The Heroine’s Journey of Myra Emmen Riedel

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

I love crawling into the fantasy world of my illustrations, portraying them and working them out in different techniques. Preferably all together. From pasting, to painting, with chalk and pencil over it. In addition to illustrating, I give art lessons at primary schools where I let children use their imagination. There are often beautiful works of art from which I get inspiration again.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

Enjoying small things, such as walking in nature, looking at people in the city, being at home with my own things, making creations from different materials, listening to good music, being with friends and family, expressing my imagination in illustrating.

What is my greatest fear?

Losing my loved ones. The consequences of global warming in the future.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

Sometimes make impulsive decisions that have negative effects

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?

I am proud that there are many illustrators living in the Netherlands who make beautiful books. There are too many to list.

What is my greatest extravagance?

Many thrift stores go to find beautiful dresses, hats, skirts. My sister says always that I really look like a sweet art teacher for children.

On what occasion would I lie?

I prefer to always be honest, but if I have to think of something then people on the street appeal to me and want to sell something

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

Making invoices, arrange tax.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

A lot came my way last year, making the dream I had come true.

My first picture book was published. I was allowed to set up my own exhibition with my own work, with the surprise that a number of illustrations from the first published picture book were chosen to be exhibited in the biennial of Bratislava. I feel most comfortable in a place where I have the opportunity to work with my own materials. Now that’s home.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

Not everyone is perfect, but the life I now lead is great and I get the support of many people who help me to move forward to make my dreams come true.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

Making my first childrenbook on a internship, send it to publishers. One of them react and publish it. After that I get a mail with the news that my illustration from this debute are chosen for the Bratislava Childrensbook Biennale. Also I have made backgrounds for a beautiful animationfilm ‘Flower Found!’ which is screened around the hole world and wins many prices. I am proud of the person who makes this animation ‘Jorn Leeuwerink’

Where would I most like to live?

I love Amsterdam. You can get everywhere quickly by bike and my friends and family live close by.

With the train you can come evrywere, going to the nature, the sea, other beautiful old city’s and villages.

What is my most treasured possession?

My collection of beautiful picture books from which I get a lot of inspiration and browse through with great pleasure. My own illustrations where I put my heart and soul into.

What is my most marked characteristic?

Positive and cheerfull!

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

That can be anywhere. It could be an old old grandfather who wears bright pink shoes, a garden that is full of kitch gnomes, an old tree where you see a face, someone who sells his vegetables screaming at the market.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?

I like cozy, small eating and drinking places. Preferably hidden where the standard tourist does not know about.

What books influenced my life and how?

I mainly get inspiration from books. They can be crazy characters that really appeal to the imagination. A special world that you can dive into. I love Alice and Wonderland

Who are my favorite writers?

Roald Dahl, Annie M.G schmidt, Toon Tellegen, Lewis Carroll from Alice in Wonderland, A.A. Milne from winnie the pooh, Jonathan Safran Foer: Everything is Illuminated and a lot more.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

A mix of classical, balkanklezmer, gipsy jazz, tango. Preferably music from all over the world.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Matilda from roald dahl who can make things move with her eyes.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

Family and friends who support me every moment in work and real live.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime?

There are too many good, crazy, beautiful films to mention. Litlle miss sunshine, Amelie Poulain, Nebraska, Everything is Illuminated, A magificent cake, Spirited Away, The red turtle and so on.

What role plays art in my life and work?

I like to look at art. Most of all the impressionists and the expressionists. The beautiful colours and how they life from that ceintury. You are going back to the past. The inspiration I get from art is most of all beautiful picturebooks. They have different styles and the illustrations are maked in different techniqeus. Its nice to see how people make it. I learned a lot to look how people built up an picturebook illustration.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

My friends and family. They support me always and giving great feedback and help me out with new projects.

Whom would I like to work with in 2019/2020?

I would like to make more childrenbooks with different publishers, searching for people who have places to exhibit my illustrations and searching for subsidy’s to do my own art projects.

Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2019/2020?

There a lot of different dutch childrenbook illustrators who I would love to meet. Talk about work, giving feedback to each other and inspiration. Also animators who makes animation films. I would like to do projects with them. Making backgrounds for example.

What project, in 2019/2020, am I looking forward to work on?

Now I am working on a picture book for a publisher about farm animals that gossip with each other. I can really enjoy myself in different techniques, colors and characters. This picture book ‘How the mosquito became an elephant’ (Hoe de mug een olifant werd) is published in the spring.

Where can you see me or my work in 2019/2020?

On my website you can see what I am doing and I post a lot about my projects and illustrations on Facebook and Instragram. You can find me on facebook on my name and also I share a lot on my illustration page: myra illustraties. Also on instagram I share a lot under the name ’emmenriedel’

This is my website:

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

Keep believing in yourself, keep creating things and put your heart and soul in everything I do.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Vera de Backker, Also a childrenbook illustrator. I call her my personal mentor. Because of her faith in my work and me as a person. Also Linda Willemszoon, she helped me to do projects and gives me a lot opportunities. She makes art with projectors and lights as a VJ artist ans is also a illustrator.

How can you contact me?

On my website:

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