So…as the winds of change are blowing through my life, I’m still in the midst of (re)organising.

I want less stuff!

And so, I went thrift shopping today! hehehe…oh well, that’s just MY logic!

It started with my hunt for a paper shredder. You see, I invested one full summer holiday day in sorting and clearing out our 12-year old and unkept administration. That resulted in a HUGE crate of paper that needs to be discarded…and since it’s all bills and stuff, I thought it would be best to shredd them to pieces….so I set out to buy myself a cheap shredder…(it shredds, but very cheaply…it’s already been overheated twice in 15 minutes!!! So I’ve been spending more time trying to pop small pieces of stuck paper out of that thing than shredding….Aaargh!!!)

And since the paper shredder store is only metres away from the local and renowned thrift store…oh well, how could I let that chance pass me by?

Well, I’m over the moon that I didn’t and that I just went in.

Not only did I find my girls a few really awesome DVDs (really cool ones about volcanoes, dinosaurs and elephants) and myself 3 brand new shirts (all still with shop labels attached) for  a dime….no, I also found this:

5 lovely books to serve as self-study material for learning to illustrate.

The utter left book is by Pirkko Vainio. I chose her book because of the lovely watercolor illustrations that seem light as air. I think it’s good to try imitating a few of her illustrations to improve my watercolor skills. Especially because her technique is so unlike mine. Unfortunately I can’t find a website with her work or some information about her to link to.

The second book on the left is by The Tjong King, THE Dutch illustrator. He works in pen, ink and watercolor mainly. I chose to learn from this book because of his water illustrations. He uses a very coarse technique for it in watercolor or ink that is delicate at the same time. So…more watercolor!

The utter right book is illustrated by Paula Gerritsen. I chose to learn from her illustrations because she has used to so many different materials and techniques alongside eachother for this book. And also, these illustrations play with proportion immensely and I’d like to give that a try as well. She even pulls off using extremely different styles even within illustrations. Hm! Seems like there’s a lot to experiment with in that field!

The second book on the right is illustrated by Tony Ross. Besides his style – which reminds me a lot of Quentin Blake’s illustrations – I like his working with empty space. He dares leave spaces uncolored. Well, I usually cram my illustrations with color, so how’s that for a challenge! Ink and pen…and perhaps a little watercolor…and lots of white! Let’s see if I can bring some air into my own work.

Then…taratataaaa…my superduper purchase of the day! I ran into a children’s book by Kveta Pacovska!!!!!!!!!!! I read it and I don’t really think it’s a good children’s book…it’s very abstract and the story doesn’t really hold together. But for me it’s a great source of inspiration…because unlike any other illustrator, Pacovska makes ART and doesn’t make any compromise in the process. She makes a children’s book as art. What I can learn from her work, is letting go of the formats I have in my mind for how things must look and how they must be drawn. Pacovska works in basic shapes only and lots of color…even if it will never be my style, I think it would be a good exercise to redraw one of my own illustrations Pacovska style. To see what I end up with. Who knows where it can take me?

And another bonus is that I just found out this book is a collector’s item. Worth over 50 times more that what I spent on it! Ha! How’s that for some good luck?!

Okay, so I have added to my collection of children’s books. But with so much stuff cleared out of my studio already, I have some space available to make a lovely collection of study material!