals. And there is a first screenprinted zine! You can take a look at it (and buy it) at our new website