Simone Rijksen spotlight student

Student Spotlight: Simone Rijksen


Simone hails from the Netherlands and has been making art with us since Tommy Kane first challenged her to draw her kitchen in klass back in 2014!

Q: Simone, Where do you live and create your art currently?**

A: For ten years I have been working as a harbormaster and live on my little wooden sailing boat during the summer months. I really liked drawing my view from the harbor office and drawing everything I see and find on the isles on my free days. Currently, I have a year-round job in a museum for modern art and I’m living in the city centre of The Hague, The Netherlands.

I still draw when I’m on my boat during weekends and also really like drawing in the tram and train when going to work. But mostly, I really enjoy my new habit of a daily morning drawing during breakfast at home which gives me a very relaxed start to my day!

Simone Rijksen Artworks

Q: What got you started on your creative journey?

A: During my childhood I was more active than creative, always playing outdoors. When I was in high school and at the university where I studied film and theatre sciences, I was very interested in everything creative. I went to museums, the theatre, and arthouse films as often as I could, but didn’t create anything myself.

When I started working as an art editor and critic at a newspaper, my own creative journey started. In my free time I was trying and doing all kinds of new things: screenprinting, making collages, binding my own journals, carving stamps and photographing table-top miniature worlds [which you can see here:].

Then one day I found Danny Gregory’s book The Creative License in the bookstore and I immediately felt that this was what I really wanted to do: draw my life. A couple of months later, Sketchbook Skool started, I signed up for the Beginning kourse and I have never stopped drawing since!

Simone Rijksen Artwork

Q: What kourse at SBS has meant the most to you?

A: The Beginning kourse, because that kourse not only marks the start of Sketchbook Skool but at the same time the start of me happily drawing my life and everything I see. I still remember the exciting homework assignment given by Tommy Kane in the last week of klass: drawing in my kitchen.

I never thought I could do it, but did it anyway and not only really liked the process but also the result. Looking back, that drawing was the first drawing I ever made in my own true style. The kind comments by Tommy Kane and fellow students were very pleasant and good for giving me more confidence.

Simone Rijksen sketch work

Q: What has your drawing practice taught you?

A: Seeing more details and beauty in everyday life and being more open to everything I see and everyone I meet. Drawing has also given me the confidence that I can do something difficult even if I think I can not. I believe this really helps me in all kinds of ways.

For example, after my divorce I decided to keep our boat and bravely took to sailing and even anchored solo for the first time. And last but not least: drawing gives me a lot of pleasure every day and calms me down when necessary.

Simone has traveled far since her first kitchen drawing and we can’t wait to see where her drawing (and her sailing) takes her next!

3 mins

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