The museum of life

The museum of life

museum of life
The story of your life is told by those little valued personal objects. This is the museum of me.

1. Pooh My mother grew up in South Africa. This is one of the books she owned when she was a little girl. It’s Winnie the Pooh. I love the illustrations. My mother passed away almost twenty years ago when she was 47 years old. This makes the book all the more valuable to me. I love reading and I love children’s books. I studied Children’s Literature at the University of Leiden and wrote an elementary school teaching method on reading promotion. Give me a stack of children’s books and I won’t bother you for a while.

2. Amour éternel Part of me dreams of living in a little village in France, speaking French all day, playing jeu de boules en driving a Citroën Méhari. I bought this mini-Méhari in France. It’s in my Studio and every now and then I softly whisper sweet French words to it.

3. Theatrical bouquets of flowers In a future life a will be a florist and spend my days creating theatrical bouquets of flowers. I always have fresh flowers in my home and love the combination of delphinium, peonies and eucalyptus.

4. Tools Writing, drawing, painting, collaging, sewing or photography. Not a single day goes by without me creating. It’s my livelihood, but at the same time it’s a way of living. By creating, I design my life, both literally and metaphorically. It’s how I experience, play, document, relax, process and manifest. I’ve always done it like this and I couldn’t do it any other way. Or wouldn’t.

5. Light Fluorescent lamp light or bright lights make me feel unhappy. Specially when they blink. That’s why: big fan of fairy lights and candles.

6. Classic I love this beauty: a Polaroid SX70 camera. I still use it on a regular basis, though the film is expensive, exposure control is difficult and the Polaroids have to develop in the dark. Nonetheless….classic beauty.

7. Turquoise I prefer handwriting with a fountain pen and turquoise Japanese ink. It won’t get any more luxurious and specific than this.

8. Paradiso Music always surrounds me, whether I’m working, driving my car or folding the laundry. I love to sing and even performed in the legendary Paradiso Amsterdam, which doesn’t mean I’m the best singer in the world, but I am one of the most enthusiastic.

9. Tableware Cooking is a life-long passion and cook books are my literature of choice. I feel most happy when I’m wining and dining at a beautifully set table surrounded by my loved ones. I’m not a collector of things, but tableware is an exception to this. This pudding mold is part of the pastel tableware by Petrus Regout made in the fifties and sixties.

I don’t have time for dreams

I don’t have time for dreams

I don't have time for dreams.

“Space? Time?
I don’t have time.
First I have to…
And second I need to….
I’m always busy.
Where do the minutes, hours and days go?
Like I said before: I don’t have time.”

I’ve got news for you. You don’t have time. You make time.

It’s a matter of setting your priorities straight. You will always keep thinking: “yeah, but first I have to….” We’re all hiding behind our busying. But are we really that busy? And if we are, doing what?

Plan your creativity, dreams and desires. We often think we have to be in the right state of mind to create. If you decide to wait for the perfect moment, the chances are high you won’t create anything. Make space for your dreams and desires in your planner. It’s as simple as that.

And once you’ve planned out that space, use it to actually create. Observe yourself and notice how you react. Are you starting to clean? Or check your phone all the time? Watch Netflix? Eat chocolate? All the tricks in the book that you can do to prevent you from having to start creating. Choosing to live your desired life requires more effort then turning on the television or the computer.

You don’t have enough time? Or do you have to much excuses?

Turn off your computer and put your phone away.
It’s time to create.

At my kitchen table (week 46)

At my kitchen table (week 46)

at my kitchen table week 46
Last week I didn’t sit at my kitchen table. I strained my back, and when that got better I did the same with my shoulder. So sitting at a table, didn’t feel very comfortable. Unfortunately it also wasn’t possible to attend the philosophical book club evening or to pose for a friend’s photo project I wrote about last time.

Meanwhile my back and shoulder are better, and I’m sitting at my kitchen table now, looking back at the week.

A week in which Donald Trump was elected as the next president of the United States of America and I couldn’t believe it (and to be honest: I still don’t).

The neighbours went on a vacation. We drove them to the airport and took care of their cat. To thank us, they took us for lunch at the Gastrobar of Ron Blaauw in Amsterdam. It was delicious. As a dessert I got a surprise egg in an eatable nest with flowers. I was a happy woman.
My 2017 planner was delivered. Danielle Laporte’s Desire Map Planner. This year I had the same planner, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that the planner was such an important tool in starting up my business this year. It helped me set goals with my desires as a starting point, and helped me review these goals at the end of each week. I strongly recommend it (and this is an ad-free blog, so this is the sincere enthusiasm).
Instagram is one of my favourite online hang outs. Besides posting my own pictures, I love looking at pictures others are posting. In these week reviews I’d like to celebrate the account of photographers I love and admire. This week it’s the account of Narelle Carter-Quinlan. I met Narelle in an online photography course, and she’s one of the loveliest people I met on the www. And not only is she lovely, she creates these beautiful images in which she links body, emotions and landscape.
On the turntable in Studio Polle.
I kept working on my e-course ‘Create Creativity’. I so enjoyed the writing of it, and all things that come with launching the course, such as making videos and writing my love letter. I created the course with all my heart and I’m so happy how it turned out and with all the enrollments. We begin this Monday. If you want to join us, you can still sign up today or tomorrow. After that the doors close and you’ll have to wait for the next round.

Originality vs authenticity

Originality vs authenticity

originality vs authenticity

I was having a conversation with Catherine Just about being original. She asked me about my goals in photography and I told her that I wanted to be “original”. “Being original is difficult”, she said. “Almost everything has been done before.”

I want to make special things. Not something that looks like work made by others, but something that’s completely me.

Catherine’s right. Almost everything has been done before. Almost all things remind us of something we’ve seen before. Originality is a difficult, and perhaps impossible goal to achieve.

A quest for creativity is a quest for authenticity. What do you want to tell? How do you want to tell it? What’s your tone of voice? Who are you? When do you feel most vulnerable?

Find your own way. Find your own voice.


If you add your own way of expressing yourself to what’s been done before, than the result instantly is completely you. The result is authenticity. Attempts to be original can feel forced and uneasy, but if you see something authentic you can feel in your gut that you’re looking at something special.

There’s so much more to creativity than the technical aspects. The technical aspects are about how well you can draw a horse, understanding the perfect camera settings or how well you can knit without dropping stitches. The other, much more important aspects are about the courage to show up, the obstacles you have to overcome, your insights and convictions and eventually how comfortable you are spending time with yourself.

I want to make special things. Not something that looks like work made by others, but something that’s completely me. Because everything has been done before. But not by me.

Do you want to wake up yourself and your creativity? ‘Create Creativity’ starts this Monday, November 14. You can enroll now and enjoy a last minute discount of 10 Euros if you bring a friend with you. You can sign up here.

At my kitchen table (week 44)

At my kitchen table (week 44)

at my kitchen table week 44
I’m sitting at my kitchen table, looking back at the week.

While his owners went away on a weekend trip, Vince came to stay with us. Since Pip passed away last year, our house is without a dog. Sometimes the house is too quiet and empty (and very tidy), so Vince couldn’t be more welkome. Compared to Pip, Vince is a giant. The sweetest and most adorable giant. After two days of walking, cuddling, eating, sleeping and playing the BFG went home again. And now the house is too quiet and empty (and very tidy) again.
I read ‘Art Journal Your Archetypes’ from Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli. In this book you’ll find out your archetypes and how to use these archetypes as an inspiration in your mixed media work. I was inspired and enthusiastic.
I started promoting my new e-course ‘Create Creativity’. After all the preparations and working alone, it is so wonderful to finally be able to share this with you all. Wonderful, and exciting. We’re starting November 14. You can enroll now!
On the turntable in Studio Polle. (I guess it’s women’s week)
Instagram is one of my favourite online hang outs. Besides posting my own pictures, I love looking at pictures others are posting. In these week reviews I’d like to celebrate the account of photographers I love and admire. This week it’s the account of Elizabeth Bailey. Elizabeth’s photographs are emotional and conceptual self portraits. To me they are the perfect example of how to use self portraiture as visual storytelling. I love her work so much.
This Friday I was invited to attend the book launch of the debut novel ‘Voorland’ of Octavie Wolters. Octavie and me share a blog history, and I like her writings very much, so I cannot wait to read her novel. I’m afraid, for now, the novel is only available in Dutch.

The coming week I will be recording audio and video for ‘Create Creativity’. I also will be going to a philosophical book club meeting and pose for a photo project of a friend. To be continued.

Enjoy the weekend and have a beautiful week!

How to find your creative voice? 5 tips & tricks

How to find your creative voice? 5 tips & tricks

how to find your creative voice

Few people find true happiness in imitating or being a playback singer. Therefore finding your own style is a big ambition of all creatives. So how to find your creative voice?

Your own voice has a unique sound, by which others will recognize you. Your own style is determined by:

  • style you see: techniques, in focus or blurred, a big brush or a pen, colour or black and white. What are the visual characteristics of your work?
  • style you experience: melancholia or happiness, superficial or deep, light or heavy, introvert or extrovert. How do you feel?
  • the style you are: convictions, norms and values, vision. What’s your message?

How important is it to find your own creative voice? It’s very important, because your own style expresses the core of your being. Due to aligning character, expression and emotions of/in your work, coherence, strength and authenticity will develop in your art.

5 tips and tricks to find your creative style:

  1. Try out using different techniques and find the technique you like most. Practice and study.
  2. Be vulnerable. Express your true self in your creations and authenticity will be your reward.
  3. Sometimes you need to eliminate the influences of other artists. When you avoid reading books, looking at photographs or admiring paintings while you’re working on a creative project of your own, it forces you to only trust your own intuition. Also it can also be useful to create in the morning before you do anything else. Morning papers and social media can wait. As a result your mind will be more fresh and focused.
  4. Take risks. If you tend to repeat the way you do things, it is worth trying to make some small changes. Not repeating yourself will probably be a challenge. When you change things, you will notice that taking these risks will make your work more special and authentic.
  5. Practice describing your work. Use your creative voice, literally. As a result of describing your work (the way it looks, the theme or subject, which techniques you’ve used), you’ll get clear around the purpose of it and the quality of your work will improve.

Finally: Keep in mind that your style is not static. It will change with the passing of time. Finding your creative voice is an ongoing proces filled with discoveries and inventions.  And most of all: you can do it!

Now go make something beautiful.

You’re creative, but sometimes you need some help and support. That’s what I would love to help you with! Click to read all about my mentor sessions.