Sunday, 30 March 2014


Last weekend I wrote about cows and local produced cheese, milk and meat. There is a city in the north of UK and they have turned their grey city into an edible city. Watch this inspiring Ted Talk by Pam Warhurst and get inspired! It is the season to put seeds in the soil and see what happens. It might be bigger than you can imagine.

Friday, 28 March 2014


Thanks to the website Postcrossing, I have received touching, kind messages from all over the world. Beautiful cards but the stamps are amazing. Join postcrossing too; for every postcard you send you receive a postcard from a far away country. I just makes my day every time I open the mailbox and these cards with unknown handwriting; this one for instance: " Hello I'm Nick, come from Chine. I'm so happy to send this card to u. I hope you can like it" Well Happy Friday! See you next week. Marike.

Monday, 24 March 2014

28 february 2009

My very first blogpost. It has been 5 years of blogging this year. I just started, never gave it much thought. Other artists were blogging, I read blogs, I liked blogs. And and it seemed so easy. So I started my own blog. And it was so easy. If I read my old blogs again I'm surprised how free and creative my blog was. How did I capture my own creativity like that?
5 years later i have quite my job, Im a freelance illustrator and I still have my blog that is visited by several hundred visitor each month (really? yeah really, still find it difficult to believe but google doesn't lie does it?) I'm more of a professional these days and I love my professionlized creative life, but at the same time I miss the carefree creativity that I used to have. There were no limitations.
I still follow and see a lot of blogs, and it seems a lot of blogs professionalized as well. A lot of bloggers found their 'color', their character. Or maybe, their comfort zone.  The pictures are very perfect, and their lives seem so perfect as well.
And blogging was so new years back, there were no rules, no set boundaries. And now, it seems, there are. And there was no Facebook, no Instagram, no Pinterest. Maybe the character of the platform changed with the entry of other beautiful creative, visual platforms. But I strongly feel the need to color outside the lines again. Be as free minded as several years ago. Look at some ones hair and make a conclusion about life. Draw a bathtub and add a shark. Why? I don't know, because I can.

Spring just has started, and isn't spring the perfect season to start something new? Im gonna try to add some space to creative life, think and draw outside the box. Im leaving my city for 10 weeks in my personal life, so it seems to be the perfect time to be an artist and bring some surprise, amazement and freedom back into my work. I hope I can bring it across to all of you.
And, for all those readers who have beared with me all those years. Im so very happy. My blog feels like my own little playground and to know that people look at my work moves my heart. It really does. Thank you all, Marike.

Ps; all this blog-mesmerizing was the result of a wonderful afternoon initiated by 101Woonidee├źn. I met 12 other bloggers and talked about our work, lives and blogs. Have peek at the other blogs if you like: Jans, Elske, (who inspired me to think about moving to Friesland), Wimke and a few others, I will post about them another time. 

Saturday, 22 March 2014


On the first saturday of this spring I took some people to my favorite country road. It was a chilly day, the rain drizzled while we cycled there but the cows did not mind the rain and were eager to leave the stables. The were all very pregnant, but jumped with joy (or maybe frustration) as they ran into the fields. All the spectators applauded, I was just amazed about how relaxed the cows were. A horse would have had way more stress, being surrounded by so many people. We saw some new born (so new born that I saw bloodstains on the straw) lambs and some very young cows. They are so beautiful, their eyes just blow me away. Oh man, cows.
The reason to take all these people on a trip to the countryside is the little cheese shop that I visit every week. The wife of the farmer started her own little cheese makery and she uses their own milk to produce the cheese. She invited us in, we tasted all the cheeses and her buttermilk (WOW!). But her farmers stories also saddened me a bit. The big dairy companies pay her 44 cent a liter. She and her husband own a small farm, and farm in an old fashion way; slow and with lots of care for the animals. It is very difficult to compete with big farmers, who, with their effective factory-like-ways, manage to take as much as 50 liters of milk from a cow. (opposed to 8 liters that a 'normal' cow would give) FIFTY liters each day. MAN! That is just mind-blowing.
The farmers wife now tries to double the 44 cents to 88 cents by making her own cheese, milk, butter and yoghurt. I love her cheese, and so do many others because she is getting busier and busier. I love to support all these small, hardworking businesses run by individuals. If I buy all my dairy at her farm I pay less than I would in the shop, but she has a higher income. I hope that all my cheese buying makes a difference in the end. And I feel so blessed that I have found many little stores who sell locally produced food, and little by little my cupboard and fridge is filled with local honey, local jam etc.
On the pic you see the happy cows, and here some interesting links to the farms we visited; Hartstocht, sells meat and milk from own cows. Anna Haen sells locally produced products as honey, jam, and chutney. And my favorite; Geingenoegen, lovely cheese, really nice milk and yoghurt. For all those people in Amsterdam, visitors and tourists; visit them. Buy lots of cheese, go see some cows and spend your money locally. It really does make our neighborhood (and the world) a little nicer.

Oh yeah and don't forget; IT IS SPRING, jump a little, like those cows, or make a little dance, it is good for you. Xmarike.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Steve Jobs

When I listen to Bob Dylans music Im amazed by how natural his songs sound. Perfect, amazing songs, yet so apparent this is the way the song should sound.  I think Bob Dylan is the most amazing songwriter there is, but in all honestly I think that writing songs wasn't that difficult for Dylan. Like those songs already existed but the just needed to come out of his head.
I just finished Steve Jobs Biography (Jobs was a huge Dylan fan).  Reading his book made me realize that a lot of the amazing Apple features that I use every day are so natural and intuitive that they have always seemed to be there. But they weren't, some one invented them. The desktop icons, the iTunes playlist, the iPad swiping. The zooming in and out. The non-existing on/off button. (or it is there, you just never use it). Jobs wanted his machines to be as natural as possible. And he achieved this by using his intuition. No teacher (and only one manager) ever told the importance of intuitive decision making. Going through life your taught to work hard, learn, think loads. But trusting on your instinct is rarely emphasized upon. While, for me, the best decisions I made where the intuitive ones.So I was inspired by Jobs. This man was not hippie or a new age guru, this man was one of the most important business men in the world.
Other things I learned from this book: he was a bit of an asshole, he dated Joan Baez (singer and Dylans ex) and Jennifer Egan. She is an american writer and wrote 'A visit from the Goon squat'. It happened to be the book that I read right before Jobs biography. Loved it. My favorite chapter was the second last in which the sister of an autist explains to her dad how the brain of her brother works. Brilliant. And the book breaths music. A very modern novel, speedy, modern life problems: anxiety, too many decisions in life, I don't want to grow up-problems, pills, drugs. That sort of book. Probably written on an Apple given to Egan by Steve Jobs.
Loved both books, one I enjoyed, the other one excited me. And Mr Jobs; thank you for my beautiful machine. It really brings out the best in me. I have some skills and talents myself, but your hardware gives me the ability to make what I see in my head. And on top of that, most importantly of all; you gave me an Apple Z button. Where would I be without the Apple Z button?