Through blogging and Instagramming, I’ve been introduced to an amazing Virtual Sisterhood of Creative Ladies.
The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet these incredible, kind-hearted, inspiring <insert ALL the happy, positive adjectives HERE> women.
I first met Annemieke on Instagram via the #4ThingsILove challenge. And promptly fell in love with her whimsical way with watercolour. So much so, that I asked her to redesign my blog header. Yep- that’s her work up the top there. And see that “Oh Creative Lady” image? She painted that, too. “Working” with Annemieke was a pure delight. Every email she sent was like a little ray of sunshine sent over from The Netherlands. Her work reflects her personality- bright, cheery and oh-so-sweet. Just reading through her answers, it was clear to me that Annemieke is somebody who approaches every day in a positive way.
I am… Hallo! I am Annemieke and I live in a small village in The Netherlands near the Dutch coast. I share a light-filled and cozy apartment together with my husband John (we married last year. I still have to adjust to saying ‘husband.’) Currently I work at a pre-school with young children, aged 2 to 4. I love working with children and offering them a happy place to feel safe, explore and connect with others. I myself was a sensitive, imaginative kid… My hands are different, because of my Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (I was diagnosed with JIA when I was 3 y/o), but I’ve always loved being creative and making things. I especially love drawing. I like working with watercolours and ink. My dad, being an amateur photographer, owned Adobe Photoshop so I liked playing around with it as a teenager. This has been handy for me later on, once I started turning handmade drawings into digital or printable illustrations.
A few years back I started a blog and began to draw under the name Miekes Makes. I love making something personal for someone… I’ve made wedding and birth announcement cards, custom illustrations as a gift, hand lettered quotes, patterns for fabric and recently a new header for Shannon’s blog.
Besides drawing I love music (I play a bit of piano and like to sing along; sorry neighbours), old cities, kitchen experiments, crackling fireplaces, simple living philosophy, making lists (recently became a fan of bullet journaling), cups of tea & Dutch poffertjes.
I find inspiration… in everyday things. Things I find around the house, in the change of seasons, in words I read or hear.
I also love to wander around in bookstores and the library, and then marvel at pretty book covers and illustrations. Children books illustrations are the best of course… Like the ones by Thé Tjong-Khing or the work of Gertie Jaquet.
Also, I’m a big Flow magazine fan. And I’m fond of pretty stationery… Can’t possibly walk past a good stationery store.
Instagram is one of my favorite online places to connect and be inspired by creative people from all over the world… For instance, I love the work of Oana Befort, Bodil Jane, Ira Ville, Carmen Saldana, Anna Walker and Teken_ing.
I am excited about … learning new creative skills. I love online tutorials, or places like Skillshare. Right now I’m trying to figure out how to make animated illustrations (gifs). I find those so fun (like the ones from Oamul.)
Also I’m doing research for opening up my own Etsy shop, to sell prints and / or maybe printables and clip-art of my illustrations.
I never feel bored… There’s just so much I want to see, do and learn.
When I’m in a creative slump, I… give myself a little break. I read, play piano, put on some music, watch a movie, write someone a letter. Or I just sit down and try to sketch something anyway… I’ve learned that by doing what I love (even when I’m not feeling like it at that time), inspiration will find me again.
I’m really proud of… making my own wedding stationery last year. Since it was so personal, it took me quite a while to finish though. But looking back I’m really happy I was able to make it and make the day more ‘us’.
Someone once told me… If you want to draw something, just look at it very carefully / attentively.
I know: it sounds so simple! But it’s funny how often we draw something the way we think it looks, without really looking.
I got this advice from my uncle Piet, who loved creating scenic watercolour paintings. Whenever he took me painting outside as a kid, he always used a magic little frame to look through… He had a very good eye for detail.
My advice to you is … Something I have to keep reminding myself of is: If there’s something you love to do or learn, make the time and do it. May it be drawing, cooking, writing, photography, singing etc. Daily life gives us so many reasons and excuses not to do the things we want to do. We’re too busy, we’re too tired, we don’t really feel like it right now, we’re not feeling inspired, other people need us (so we shouldn’t be selfish and do something for ourselves), we’ll do it tomorrow… right? But I think we often fool ourselves. We might be busy, but we can plan in time (maybe we need to say No to something/one else, but we surely can). We might be tired and without inspiration, but once we start giving attention to whatever makes us feel enthusiastic: energy and inspiration comes to us. Something that’s all about this topic (and more) that I’ve recently enjoyed listening to is Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast: Magic Lessons. Her book Big Magic is definitely on my birthday wishlist!
You can find me at …
Miekes Makes http://miekesmakes.blogspot.nl/
I’m happy to connect with you!
P.S. Thank you Shannon, for asking me to join in your interview series. It was so much fun 🙂
No thank you, Annemieke. You have injected so much happy into my everyday. Can’t wait to one day sit down with you, chat and eat many Dutch poffertjes xx