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T : Since 2017, I’ve been following Merel Slootheer with her Precious Matters company. And so I visited this exposition in Amsterdam which was organised by Maaikes Livepainting, a very talented artist who paints bees and wasps. I was so pleasantly surprised what insects can inspire us to create. Here are some of the artists I met for the first time here.

Ever since I was a child I have been making things. I played with dolls, and I would design their clothing. I read DIY-books. I visualized making things, I am an autodidact in that way. As a child, school didn't suit me perfectly. Out of all the courses, 'Mix Academy' was the only one about art. This art school suited me and I studied there from 2002-2004 alongside my full-time job.

I never had a lot of confidence, until I decided to quit my job after 14 years as a calculator-work programmer at a maintenance company. I could never fulfilled my true potential there, but did it because I was good at it. Now, I’m doing something with my heart and soul. That gives me confidence and it shows. It also helps me to
connect me with like-minded people.

on becoming an artist?
What was your route

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The ‘slow business’ arose because I had more time to look at things, and to observe the garbage around me. I started to research the different kinds of garbage and came to the conclusion that the problem of garbage will never end. One third of garbage is from myself, my neighbours’ houses and our pockets or bags, ore drop it by accident.

 In my opinion, the only solution is to arrange a large group of daily litter pickers who pick at least one piece 

per day and then spread the news that picking up dirt is 'chiq' and 'artsy'.

I collected drink cans because I thought it makes a beautiful material to work with. By cutting the metal with simple scissors I discovered a beetle. I realised that this was a perfect spirit animal for me. Beetles are often cleaners. So I challenged myself to pick up one soda can and remake it into a beetle each day during 2016. 

The project is called #ElkeDagEenKever.

"I played with dolls, and I would design their clothing.

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Who and what inspires you
and in what way?

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Since I started my ‘beetle life’ I started to follow other artists on Instagram. Basson Handre makes beautiful pictures of insects. Kafka8makes insects from metal wires. Christopher Marley’s colours and compo­sitions inspire me. Carim Nahaboo makes interesting drawings and illustrations for ‘The Beetle Collector’s Handbook’. Another book that inspired me is ‘Het Wonderlijke Insectenboek’ which Bart Rossel and Medy Oberendorff designed. Last but not least I let Andy Warhol’s beetle-print ‘Happy Bug Day’ inspire me. At first I copied Andy. Now I make my beetles “Andy-like” in my own way. 

your creative process?
Can you take us through 

 I never make sketches before I design a beetle. The garbage let’s the beetle arise from it. The cans have so many inspirational prints that inspire me. Those prints lead me in deciding what form to cut and what lines and dots to put on for the decorative finishing touch. Because there are so many kinds of beetles I never get bored making them.

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On a sunny day Maaike saw a bumblebee on a sunflower. She took pictures and started to draw the little insect and started thinking about the important role of insects in nature. By her art she wants to raise awareness about the important role that insects have in nature. Her insects are realistic even with her own interpretation.

After making a lot of photos of her subject form different angles, she chooses the perfect one and starts with a sketch. Than she starts using pastel; with every layer more details become visible, giving a better insight into the form of the insect.

She gets inspired by the following artists she follows on Instagram: @denisoktyabr@zhaoyang3665@Izumi_kogahara and @radrabbit7. She finds their work powerful impressionable and because it is more abstract, she can augment it within her own ideas.

"By her art she wants to raise awareness 
about the important role that insects have in nature." 

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and in what way?
Who and what inspires you,
and in what way?
Can you take us through
" I tend to get obsessed and
think about the project
non-stop..."

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I soon saw
that these questions
cannot be answered in
a clear-cut way.

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T : Since 2017, I’ve been following Merel Slootheer with her Precious Matters company. And so I visited this exposition in Amsterdam which was organised by Maaikes Livepainting, a very talented artist who paints bees and wasps. I was so pleasantly surprised what insects can inspire us to create. Here are some of the artists I met for the first time here.

four artists
four artists

lees verder

T : Since 2017, I’ve been following Merel Slootheer with her Precious Matters company. And so I visited this exposition in Amsterdam which was organised by Maaikes Livepainting, a very talented artist who paints bees and wasps. I was so pleasantly surprised what insects can inspire us to create. Here are some of the artists I met for the first time here.

"I played with dolls, and I would design their clothing."

Want to see more and enjoy the special effects? Check the aricle on your Desktop computer or tablet.

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" I tend to get obsessed
and think about
the project non-stop..."

Want to see more and enjoy the special effects? Check the aricle on your Desktop computer or tablet.

scroll down

I soon saw that these questions
cannot be answered in a clear-cut way.

Want to see more and enjoy the special effects? Check the aricle on your Desktop computer or tablet.

scroll down

Gallery special
An insect’s world

T : Since 2017, I’ve been following Merel Slootheer with her Precious Matters company. And so I visited this exposition in Amsterdam which was organised by Maaikes Livepainting, a very talented artist who paints bees and wasps. I was so pleasantly surprised what insects can inspire us to create. Here are some of the artists I met for the first time here.

Sandra Westgeest
Can magician
Maaike Krijtenburg
Painter extraordinair
Cedric Laquieze
Species creator
Merel Slootheer
Nature's artist

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Nature inspires. An independent magazine dedicated to creativity inspired in any way or form by nature.
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