Taking care of plants that are fruitful, watering those that I want to grow, sowing what I want to bloom, and weeding out things that are unhelpful as much as I can. Looking back at my more personal drawings over the past few years I noticed that I draw a lot of plants and gardening-themed illustrations. I think this might one of the themes of my life 😊 This Instagram post is the most recent one on that theme.
My plans for May
Working less hours than the last few months and trying to hold on to that in June as well.
Start working with a business coach to streamline my career/practice.
Go to Limburg (NL) for a few days to climb some hills as I'm quite fed up with the flat landscape here 🙃 Also, I haven't been outside much lately.
Preparing two masterclasses ‘Instagram for professional designers’ for BNO to be given in June.
Starting illustration work on a new book that is quite special, more on that later.
Reading a few books on a creating a writing practice, plus more romantic novel reading (recommendations always welcome).
What I've been working on
New illustrated book
I treated myself to flowers last Saturday because I finished illustrating a new book. Starting a new book is my least favourite part, with the contract and negotations, then the best part begins which is the actual drawing (divided into sketches - finals - deliverables) and ends with delivering the package to the publisher. And they were pleased! So, I am pleased 😊 Below you can see the cover of the book for which I did the graphic design and lettering too, one of the final illustrations and below that the first rough sketches and the sketch.
Een jaar met Wifi (written by Brenda Froyen, published by Davidsfonds) will be released on June 29 and you can pre-order it here.
Book cover artwork
Last Summer, after a few quiet months which I actually enjoyed, I got an email from Chris Bruntlett if I wanted to make the artwork for their new book Curbing Traffic: The Human Case for Fewer Cars in our Lives. It was really nice to do a client project again. The perspective was a tricky one as I had to figure out how houses and people would look from such an angle but I like a good challenge. Creating this art work for wonderful people like Chris and Melissa was an absolute joy!
Read more about Chris and Melissa and this book right here. Release: June 30, published by Island Press (USA).
How to deal with criticism
I made the illustrations below a few years ago in Dutch for my book Volwassen worden is optioneel, which will come out as a pocket edition on May 12.
It's about how to deal with criticism and what I had learned about it up until that point. I could write a whole book on this topic by now 😉 Especially for you, I translated it to English!
5 things I liked
"Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as means of escape."
Bell Hooks (American author, professor, feminist and social activist)
01 / A beautiful sketchbook I recently bought a sketchbook from Rotterdam-based company About Blanks. They take old book covers and repurpose them by adding blank paper inside them. I haven't written in mine yet but I plan on using it for my own book ideas.
02 / What is a woman? I very much enjoyed Kathy Burke's documentary series All Woman. A lot of ‘feminine stuff’ doesn't resonate with me, so I found this nice to watch to understand things better. And for a little self-acceptance.
04 / Romantic novel After reading The Flatshare I wanted to read The Switch immediately as I now knew Beth O'Leary could write a good book but for some reason I waited quite a while. Almost a year. But The Switch was brilliant again.
05 / Non-fiction book While working I often listen to audiobooks. Originals by Adam Grant is an interesting read on how to be original and successful.
What Bram liked
My partner Bram wanted to have a say in my newsletter and asked me if he could recommend his favourite video each month. I obliged 😉 Here's his favourite video of April. Bram says this is what I do too when I need a cuddle.
That's it for now! I had a massive list of things I want to share but I might pop into your inbox later this month to share more.
Hope you are healthy, safe and doing well. Speak soon!