Nelleke Verhoeff is an artist based in Rotterdam, Holland, who creates quirky and playful illustrations for her and her partner’s multidisciplinary creative company, yepr. Coming from a circus-inspired theater background where she came up with performance productions using handmade masks, Nelleke’s passion for all things theater is clearly apparent in her artwork.
About eight years ago, Nelleke discovered and fostered a passion in painting. With her growing interest in painting, she realized that she would have to choose between theater and painting. She chose painting, but her love of theater plays a huge role in her work. Her subjects are believable in their expressions and actions, and they strike a chord because they remind me of a person, a place, or an emotion. Nelleke writes that the rosy cheeks donned by her characters are visual representations of the feelings of enthusiasm, shyness and excitement; emotions she is very familiar with.
“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” – Henry Winkler
Create an image or write something around this quote and send it to us!
Maja Wrońska is an Poland-based architect in her fifth year at Warsaw University of Technology. She has taken on her mother’s trade of architecture and has been drawing buildings and castles since she was a little girl. Poland’s skill requirements for architectural school prompted Maja to attend drawing classes, which changed her attitude towards drawing and gave her inspiration as a developing artist.
I discovered Maja’s work through her site on Deviant Art and was first drawn to her work Girl With A Red Umbrella, particularly because of the detail in the building and its reflection on the street, combined with the skillful use of watercolor, and the concept of combining a structural concept with imaginative undertones. I first mistook the scattered white and red circles as raindrops, but during our interview Maja corrected me and said they were lampions as inspired by the lantern scene in the movie Tangled. Girl With A Red Umbrella is actually a depiction of Kupala Night in Poznań, Poland, a solstice celebration where thousands of lanterns float all over the city.
Sheri Heller is a psychotherapist by profession who began taking photos as a teenager wanting to capture the beauty of her surroundings when she travelled. She credits her father’s artistry as well as her own interest in the Great Masters for giving her an affinity for the visual. Sheri says that traveling to new lands and being exposed to new cultures was a refuge for her from difficult circumstances. Photographing her travels allowed her to memorialize her experiences that sustained her, much like an author would jot down the details of important events. For Sheri, this ritual of eternalizing moments through photography is an ongoing process in her life.
She kindly agreed to answer some questions for Creativation Space below:
The man in front of me was massaging his face using a fine-toothed comb. He hardly had a mustache, in fact it was a poor excuse for one, so I wondered if the intense grooming was for the purpose of growing more of it. I thought about how it might feel to have facial hair on my lip, if it would tickle my nose and how it would smell. I pointed my lips forward as if to sniff an imaginary mustache, but smelled only the distinct aroma of Chickenjoy.
I’ve learned not to do a double-take when a sensation reminds me of home, because other things might very well produce the same kind of stimulus. Brooklyn’s KFC (Kennedy Fried Chicken) probably used the same frying oil, and why would there be Chickenjoy, a Filipino fast food dish, on my packed downtown Q train?
Right then a man beside me ruffled his bags and drew my eyes to his feet. They were cradling a bucket of my childhood favorite fried chicken in a bag labeled Jollibee. (For the uninformed, some trivia: McDonald’s is the top fast food chain in every country in the world except for the Philippines, where an overly jolly bee is the mascot of a burger and chicken joint called Jollibee.) The bearer had just come from the Jollibee in Queens, the first in New York.
“Is the Chickenjoy any good?” I asked in Tagalog to strike up conversation.
“Oh! I didn’t know you were Filipino,” the man responded.
I laughed and repeated my question. Ronnie said he just came from his shift as a fry cook at the restaurant, where he makes Chickenjoy all day.
“How about you, Ma’am? Where do you work?”
I was embarrassed at the automatically applied term of reverence, but did not correct him. I answered him, learning in return that he was going to his second job at a Colombian restaurant in Brooklyn. He said that the chef there was a fan of the Filipino-style chicken pieces, fried naked to an unparalleled crispiness that cannot be achieved by the use of batter, coatings, or soaking in buttermilk (“Batter-whattt?!” a Pinoy cook would say.)
“This is for them,” Ronnie said.
“Come visit the store sometime and ask for me in the kitchen,” he went on, although I knew that Jollibee had been open for years and I never had the urge to go.
Maybe I was afraid to find out that what I remembered too fondly didn’t taste so good anymore. Or maybe I’d learn that it did, that I actually missed it, but that it would never taste right in New York.
A response to the Creative Exercise : Travel Companion
Like many urban cities, New York is known for its convenient public transport system. Day and night, the subway and buses transport millions of people from one destination to another. Have you ever observed your fellow passengers and found a particular person whom you believe to be trustworthy during an emergency? If you have not, try to experiment with the idea this week. This person probably reminds you of another person in your life with similar characteristics or behaviors. Create a drawing or short prose about this person or fantasy this week.
Submissions will be accepted until Sunday, May 13th. View previous creative exercise submissions here.
Maki is a hair stylist who cuts and styles hair in a cute little salon on the Lower East Side. When she’s not wowing patrons with her skills, she tends to her plants, hangs out with her daughter and makes adorable bunnies. Maki makes little bunny dolls under her brand Yume (pronounced “yu-meh” and meaning “dream” in Japanese). Her meticulous attention to detail is evident in her process, and is clearly visible in the end result. She says that it took her a while to come up with a template she was happy with, which reflected the cuteness of the bunny she had in mind. For the fabric, she browsed in vain for the right pattern in New York and finally settled on Liberty of London’s fabrics. She incorporates Liberty’s patterned fabrics with other Japanese textiles (including fine linen) to create cute outfits for her bunnies. As for the stuffing, she skipped over the cheaper stuff, which she says never bounces back once it is pressed down. She says the Japanese stuffing she has shipped over makes a huge difference. The bunnies’ pressed-in faces, the orange string to highlight their noses, the pretty fold by the base of the ears, and their cute little white underbellies are just some of the details that make this bunny unique.
When I look at Melanee’s work, I am immediately drawn to the energy and the movement in it. The bold brushstrokes of the background elicit the feeling that there is a wind stirring the leaves. The trees themselves are more elegant, with their curvy branches and the thoughtful textures which represent leaves. The colors make me wonder if the trees are on fire. All of these things serve to create an interesting contrast that leaves me feeling an intense passion emanating from the artwork.
Thanks, Melanee, and keep up the good work!
To get in touch with Melanee: melanee.ohagan at gmail dot com
“One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.”
- A. A. Milne
Create an image or write something around this quote and send it to us!
Submissions for this creative prompt (Disorderly Discoveries) will be accepted until Friday, May 4th.
View previous Creative Prompt submissions here.
Jane and Mia always touched each other. It wasn’t necessarily romantic or sensual, but it was some form of comforting contact, as if they needed each other for reassurance every few minutes, the way a talisman is rubbed for strength or good luck.
Mia had long arms that could wrap around Jane twice in an expert grip. They covered Jane’s entire body the way a boa would if it ate an elephant whole in a Saint-Exuperie fashion, but without the choke hold.
Jane enjoyed being entangled in Mia, bound by her limbs and secured by them the way a belt does for a body in a vehicle’s seat. Mia wrapped Jane like a present, collecting loose ends and covering exposed areas, enjoying all parts of the ritual – a blanket for paper and arms and legs like the bows that found each other’s ends and tied knots taut for safe measure.
It seemed maternal, this swaddling of an otherwise independent adult. Mia wrapped Jane so diligently as if her life dependent on it, because truth be told it really did. Each stroke and knot, each pull and grip – to Mia these were the physical manifestations of how Jane actually kept her together. In securing Jane, Mia allowed no space for things to rattle or seep through, between them but mostly within her, where things were often flying, fighting for air, waiting for their turn to be shown.
It was as comforting to the apparent comforter, as separate and different as they seemed, their touches were reminders to each other of what they needed, and who they needed when they stepped out into the world undone.
A response to the creative exercise “Relationships”