1.Could you tell us a bit more about yourself? What kind of education/training did you have? How did you become the artist you are today?
I already used to do lots of drawing when I was little and did comics for the school paper. So it was a childhood dream of mine to become a comic artist. After secondary school I went to the art academy. First in ‘s Hertogenbosch and later in Tilburg [both in the Netherlands]. The illustration department was looked down upon at the academy and this influenced me. When I finished my studies, the Dutch comic strip market was at quite a low, so I didn’t see it as a good source of income. From 1993 I drew illustrations for children’s books, for fiction as well as educational books, and cartoons for specialist Foodmagazine (1994-2011) and the Gay Krant (1993-2000). Between 2000 and 2006, I made small illustrative paintings and wrote accompanying captions as if they were taken from books. I exhibited and sold them. I wanted to become a comic artist again after my book Pension Kat (2008) (author and illustrator). I started slowly with short storylines, competitions and the web comic entitled Made In Dolland. My style came to the surface in my short story Barbirisme (2012) in the BNS Stripkrant and my contribution to De dans van de gezanten (2013). I had begun my adaptation of Peter and the Wolf at the start of 2013. I wanted to achieve something that was mine; that was from the heart. It attracted attention because I posted some pencil sketches on Facebook. The reactions I received stimulated me. Kees de Boer also encouraged me and gave me a good tip. I really love black-and-white drawings with one supporting colour and that really fitted my comic strips. A Facebook contact of mine, Wallie Hakkens, had sent Marc Legendre some material without asking me, and he brought me into contact with the publisher. I asked Marc if he had a story for me. And he had.
2.Who are your favourite artists? What artists have really influenced your work?
Fred Julsing and Piet Wijn have left a strong mark. As well as Uderzo, Franquin and Walthéry.
I also love looking at Bodart, Loisel, Cyril Pedrosa and Marcel Ruijters. (And many more)
3.What projects have you worked on? What was your favourite project?
Pension Kat 2008 (even though it wasn’t a comic), Zwartland 2010 (Benelux Beeldverhalen Prijs - the Benelux Comics Prize), Barbirisme 2012 (BNS Stripkrant), Peter and the Wolf 2013, De dans van de gezanten 2013 (De Inktpot, comic strip series Vrede van Utrecht), Van de oude schilder en de zee 2013, Ayak + Por, een mottige theepot 2013.
Peter and the Wolf is my favourite at the moment because it made me a comic strip maker again.
4.What project are you working on now or what would you definitely still like to do?
At the moment I’m working on Marc Legendre’s Ayak + Por, de allenige sultan and on Willem Ritstier’s murder mystery Luthon-Höge. Later in the year, we will be working with De Inktpot (a group of comic strip artists from Utrecht) on the Halsdoek van Cunera.
George Orwell’s Animal Farm is on my list, and I’ve still got an undeveloped idea with working title De Stadsapen and I’d like to adapt three English books by Penny Dolan for comic strip.
5.What creative work of yours do you choose not to show to the world (apart from via Shopacomic)?
The illustrations I did for a story on Sesame Street. I had to conform to the style. It got me some money, actually it still does.
6.What advice would you give artists who are only just starting out?
Look for the style closest to you. Get out and get into contact with other comic artists. Look and read. And draw, draw, draw and tell stories.
7.How would you rather people contact you ?
Please contact me via email, through my website or on Facebook.