When someone asks me what kind of projects I most enjoy working on, I always give children’s books as an answer. However, there is also another type of assignment that is very close to my heart, and that is illustrating custom-made cards to mark the special occasions in the lives of my good friends.
When a friend of mine had her first child a few years ago, she commissioned me to illustrate a geboortekaart aka birth announcement card for the baby. (Geboortekaarts are cards that parents in the Netherlands send out to their families, friends, neighbours, colleagues etc in order to announce the name and the strategic measurements of their new family member.) I was honoured to be trusted with that kind of special task and really enjoyed working on such a personal thing. So, when my friend got the happy news for the second time around, my hand was already raised, volunteering for the geboortekaart-job again.
I had drawn a giraffe for the card of the first baby, so I decided to stick with the same concept and draw an exotic animal for her sibling as well.
Here’s sneak peek of the illustration process of little Otto’s* tiger!
*names and information on the card have been changed
Initial sketches of the character
The final drawing ready to be made digital
Voilá, finished illustration!
A few weeks ago, I took a one week semi-holiday to visit Istanbul for the second time in my life. I was told to send postcards from the trip, but as you know, buying postcards and hunting for stamps is one of those things that you usually end up doing on the last day of your trip. That happened to me as well. In fact, I was already at the airport, when I saw a rack of postcards and the “oh yea, I should buy some postcards” thought hit my mind again. But did I really want to buy a set of typically lame holiday cards with radiant letters running over a collage of touristic photos? Not really. What would those cards have told about our trip, anyway? We spent our time sitting in cafes, drinking Turkish tea and playing backgammon whilst it was rainy and grey outside. Walking around parks, meeting friends, eating watermelon when it got too warm and stuffing ourselves with the ever-so-yummy local pastries called poğaça. The only tourist attraction we visited was Galata tower, and even that was just because we happened to buy ice cream somewhere near by and there happened to be a nice place to sit next to it.
I decided to forget about buying postcards and spend the flight with my sketchbook and pencils instead. Here’s the result, which is on its way to seven different mailboxes as we speak!
See the letter L…? One day in a park, we saw a cat that had climbed all the way to the top of a tree. He was so high that you couldn’t reach him even with a tall ladder. The poor cat was just hanging on to a tree branch, helplessly swaying in the wind. We didn’t see how it all ended, as people were advised to leave so that the cat might be able to find the courage to try coming down. I hope he fell on his feet and will be smart enough to stay away from trees the next time he wants to admire the views.