2018.07.18 Is this Tom?

I gave myself a present last weekend: a new iPad and a stylus pen (Thanks, Eduard, for the inspiration). And I bought a sketching app as well. Mind you, the app was wayyyy cheaper than either the iPad or the pen!

So now I am sketching on the iPad.

As a lot of people know I make loads of photos. I get inspired by all sort of forms, lights, subjects or colors. This time the shadow of Tom on the kitchen entrance was my source.

In the app Procreate I can import pictures as a layer and then draw in another layer. Piece of cake. 🙂
So this is the result of 2 of my passions: taking pictures and drawing.

Do you like the result?


2017.11.10 Learned something new


Today was such a great day: Jenny explained cyanotype to me. And it turned out it was not just an explanation, but a real workshop as well. So I made a couple of my own cyanotypes. It’s a good thing I have discovered this technique today and not a year ago, because I would have been hooked.
Why would that be a problem? Because I want to get rid of all my stuff and a new technique means buying new materials.


2017.11.07 Demolishing the temple

Grote Kerk, Breda

Today I have been taking pictures in the “Grote Kerk” in Breda together with my friend Jenny. One of the guardians of the church saw me taking pictures of the ceiling and explained there are 84 crossings that are all different.

Nowadays the church is a public building. It’s build as a catholic church but the inside was badly demolished in the 16th century during the “Beeldenstorm” and has been a protestant church after that. What is it that people have to ruin things they dislike or don’t understand?


32 tips to get ideas to spend your free time

Inspiration: 32 tips to get ideas to spend your free time

This is a random list of all kind of things I occasionally do. If you feel stuck or just don’t have a lot of ideas at the moment to do in your free time, then it’s great to follow one of the suggestions. Get inspired:

  1. Is there anything you did in your childhood and stopped doing?
    For example coloring with crayons. Or use a soft pencil to color the edge of a piece of paper (torn or cut) and then smear it with your finger on another piece of paper. Or scratch on paper with a soft pencil while there is a penny underneath.
  2. Check out the pictures on Instagram
    Get inspired by the many photos you can find on Instagram. You can search for keywords by the hash tags that most people use.
  3. Look at shop windows
    What is the current fashion look? What resources have been used to decorate the shop and make it attractive? What materials are hip?
  4. Visit archives
    If you are looking for inspiration for a product, you can look for archives in design museums. Are you interested in old texts or letters than archives of newspapers or city archives are a treat. I spent quite some time in a regional archive to discover my family tree.
  5. schouwburgVisit the theater
    What do the decor and costumes look like? What has been used dramatically to make an often performed play or opera attractive or modern?
  6. Leaf through magazines
    If they are old magazines, you can tear out photos and try to combine them with new images. Make a collage.
  7. Do something you do not dare to do
  8. Dream
    They say you can’t thrust dreams. But they can be such a great inspiration for new ideas.
  9. Take pictures using a theme
    Just make photos of trees for a month. Or photograph only round shapes. Also try to find scenes in just one color (monochrome).
  10. Check what the color of the fashion season is
    Look at the trends. What’s hot. What’s not.
  11. Go to the movie
    One of my best recommendations is Bon Dieu. I have laughed until my face was hurting. Hilarious.
  12. Imitate
    Imitating has a negative meaning in our society, but in the time of the guilds an apprentice had to imitate the master to learn the craft.
  13. ideeen opdoenLook into a dictionary
    Open it at a random page. Or search for a specific word and see what terms are mentioned in the explanation and then look up those as well.
  14. Look at advertisements
    Promotional photos and commercials Have to pinpoint an idea in an extremely short period of time. How do they get their message across?
  15. Look at Pinterest
  16. Watch the empty space
    One of the exercises in model- or stilllife drawingclass is to focus on the negative space instead of on the subject.
  17. Listen to music
  18. Make a poem
    Use rhyme in the ordinary way. Or you can write the letters of your name in separate lines and take them as the first letter of a sentence.
  19. Make lists
  20. Model
    Give your own twist to an imitation
  21. Take a hot shower
    The best ideas come when you are relaxed and no longer consciously thinking about a problem. Eureka!
  22. inspiratie opdoenDo not just open your eyes, but also your other senses
    Or close your eyes and listen carefully. Only use your hands to ‘view’ an object. (It’s such a pity most museums forbid touching the statues!)
  23. Write with your left hand if you are right-handed and vice versa
    You literally use another part of your brain when you discard your own automatisms.
  24. Cut stamps of potatoes
  25. Speak a foreign language
  26. Draw
    Droodle, mindmapping, sketching, but also draw what you see in front of you are great sources of inspiration.
  27. Make things up that can not be
    Einstein has been able to develop the theory of relativity because he imagined that he traveled through space on a lightbeam.
  28. Walk
    Walking in the town the buildings and the crowds inspire. In nature the trees and the quiet are the sources.
  29. Sing
  30. Find an exhibition
    There are so many great museums that I always have a shortage of time. (Do you have my tips for a museum visit yet?)
  31. Find an object and make a lot of pictures of it
    Change the point of view. Go far away for an overview and get closer by to the details. Lie on your stomach or stand on the stairs.
  32. Zoek etymologische betekenissen op
    Of wat ook een geweldige manier is om los te komen: zoek woorden op in een andere taal en bekijk overeenkomsten met klanken of woorden in onze eigen taal.
    Find etymological meanings
    Or look up words in another language and examine similarities to sounds or words.

What do you do to get an stream of ideas flowing? Let me know in the commentbox below.

Even grown ups can play on the beach

Inspiration: Even grown ups can play on the beach

play on the beachIsn’t it a pity that we tend to forget how to play? Years ago my former colleagues and I went to a beach house once a year. We were all creative souls and we gave ourselves assignments to develop our creative skills even further. There I discovered again what fun it is to play on the beach.

The focus of the assignments was different each year. It could be flying objects or playing with the sand. Or we went beach combing and made 3D collages out of the junk we found. And sometimes we would just draw, because we all loved to do that as well.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. ~Pablo Picasso

What can you do on the beach?

sandcastlesI’ll give you some inspiration with a list and I hope you will add your tips in the comment box below. Because I am sure I forgot things. 🙂

  • build sandcastles
  • write in the sand with a sheel or a stick
  • go beach combing
  • take pictures of textures
  • draw what you see
  • go geo caching
  • record the sounds of the surf or the birds
  • invent water games
  • make sand sculptures
  • collect seashells
  • photograph the objects you see
  • make a message in a bottle

And yes, you can also sport, relax, read, swim and play beach volleyball. My objective here was to list activities which I think develop creativity. 🙂

Take lots and lots of pictures!

You might know I love taking pictures. Either with my DSLR camera or with my iphone. I enjoy not just the moment itself, but also the sorting and criticizing afterwards.

If you can’t draw after nature when you are actually there, because you master not yet the technique or because the weather conditions were not good, then a photograph is a handy tool.
Both taking pictures and drawing develop your sense of composition, color and creativity in general.

[twocol_one]taking pictures of sand dunes[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]drawing zand dunes[/twocol_one_last]


Our play on the beach in images

It goes without saying that you don’t have to play on the beach alone! It is a great activity to do together with you (grand)children, as I know from experience.

An advantage of the year we went beachcombing was we cleaned the beach. We threw all the stuff we hadn’t use in the bins.

A fantasy animal one of my colleagues made.

candle holders
Have you heard of the Memphis group? They inspired us enormously in our work as graphic designers and during the beach combing trip.

3d collage
This was so funny: I took this collage home, but what I had not noticed in the open air on the beach, became very soon apparent in the house. It smelled like dead fish!

My color box fell accidently out of my hands, giving me unexpected inspiration to look for lines and composition.

Intermezzo, get inspiration from creativity

Intermezzo, get inspiration from creativity

Inspiration and creativity are must haves for me. Irregularly I make drawings, collages or mixed media in some kind of theme. It helps me keep my creative skills flowing. Here are a couple of examples:

An intermezzo is a short piece of music written to be played on its own or as part of a longer piece. For me it’s a welcome break in my daily activities.

What do you get your inspiration from? Tell me in the commentbox below.

How do you stay inspired? Five tips – I like #4 the most

Photography: How do you stay inspired? Five tips – I like #4 the most

Taking pictures changes your point of view

inspiration photographyThere has been a period in my life I didn’t take any pictures at all, making me regret that later, because I don’t have pictures of my son age 6 to 9. The reason was that I wasn’t inspired anymore and didn’t feel up to the effort.

Nowadays I have found several ways to get inspired and to develop my creativity. Which I will share with you in this article and I hope you will add tips of your own at the end of this article.

Don’t settle for a result too soon

inspiration composition

Tip #1 – How about composition, color and disarray

When I take a picture I judge it on several elements

  • How is the composition?
    I can choose a symmetrical or a dynamic composition;
    When there are more objects in the photo, I can either let them overlap each other or make sure they are next one another
  • How is the color?
    Sometimes the colors are bright. I have an opinion about what colors harmonize best with each other and can choose for either that harmony or disharmony;
    Black and white pictures let me focus solely on the contrast and composition
  • Is there no distraction from the subject?
    Often I don’t see that lamppost that was just behind a person or how the different subjects mingle, until I took the picture and watch at the scene in a two-dimensional way.

A lot of pictures I take over and over again until I am satisfied and then I throw away the rest.

pictures for your blogRead more:

Pictures for an article

Images for your blog

inspiration umbrella

Tip #2 – Be a member of Instagram

Participating in the challenges on Instagram

Instagram is one of the social media, focusing solely on photography. It’s a great community populated by both amateur photographers and professionals.
People are very much willing to show a newby around or making suggestions, if you are looking for that. Or if you just want to show your pictures and nothing more, that’s also fine.


What I like are the challenges. At the moment I am participating in two monthly challenges to upload a photo within a daily theme.
For example one assignment for #theidearoom was ‘eyes’ and I made this pictures of fisch in a Spanish marketplace.

You don’t take a photograph,
you make it.
— Ansel Adams

Tip #3 – Using apps on the smartphone

I am an addict to Hipstamatic, Cameramatic and Snapseed

umbrella hipstamatic

For years I have polished my skills on my DSLR-camera. At the moment I own a Canon Mark II and the pictures I make with it are technically perfect.
And yet I love an app like Hipstamatic, where I don’t know what kind of picture will come out of the developing process. The app pretends to be an old camera with all the old flaws old cameras had.
So there can be a huge light leak in the photo or a massive vignette.
Have a look at the article I wrote about it the other day.

hipstamaticRead more:

Photography, my Passion. Looking through the square hole.


There is nothing worse than a sharp image
of a fuzzy concept.
— Ansel Adams

Tip #4 – Take one subject and make a series of it

Have a look at my umbrella series

inspired by an umbrella

  • A friend forgot her umbrella in my car, so I had a great time taking it in the house and making several pictures of it during the days it was in my possession.
    That’s making a series in a short period of time of one object.
  • On this website I have one picture every day that will be in the same monthly theme.
    That’s making a series by browsing the pictures I have with a specific theme I have in my head.
  • During my holidays I pick one theme to make all my pictures in. So then it’s not about an object to make a series with, but using a concept.
    Themes I have used were for instance: vertical, round, big-small, S-curve, monochrome, symmetrical.

Tip #5 – Edit your pictures

Or make a nice frame for them


I edit mostly in Camera Raw, a plugin for Adobe Photoshop. If you work solely on your smartphone there are several apps that can help you with the editing. Snapseed is my favorite, but browse or try a lot and you will find out soon enough what your own favorite will be.

Frames are another great way to enhance your photos or to work on just for fun. As with the editing there are numerous apps to use, but if you want to make a unique one, try out my tutorial

inspiration photography

Tip #6 – Please add yours

How do you keep yourself inspired while photographing? We all benefit from the tips of others, so I’ll be most grateful if you add yours in the commentbox below.

Pictures for an article in a blog or magazine

What part do you want to show?

Pictures for an article in a blog or magazine

Good pictures make the content of a story clear at a glance. Or can explain something that is more difficult to express in words. Whether you use pictures for an article in a digital or printed form, doesn’t matter. The rules are the same.

Using your own pictures is practical for two reasons:

1. You have no problems concerning the copyright of somebody else, because the copyright belongs to you;

2. You can crop the images the way you want. Another one’s photos cannot be changed at your discretion.

Read more