Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Down and Out in London and Paris

By George Orwell inspired me to make this illustration. It his is second novel and he writes about his life as a 'plongeur' (dishwasher) in a french hotel. His descriptions of bedbugs, rats, dirty dishwash-water and being hungry are still lingering in my mind. It is a quick and easy read, but interesting because you would think this experience, of living among the poor in Paris and London, stood at the base of his famous book; Animal Farm. (.... some animals are more equal than others..... this sentence stuck to me since highschool) Im reading another book, it is about explorers from the Uk in the 1 early 19th century and how they are trying to find Timbuktu and the figure out the course of the Niger. Evernight im grateful for a bed-bug free bed, and everyday im grateful for a all the fresh, clean glasses of water I drink. Hurray for books and good writers and how their stories can make you experience all these adventures while lying on your comfy couch. Have a sunday. Marike.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

The Poisonwood Bible II

For the dutchies among us: on Marktplaats for sale; several Kingsolvers. The Lacuna and the Poisonwood Bible/ The gifhouten bijbel are my favorites. Like all her other books were a rehearsal for those two. Prodigal Summer is interesting, and Pigs in Heaven is a very touching story but none of those books overwhelmed me the way the Lacuna&Poisonwood did.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

The Poisonwood Bible

'The Poisonwood Bible' by Barbara Kingsolver (De Gifhoutenbijbel) is one of my all time favorite books. Years ago, I was traveling in Nicaragua, I read this book. In short: It is the story about a family from Georgia (US) that moves to Kongo (now Zaire) to spread the word of God amongst the poor souls of dark africa. But it is also is a story about colonialism, white supremacy, faith and feminism. Told from the perspective of the five women in the story: The mother and her four daughters. I found my aunt a copy in the secondhand-store. But I just had to read again, before giving it away. Blown away again. All over again. For the same reasons, and many new reasons. Im almost done, 60 pages or so to go. I'm always a little sad after finishing a Barbara Kingsolver. A little like saying goodbye to a dear friend.

Today's Nrc.Next

An article about confessing in public. Neil Armstrong sat down with Oprah last tuesday, but there has been quite a few people before him who cried their tears on television. I made this illustration at the office, opposed from home. And there is a difference if I work from home, or if I make an illustration while also making the newspaper. No pencils are involved for instance, I just draw with the wacom. And everybody see's what I'm doing, I don't have anytime to sit, watch, and thén discuss with co-workers. No, positive and sometimes negative remarks all day. It is just another way, and good for me, to draw while i'm outside my comfortzone.

Friday, 11 January 2013


This is a little interview with my friend Nathan. He's from the States but we met in Amsterdam where he lived for several years. There has been times when it was hard for me to draw and make art. Nathan's persistence to draw no matter what has always been an inspiration for me. And I just love his work. Even the cruel ones. His website

Monday, 7 January 2013


Today's Nrc.Next

An illustration about buying secondhand and website's that make it easier to share your car, house or tools with your community. I think I would be offended if they asked someone else to make this illustration, since Im the queen of second-hand. (or I'd like to think so myself)

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Three cups of tea

It was a pre-newsyears-resolution; make an illustration about every book I read. Or at least every good book I read. I just finished 'Three cups of Tea' by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. I loved the book. It's a story about this mountaineer (Mortenson) who fails to climb the K2 but is touched by the kindness of the people of Pakistan. And struck by the poverty and lack of education for the children (especially the girls). His promise to build one school in the tiny village of Korphe led to hundreds of schools in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. And it's a story about kindness and peace. After I finished the book I learned a few more things about the book, and the mountaineer/writer/ director of the foundation, Greg Mortenson. Firstly he received a ton of awards, but there also was a lawsuit against him and the foundation. Some controversy so to say. Well I still loved the book, it was an easy read and I learned loads about a region that we know so little of through the media or books. The book is also available in a children-version, I think it would be quite an exciting story for kids to read. The book is for sale on Marktplaats (one copy). Ofcourse Amazon sells it. But also for sale at Powells in the US or at Athenaeum bookstore in Amsterdam. Have a lovely evening, and for tomorrow a good monday.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2013. Thank you 2012. It has been an exciting year. I quit my job, packed my backpack took off to India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. I've seen poverty like I never seen povery before. Next to Nike-stores or big Audi's. When I came home in spring the trees were green again. No job, no income. It was exciting and a little frightening but it never felt stressfull. I found myself a 7 euro job in a very posh hotel. I carried up clean towels, and brought dirty laundry down the stairs. The whole world worked in the basement-halls of that hotel: people from Ghana, Poland, Swiss, Ireland, France. It felt like India all over again: the filthy rich living besides the poor and both not minding eachother business. For me it was not easy to work in a place where it was perfectly normal for people to pay 500 euro for a hotelroom, while the one who cleans you room earns as little as 7 euro per hour (minus 3 euro lunch-money everyday that managment substracts from you wages). Needless to say I did not last very long. (The limit was the 21 year old receptionist who looked at my when I asked her to call me when the Security-guy was around, and said:"No that is not part of my job...") I decided to dive fullforce into my freelance adventure and was happy with every illustration, wedding-invitation or drawing that came my way. And I became resourceful: my house became a little B&B. The guests came from California, Swiss, Belgium and Canada. Another dream crept up to me: owning my little guesthouse while working as a part-time illustrator. With gaining freedom I lost some money. But I loved spending time at the horses, at my voluntary job, at home, with my books, reading reading reading. All these things were gratuit or very cheap: I bought old books, ate my own potatoes and bought apples from a roadstand. What a lovely year it was. Thank you all for visiting, for telling your friends about me, for liking me or buying my work. THANK YOU. A scary step is a lot easier to take if you have people cheering for you. For everybody: a happy and content 2013. Love Marike. Ps: feel free to download the image and use to send to your friends&family