Should I work for free?

We all know this fantastic poster Jessica Hische made.

And now one of the Netherlands’s funniest illustrating ladies, Maaike Hartjes, is working on a book about the illustration business! According to her too many illustrators don’t bother reading business books because they tend to be too boring. That’s where Maaike comes in: she won’t be writing boring stories on how to do business… she will DRAW them!

The book is aimed at starting and wannabe illustrators but she hopes professional illustrators will pick up a few tips as well.


The title will be ‘Tekeningen, Rekeningen’ (drawings, bills’).


Because of the growing enthousiasm for her book and it’s facebook page (where she shows finished comic pages of the book) she decided to translate her business comics in English!


Here’s number one:

Maaike Hartjes Pitches from the book Tekeningen Rekeningen


I am also so in love with the badge she made for illustrator’s websites (see below).

As Maaike puts it:
“One of my colleagues got an assignment for a comic this week.  Though well, assignment…
There was a tight budget so she was asked to work for free!
Somehow it didn’t occur to them to ask the printer or designer to work for free.
After all, those are REAL jobs  and drawing is just a fun hobby, right?! :-/

So here’s an answer you can tell your ‘clients’ when they ask for freebies!”


Maaike Hartjes If you want someone to work for peanuts


Maybe for some of you this badge still doesn’t do the trick?
Then check out the website of Mr Bingo:
Scroll all the way down to ‘Info’ and click on the link that says ‘Does Mr Bingo work for free’.

Guaranteed laughing so hard it will hurt.


Dream a little dream of me…

Already a year ago, after a decade of deliberation, I decided to finally cut the knot and go for creative entrepreneurship. Since then I have felt more inspired in life than ever before. Perhaps most of all because of all the sweet, nice and interesting people I’ve met.


In the past year, among other things, I came across the organization Don’t-do-it-yourself. Don’t-do-it-yourself organises networking events, where it’s not so much about networking, but more about working for each other. For me, it represents a guarantee that I will have the most inspiring day or evening, full of brainstorming and sharing cool ideas. Arnoud and Marcel and their friends always know so well how to inspire people, to make them let go of what they know, let go of fears about a room filled with new people, and to just have a wonderful afternoon. Every time the best new connections arise. (Dutchies: kom op, waar wacht je op, meld je aan!)


When Don’t-do-it-yourself announced that they would organize an evening especially for illustrators, I immediately responded. They were scouting for illustrators to work on a book about the analyzing of dreams. Interesting! We came with dozens of us to team up with the writers. I’ve already showed you before what work I made that night. After submitting it I had to wait for months to know if I was selected and as you’d expect by now…


I did it! I’m in the book!


ellen vesters wat heb jij gedroomd vannacht


The book has turned out beautiful. Dream Coach Nicoline Douwes Isema attracted writer Cathelijne Esser to put all her knowledge into words and they have certainly succeeded. In a very accessible and entertaining way, they discuss how your brain works at night and how you can make the most use of all those nocturnal images. Besides the compelling content the book is filled with the works of talented illustrators.
(Unfortunately for now it is only available in dutch)

Find out more about the power of dreams here:


ellen vesters wat heb jij gedroomd vannacht


ellen vesters wat heb jij gedroomd vannacht


ellen vesters wat heb jij gedroomd vannacht sloth luiaard