Vincent van Gogh was not the only Dutch artist I met in Amsterdam. I also had a lovely time with Koosje Koene, a wonderfully talented illustrator who has been my online pal.  Koosje draws amazingly well — I am especially amazed by her work with color pencil — but also has a lovely sense of wit and wisdom. She creates cartoon characters, illustrates food, tell visual stories, and has become the mentor for lots of people in the EDM community.

We met at a teahouse in the Vondelpark, shared stories, tea, and a stack of journals, then drew together.  Our styles are different but complementary, doncha think? Then we met up with Pascal, Koosje’s musician husband, and had a sumptuous Indonesian feast.IMG_0844Koosje is also one of the first people to offer really great online classes in drawing and she has been really helpful with advice on my budding efforts. I urge you to check out her work, watch her free weekly drawing tip videos,  and sign up for her next class. She’s awesome!


  1. Kaisa Mäki-Petäjä

    “Done is better than perfect.” I like that! :D

  2. Linda Hatfield

    I have ALWAYS started my books on the second page. Fun to see someone else suggest this. The simplicity of the “done is better”…page is refreshing too. THANKS

  3. Deb Hathaway

    I found Koosje on the Internet a few months ago and follow her drawing tips. I’m so glad you got to meet her… It sounds like you had a wonderful visit!!! I’m green with envy :-)

  4. Nancy

    So great that you two spent much of a day together, sharing tea, drawing, delicious food and conversation! I thought about you both that day….and of you, Danny, at that conference sharing illustrated journals with teachers from around the world! I told my students about their journal pages perhaps being part of your presentation and their eyes lit up. They loved to hear of it. And thanks to you I learned about Koosje and am taking her JUST DRAW IT class now. I love the assignments, the discipline, the dialog, the fun of the whole adventure. She has such good ideas, shared with wisdom and humor. I would encourage everyone to take her classes! Thank you for sharing a little about your visit!

  5. Anneroos

    I love her style!!!

  6. Kae Pea

    LOVE Koosje!!!
    She is lovely and awesome!

  7. Sharon Gorberg

    DONE is absolutely better than perfect. Especially because perfect doesn’t exist!!! :)
    The more one does the better one gets, but perfect is the monkey on the back.

  8. Sally Tinker Smith

    Be an imperfectionist! You offer me so much inspiration ~

  9. Cynthia Morris

    I love this! I love thinking of you in Amsterdam with art friends. Eating rijsfatel! YUM!

    Signing up for Koosje’s videos!

  10. minerva

    Thanks for sharing Koosje with us! What a cutie! :)

  11. Serena

    Koosje is amazing! I’ll been following her blog for a while now and I’m jealous that you got to meet her in person. :)

  12. Jason Pearlman

    This is awesome, thanks for sharing. I’m a horrible perfectionist (as in “perfectionst”), so I’m always looking for ways to do “bad” art and be able to tolerate it at the same time.

  13. Fern

    I have loved Koosje’s artwork since we participated in an online course together, and I am so glad you had a chance to meet and draw! ) If I ever get to Europe I’d love to meet her in person.

  14. suzi poland

    lovely to see you two inspiring talented people together. Wonderful to see the connections in life made through online connections.

  15. stacey

    thanks danny, i like her.

  16. Cindy Cornwall

    Danny, thanks for writing about Koosje. Now I know about water brush pens and using a terry cloth wrist band for on-the-go colorizing. I will definitely check back with her drawing tips.

  17. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    That was gorgeous – big like! I am such a scrappy writer, so always admire lovely words, beautifully written.

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