Category: Assignments

Macrame project

Macrame – trying something new

Time off

A lot of things that have to do with art, don’t give me the relaxing sensation it used to do when I was a child. That’s why I like to look for new things to do in my spare time. That way I don’t have the feeling that I am working but I can still look for new art forms.


Macrame is a form of art with knots. You put all kinds of different knots in pieces of rope. Then a pattern grows and you can even choose to put things in it like buttons. Here you can see a picture of a recent piece I did. And of course the internet is full of examples.

My own macrame

I quickly knotted a hanger for a plant but after that I was looking for a new project. I was just knotting away without thinking, without a purpose and just look at what happens in the end. I do like to work this way. I love the way things submerge under your fingers without thinking about it.

But then I could take everything out again because I thought something else would look even better then what I was doing. Right after that, I bought two tiny plants. I thought it might be nice to put them into the work. This gave me more of a purpose to knot for. It was easier to make choices. It was nice to work without a plan but it is a lot more practical to work with one.

Finally I had a plan and I knotted the day away. One the one hand I knotted for fun, practice and decoration. On the other hand with a target in mind, so the little plants fit nicely into the work. It’s almost like a puzzle. I keep on looking for the right kind of knots and shapes so the little plants and the knots look well together.

I’m open for suggestions for a next project!

Macrame project
Harry Potter

Harry Potter Handlettering

Harry Potter and I

I consider myself as a Harry Potter fan but as you might know until a couple of months ago I wasn’t a big fan of reading. I’ve read one Harry Potter book and even that is not true because I had an audiobook. The rest of the story came to me through Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.

I can loose myself in the first couple of movies and I can mouth almost all the words. Until movie six. There, the movies get more tense and I can’t see Harry as a little boy anymore. I always have a hard time watching the last couple of movies and I even stop watching after 5 or 6.

A while ago, there was an expo on Harry Potter. Joek and I went there and we had a blast! We tried as hard as we could to not spend all our money in the gift shop at the end and I think we did alright. We bought a couple of sweets and the Marauders Map. I can’t wait to live in a little home together with Joek and see this map on the wall every day.

The assignment

I’ve been asked to draw at least two quotes for Sandra.

The first quote we talked about was one of Hagrids: What’s commin’ will come and we’ll meet when it does. It sounds like a wonderful quote and I had to look up what it’s about. I already wrote that I didn’t read the books. This is clearly a quote from the books or I would have recognized the lines.

The second quote was one of Dumbledores. This one I do recognize clearly from the movies: Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times. If one only remembers to turn on the light.
I remember this one so clearly because I’m still amazed by how well this one is laid out in the movie. The image on the screen fits so remarkably well with the lines!

The assignment is to write those on a parchment like background and keep it simple and clean.

Plan of action

Sandra showed me a font that she would love to see. It turns out that this one is available as a free download. This makes my job a lot easier. Unfortunately, I’m afraid it will look too simple and make the image look less than it could be.

That’s why I plan on making a test text. One with the font and one drawn by me.
I’ll send Sandra this image and let her decide what she likes best on her wall.
When I’m done drawing, I’ll send everything to the printers and let them print and cut everything the way I want it.
Then Sandra and I need to think about a frame and once that is done, I’ll send her everything and hopefully I can show you the end result in no time. But for now you’ll have to do it with a picture of the first movie.

Harry Potter
Blog tekenen: waar was ik gebleven

Drawing: where was I?

New year, new chances

It has been busy the last couple of months. Not just at work but in my personal life as well. I don’t live in Haarlem anymore. I have a new extra job that gives me more financial security but takes up so much time that I can’t give workshops at the moment. This is a big part in the reason why I haven’t written any blogs lately. Now that it feels that I have time again, I’m ready to write you a new blog every week.


I may not be giving any workshops but I still have some assignments going on. One of them is already finished. I would love to write about what I’ve been drawing but I can’t. I’m waiting on the green light of the ones who gave me the assignment.

In a blog some time ago I wrote that I’m illustrating a book. I’m still working on it. I took a break from drawing it but now with the corona crisis I’ve got more time to draw.

And I get to work on my handlettering! This is drawing letters and texts. It is not the same as calligraphy, the art of fine writing. Handlettering is about creating a pretty image, a great composition, etc., as you would expect from a drawing.

A new job

I just wrote that I’ve found a new job. Since a couple of weeks I work at Coornhert Gymnasium in Gouda. I’m the substitute teacher for the art lessons of a couple of classes.
I think it’s fantastic to work on my own speciality again, have my own classes again. It’s wonderful to see the progress the kids make and build up a connection with my students.

I notice I don’t want to choose between what my heart wants to do (give workshops, etc.) and being an actual teacher. But I did. I chose to work in Gouda. For now I have to say goodbye to giving workshops.
But it gives me a lot of joy to see what the kids are drawing, what they come up with. They can suddenly make huges steps forward and make a friendly chat at the same time.

Missed assignments

It is lovely to be in front of a class again. But this is a reason I ‘lose’ so much time in education that I have to force myself to say no to fun assignments.

Ondine de Hullu asked me to draw for her again. I did this before, as you can see HERE. Ondine, she always has a plan. And with the plan comes a schedule. This works great, because you know exactly when you should be done and how much time you can spend drawing. The downside is that if you don’t have enough time in a week, you don’t have time for her projects. Luckily she found someone else and I hope that this person will give her a just as pretty result.

Blog tekenen: waar was ik gebleven
Poster Mucato endresult

Poster for Mucato

The reason

A couple months ago I wrote about my dad and the theatre group Mucato. He is their paymaster.

At least once a year they perform a play in theatre in Hoofddorp. Last year they played ‘De Jossen’. My dad had asked me if he could use one of my artworks. You can see the poster here.

I offered to make the next poster. That is why my father asked me a couple of weeks back if I still wanted to do so. Of course I said yes.

The play

This year on the 17th and 18th of April, they play ‘Alice in wond wond wonderland’. This is a play about Alice in Wonderland and the horrible things that happened around Josef Fritzl.

For those who don’t know about that: Fritzl locked his daughter up in the basement for years and got a couple of kids with her.

In this play you get a peak into her world. For that, parts of the story of Alice in Wonderland is used.

The beginning of the poster

Some time ago, I watched a documentairy on Netflix about the case of Fritzl. I saw the room this girl has lived for so many years. I read the script as well. It is written very lively and paints a good picture of what her life looked like. It tells you about the feeling of falling through a concrete shaft.
I remember the heavy doors and concrete walls which lead to the room where the girl was locked away.

This image, together with the script, gave me the idea of the poster.

What can you see on the poster?

The feeling of falling was my inspiration for the poster. The background is gray, from light to darker. As if the woman is falling through a concrete shaft to a dark room.

There is a pregnant woman without a face. The fact that she doesn’t have a face makes her almost anonimous, forgotten. The pregnant belly refers to the kids she had in the soundproof basement.

The woman is wearing a yellow dress. This wasn’t the case in the original design. I gave her a light blue dress, like Alice in Alice in Wonderland.
But then I heard that the Alice on stage is going to wear a different kind of dress. To give the audiance a piece of recognision, I chose to draw the dress that is going to be used on stage.

The font for the title is Reenie Beanie. I gave the theatre group Mucato a few fonts to choose from.
All of them were kind of childlike handwritings.
When this girl was locked up, she was about seven years old. She was taught to write before she ‘dissapeared’. With this font I wanted to show that time stopped for her. As if she would still write like a child years after her dissapearance.

The last words

It was wonderful to have this much freedom in the design. I had a few ideas and made the strongest idea into a poster. It felt good to have the freedom in colours and forms. Obviously the text was already thought of but I could play around with the fonts.

What a cool assignment to get and I feel honourd to see my work on multiple places in a few weeks!

Thanks to Theatre group Mucato and especially to my dad for giving me this assignment!

Poster Theater Mucato de Jossen
Poster Mucato first sketch
Poster Mucato changed colour
Poster Mucato altered dress
Poster Mucato endresult
Christmas vacations illustrations Marieke Noordhuis

Christmas vacations 2019

Intentions for the Christmas vacations

My Christmas vacations takes up two weeks. Two weeks of no workshops. I should keep myself busy in another way. First a couple days filled with the birthday of Joek and the two Christmas days we have here in the Netherlands.
Then it’s time to start working for a bit again. I was going to stay at Joeks place until after new years eve. I would have all the time in the world to work on the book I’m illustrating. When I would have drawn everything to my liking, the vacationdays would be over and I could start giving workshops again.

What book?

A couple of weeks back, I wrote about the new book I’m illustrating. I got two chapters of this book at home. Each chapter has 13 little chapters. Every little chapter is only one page long. The other page has space for my illustrations.

The book is about how to battle a depression; a subject that is very close to me. I’m honoured to be illustrating this book.

I got the text on paper. In this paper version I drew the sketches. I started a few on my laptop as well to make them into a digital illustration, like I always do.

The Christmas vacations so far

I enjoyed Joeks birthday and the two Christmas days with family. I had all the time I wanted to catch up with members of the family during some lovely meals. The first day, my brother coocked. The second day the preperations were done by all of Joeks family.

After these festive days Joek had to go back to work until new years eve. We’re going to celebrate new years eve in Diever and watch the carbid shootings.
Since Joek started working again, I feel the need and want to start working as well.

In good spirits I got up and grabbed my laptop. It didn’t power up, the battery was too low. That happens, that’s why we have chargers. Right? Where was my charger? I forgot to bring my charger. It’s still in Haarlem while I’m staying in Zwolle this week. Now I can’t do anything but take the vacation.

What to do now?

Somehow it’s a good thing I can’t use my laptop because I actually have to take the vacation. I can write a blog on Joeks laptop. And if I get desperate, even on my phone.

Luckily I got a wonderful book from Joeks sister: Nice girls don’t get the corner office, written by Lois P. Frankel. Now I’ve got all the time to read.

And I’ve got two more days to make a tax return. So thank god, there is still some work to do. Even if I can’t work on the illustrations for the book.

Christmas vacations illustrations Marieke Noordhuis
Christmas vacations wish Marieke Noordhuis
Illustration of Miss Marieke at work

Potentional new work

At this moment

Right now I work for Kleinkunstig and the Teach-in Group. At the one I work as a self-employed person, at the other as a regular employee. I also work for clients who come to me. For them I make drawings, illustrations and art. For Kleinkunstig and Teach-in Group I teach people all kinds of things.

Possibly new work

Yesterday afternoon I had an appointment in Amsterdam. I was meeting up with a company in an old large school building. In this building I found all kinds of businesses but I was looking for one in particular: the quickly growing Lukida. I had a meeting to see if we want to work together.

Lukida – what is that?

This is a company which tries to do something about the shortage of teachers in elementary schools but in a creative way. They hire self-employed people like me to work as a substitute teacher on different elementary schools. I would teach the kids how to draw so that an actual teacher can teach a different group how to spell. I have no idea how to teach a kid how to write. I do know how to teach a child to create and to draw.

The problem

I would love to work for this company, and they would like to work with me. Here’s the catch: I want to move in with my boyfriend and I want to do that on the other side of the country, in Zwolle. This company has work in and around Amsterdam. Luckily they are growing, the shortage of teachers is a national problem. Soon they will have some work in and around Zwolle. So unfortunately I won’t work with them yet but hopefully they will have enough work in Zwolle soon so I can work with and for them.

Lukida and self-employed people

I already wrote that this company works with self-employed people. I’m a little scared to go full self-employed. I then choose to have no security of finances in my life whatsoever. Now I have a small job which gives me a small steady income. The moment I start to work for Lukida, that certainty of a steady income will be gone. I need to think about that and do some maths. Because if I can’t earn enough with it, I can’t do it.

Also, there’s some extra work involved. I need to do more accountancy stuff. This isn’t a real problem since I finally start to understand how it all works. But it takes up a bit of extra time. For every day I work for this company I’m going to have to write a new invoice. I don’t have to do that with my little job now. I clearly need to think about this.

Illustration of Miss Marieke at work
Illustration of a book

Illustrating a new book

To illustrate

I like to illustrate books. I don’t know the world of illustration very well so I don’t have much illustration jobs for books yet.

The last time an acquaintance pointed me in the direction of a writer in search for an illustrator. This lead to the collaboration between Ondine de Hullu and me.

Facebook message

The same acquaintance shared a facebook post with me. It was a short message in a group. The even shorter version of it is this: I’m looking for an illustrator for my book. It’s a psychology book.


Last wednesday I met with Michael, the writer of the book. We sat down for two hours, chatting. At first to check if we would be able to work together, of course. Second, to get to know each other a little bit and last, but absolutely not the least, to learn more about the project.

It was nice meeting, we had fun. It turns out that we share the same kind of humour, we think quite alike.The most interesting discovery for me was this: his style of writing and my style of drawing are very similar. Not to clean and serious. A little sketchy, maybe even searching.

The assignment

The next day I got a text that he would love to work with me. At that time I was writing down a collaboration contract because I had hoped to get a message like that.

I’m going to draw about 60 illustrations. The book will be designed in a very visual way. It will probably have about 4 or 5 chapters. Each chapter has a couple of pages who all have their own subject. Because of that I can make an illustration for almost all the pages.

The way the book will be designed fits the content of the book very well.

The result

I can’t say a lot about what the book will be about. In a couple of days I will meet with Michael again. Then we’ll talk about what I can shout out to the world and what I need to keep to myself for a while.

In the coming months I will share a few short updates about where we are with the book. And obviously I will share where you can buy the book once it’s finished.

Illustration of a book
Cut out of Edible garden

Edible garden

The edible garden – art by Marieke

I was allowed to make a piece of art for a bed and breakfast in Wageningen. It is a beautiful Bed and Breakfast. The building is renovated wonderfully by the owners. And there’s amazing art displayed. They have a beautiful modern kitchen. They give cooking workshops here. The next step is an edible garden.


The visit

After a tour through the entire villa and a divine dinner, we had a conversation about what the owners expect. I got the assignment to make a piece of art for the Tuinkamer – the garden room. This room has a view on the edible garden. What kind of art I would make was up to me. Of course I let myself be inspired by the edible garden. From this room there is a great view on the kitchen garden.


The artwork – De eetbare tuin (the edible garden)

I draw the earth with different vegetables in it and in the background a some very Dutch clouds.

If you would like to see my work in real life, I suggest you pay a visit to Villa Arion. Stay a night in one of their beautiful suits or enjoy a cooking workshop!

As soon as my work hangs in the villa, it’ll be visible here on the website. Until then: sneakpreviews only!

Cut out of Edible Garden
Illustration of Kofi

Kofi Boateng

Kofi Boateng is a driven young man. He asked me to make an invitation. Kofi is almost graduating as a doctor and is almost turning 30. So Monday the 12th of August at 1 o’clock we saw each other at Amsterdam Bijlmer station. 

I asked Kofi Boateng to take me to a place that means a lot to him. He grew up in the Bijlmer and that’s why we met there. 

First we handled the business part: what do you want? What can I do for you…? I made a few small sketches to create an image and we thought about whether it was going to be a digital invitation or on paper, or if it had to be good enough for both and how I should handle it.  

Then the fun part began: Kofi Boateng took me for a walk through the Bijlmer. We talked about his childhood, where he grew up, about is family, about the Bijlmer itself. We walked from the station to the Anton de Komplein, via the Bijlmerpark theatre through his old neighbourhood back to the station again.

Kofi Boateng told me about his ambitions to become a doctor and what he wants to achieve with it. Kofi never saw a coloured doctor when he grew up and he wants to change that for the future. He wants to show that it doesn’t matter what your background is, you can become anything you want to.
Kofi Boateng is a Ghanaian young man with an incredibly big heart for his community and his roots. He wants to go to Ghana annually to pass on what he learned to his tribe: the Ashanti.

And I can summarize all this in one single image for his invitation for his graduation party and thirtieth birthday. What an honour to work with such a beautiful person. And that while I’m learning so much at the same time about the norms and values of the Ashanti tribe!

Illustration of Kofi
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