Rop van Mierlo

Rop van Mierlo does it again.

I can’t get enough of this video!


Music and lyrics

Pure magic.
A weekend filled with good friends, wine, music, lyrics, poetry.
Wow, wow, wow.

Last weekend I hosted workshops at the very first Snorfestival, organized by my Moustached friends: de wereld van Snor.
The workshop crowd was as enthusiastic as I had hoped for and the whole day was just filled with smiley faces all around.
(including lovely lady Vlinspiratie, who helped me out at the Urlaub booth!)

This wonderful video was taken that day.
I can’t wait for the second edition next year!


My main hobby these days is sleep deprivation and this weekend was no different.

I had slept for just four hours, before making the drive up to the festival, but the night before was so so worth it.
If you’re Dutch and you’ve never been to THE Poetry Night… girl, you’ve missed out!

Wanting to be an intellectual growing up, I used to be quite the poetry groupie and went to this festival years on end. Dating a musician I kinda forgot about this first love.
This year, my main man Rufus lured me back in.

I won’t even try to translate the poems I heard, I’ll let Google translate come up with something creative for my English pals.
You can read them in Dutch below.

Personal highlights were Remco Campert (had never seen this giant live before!), Leonard Nolens, Erik Jan Harmens and Bart Chabot.
And then there were the most amazing musical interludes by Daria van den Bercken, Maarten Heijmans and of course Rufus Wainwright (sigh!).

The woman in the picture whispering a love poem in my ear is the ever inspiring Titi Zaadnoordijk.
Oh my, how she made me blush.


Ellen Vesters Illustrator bij de Nacht van de Poezie


Leonard Nolens
Opzichtige stilte

Bij u is het lijden algemeen menselijk, vaag
als bloed dat van blèrende flatscreens uw huizen in spat.

Hier is het hees en kortzichtig, een bleek gezicht
in een onafzienbaar witte rivier van gangen.

Hier is het een roepnaam verstomd in een doodstille kamer.
Wij spraken uw dagen met moeite te lang naar de mond.

Ooit was verdriet een methode, een traan die treuzelt
en schittert als de naald van een kompas.

Het wees ons de weg naar deze verdieping, hoog
en geheim als de hartslag van onze naamloze bloedgroep.

Stethoscopen betasten en testen ons ademloos
luisterend. Horen zij, weten zij veel hoe wij heten.


Erik Jan Harmens
Open mond

vroeger lachte je om mijn grappen
nu zet je ze bij de weg als gedemonteerde keukenonderdelen

ik kan geen rennende mensen meer verdragen
daarom heb ik iedereen neergeschoten

ben je bang voor trommelende dingen
dan zal ik mijn vingers maar bij me houden

ik kijk naar waar ik mijn handen wil leggen
jij gelijk hoppa je vest dicht

Illustration Summer School

“What a lifechanging week!”, all of us shouted.
Summer school in Cambridge had ended and we said our teary-eyed goodbyes…

Just one week! One week that was so inspiring that all of us felt like Peter Pan had sneaked up on us in our bedrooms and had kidnapped us to Never Never Land.

So, what happened?

This June I felt like I needed a good kick up the old illustration butt.
Running a shop, working on commissions, and teaching illustration as well as psychology had taken their toll.
I had to get back in the artistic saddle and create something of my own again.
I looked around for nice summer schools, remembered Marloes de Vries being oh-so enthusiastic about the Children’s Book Illustration one in Cambridge and decided to enroll.
It turned out to be the best thing I could’ve done for myself.

Ellen Vesters Illustrator at MA Children's Book Illustration Summer School Cambridge

I photographed this sign on my way to campus.
I was so so nervous, carrying 14 kilos of art supplies, wondering what I was getting myself into: an insecure 18-year old Erasmus student all over again!

But of course summer school was amazing.
The teachers were the best ones around, special credits to Pam Smy, Marta Altes, Courtney Dicmas, Ness Wood and Imogen Clare.
We got to work on our very own children’s book (dummy) for one whole week, including daily lectures and one-on-ones.
What a treat!

Ellen Vesters Illustrator at MA Children's Book Illustration Summer School Cambridge

Already on day two I texted Mr Rockstar: “Houston, we’ve got a problem… I don’t want to go home anymore!”

The rest of the week I felt like I was going mental.
I felt absolutely torn between wanting to have more of this, wanting to sign up for the MA, and having this already wonderful life back in the Netherlands.
At one point I thought to myself: what would Lecturer-me do?
I started to look for possibilities instead of racking my brain about all the impossibilities.
And of course… with the right sacrifices it turned out I could do it!


(without having finished my art school bachelor’s degree!)

This will be a crazy two and a half years, flying back and forth, but I am going to do this!

I will try to keep you guys updated on my progression.
Status right now: shaky knees! Feeling so nervous again!

Ellen Vesters Illustrator at MA Children's Book Illustration Summer School Cambridge

For those of you that want to know what I have actually been sketching that whole week…

Giraffes and zebras!


Ellen Vesters Illustrator at MA Children's Book Illustration Summer School Cambridge

Ellen Vesters Illustrator at MA Children's Book Illustration Summer School Cambridge