The exposition in library Hatert is here!

And finally, my first exposition is a fact. I had lots of fun last friday filling a huge glass cabinet with my children’s book illustrations and lots of cute props!
Here are some photos of the result:
exposition childrens book illustrations hatert
The library asked me to fill a huge 2 by 2 glass cabinet near the entrance.

2015-04 exposition judith van stegeren library hatert nijmegen
I even reprinted some of my older work — I used to draw childrens book illustrations when I was still in high school. The little black sheep is a recurring character. Recently, I discovered the animations of Shawn the Sheep and I realised how much they look alike!

2015-04 exposition judith van stegeren library hatert nijmegen
“De Raaf en de Vos” (The Fox and the Raven) is still one of my favorites. I think it really looks good as this glossy A2 poster! I translated the poem (the original is in french) to Dutch prose, so that children who don’t know the story can read it in the library.

2015-04 exposition judith van stegeren library hatert nijmegen
The penguins! I love the penguins. I have friend who dreams of becoming a professor. He loves penguins, so I made him this poster years ago. Now I could borrow his collection of stuffed penguins for the exposition. Another friend loaned me his Lego model of the Mars Rover Curiosity (which is very, very cool. I cannot stress this enough. Lego & science = awesome!)

2015-04 exposition judith van stegeren library hatert nijmegen
My sister picked up the stuffed hedgehog for me so I could recreate the “for science!” t-shirt design with stuffed animals and a real Erlenmeyer flask. Thanks, sis!

If you want to take a look at the exposition in real life, you can find it here:
Bibliotheek Hatert
Couwenbergstraat 20
6535RZ Nijmegen (The Netherlands)

The library is open on the following days:
monday: 13:00 – 17:00
wednesday: 11:00 – 17:00
thursday: 13:00 – 17:00
friday: 13:00 – 17:00

Preparing an exposition 2

I’m organising an exposition in the local library. Here’s an update on my progress.
Yesterday I went to the citycentre and bought a huge folder for transporting the printed illustrations for the exposition. The folder is large enough for A2 poster prints (75 cm x 53 cm) and it even has a handle so I can take it with me on my bike — although I must say that cycling with the folder gave me the impression I was kite-surfing through the streets of Nijmegen.
Next, I visited the printer and had all the smaller prints (A3 and A4) printed on beautiful glossy card stock! The two larger A2 posters I already printed on the A0 poster printer at the university.

my new art folder filled with the illustrations for the exposition

Preparing an exposition in the library of Nijmegen

I’m so excited! My first exposition is coming up. If you are in the neighbourhood, you can visit an exposition of my children’s book illustrations in the local library, Bibliotheek Hatert, from next week onwards. Last week I’ve been busy collecting all kinds of props (mostly stuffed animals) and getting my artwork ready for the printer.

Here’s a sneak preview:
Stuffed animals for the exposition of my children's book illustrations

Free skillshare class: Yuko Shimizu’s masterclass in inking (one week only)

For those of you who always wanted to try out Skillshare: the illustrator Yuko Shimizu is offering her masterclass in inking for free, the coming week only.
If you use the link below to enroll, you get a free month of Premium Membership on Skillshare for unlimited access to hundreds of online classes:
Yuko Shimizu – Mastering Inking: Basic and Pro Techniques
I believe this link is valid for three days.

I can definitely recommend Skillshare! Last year I took a course in handlettering there, and it’s lots of fun.

Another interesting read: Yuko Shimizu’s website features a FAQ with advice for starting illustrators.

Unwritten bij Yuko Shimizu
Unwritten, by Yuko Shimizu

Introduction to cartoons and comics

In the wake of the tragedy in Paris of last week, there has been a lot of attention for comics and cartoons, especially as a medium to voice an opinion or tell a personal story.
Sarah McIntyre has written this nice introduction to drawing cartoons and comics. It includes answers to frequently asked questions, some cool project ideas and lots of examples from numerous web comics.

BBAX: Aral Balkan on the future of the internet

Yesterday evening designer and social entrepreneur Aral Balkan gave a great keynote on what we can and must to do to make the internet a better place.
Balkan gave the talk in the Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam, at the award ceremony of the Big Brother Awards, an award for the most appalling privacy infringement in The Netherlands. The event was organized by Bits of Freedom, a Dutch digital rights organization that cares a lot about privacy and communications freedom.

Unfortunately, there is no clip of the keynote yet, only a recording of the livestream of the whole event. Balkans talk starts at 51:15.

Handlettering course on Skillshare

In January 2014 I bought access to an online course on Skillshare. I started with the course on hand-lettering in January but couldn’t continue because of exams. Then when the summer holidays began I could start right where I left off.

Practice for the course on hand-lettering
Practice for the course on hand-lettering

For those of you who don’t know about Skillshare: it’s an online learning community, a bit like Coursera, where you can take online classes on different subjects. Where Coursera specializes in academic courses from universities, Skillshare mostly caters to creatives and entrepreneurs. Some examples of courses you can find on Skillshare are calligraphy, logo design, entrepreneurship, creative thinking and writing film scripts.

a screenshot of the skillshare website
This is what Skillshare looks like if you’re taking a course.

You can either pay a monthly fee for full access, or you can buy access to specific courses, which is what I did since I don’t always have time. Once you have paid for a specific course, you can always access the course materials.

The course I bought is called “Lettering 1: The First Steps of Hand-Lettering: Concept to Sketch”. The teacher, Mary Kate McDevitt, gives short video lectures and exercises and shows us tips and tricks on handlettering. It’s really cool and for 25 dollar for the whole course it was an absolute bargain.

I’ll keep you guys up to date about my progress. I’m having loads of fun drawing all kinds of funky letters and practicing fancy handwriting. For those of you who can’t wait for blogposts: you can take a look at my project page on Skillshare.

Ukiyo-e reference books

I’ve been an admirer of Japanese wood block prints ever since I bought my first art postcards in Paris. When I went to the Kuniyoshi exposition in Leiden, I looked around for a good reference book.┬áThe Siebold Huis sells art books with large Ukiyo-e prints, but the prices for those books started at 60 euro’s! :O

Eventually I found Ukiyo-e: 250 years of Japanese Art, a gigantic book that’s so large that it doesn’t fit in my bookcase! It normally costs around 60 pounds, but luckily I was able to get it second-hand. It offers an overview of Ukiyo-e prints through the times, which means it contains traditional images such as portraits of actors and famous warriors, but also more modern work.

book Cover of Ukiyo-e: 250 years of Japanese Art
Cover of Ukiyo-e: 250 years of Japanese Art

Continue reading Ukiyo-e reference books

Kuniyoshi exhibition

A few weeks ago I got the opportunity to visit het SieboldHuis in Leiden, a small museum devoted entirely to Japan and Japanese arts. They had a great exhibition on Utagawa Kuniyoshi and his art.

Kuniyoshi made a lot of cat prints. He also used cats to counter the censorship in Japan: some of his satirical cartoons are filled with anthropomorphic cats instead of people.


Another interesting thing is his experimentation with ‘wide screen’ illustrations for a more dramatic effect:


Here you can read more about the exhibition of ukiyo-e prints by Kuniyoshi.

Sadly, in Japan the art of making wood block prints is slowly disappearing. The awesome kickstarter project Ukiyo-e Heroes, in which the creators planned to make wood block prints of Japanese video game characters, proved that the demand for original wood block prints still exists — but maybe from a different audience.
Below are some examples of prints from the Ukiyo-e Heroes project, with Samus (Metroid series), Mario and Donkey Kong and Link (The Legend of Zelda). I think this is a great way to revive and promote traditional wood block printing. It’s such a shame this art form is on the brink of extinction!


If you like the illustrations, you can buy prints in the store of the official website.