Artist feature – Koosje Koene

Muse news logoWhat better way to celebrate finally moving my artist interview posts over to their new home, than a fresh Muse News with a talented female artist.

Illustrators fascinate me, there are so many talented creatives out there that are able to provide exactly the right image for just about anything.

This Muse News is from Koosje Koene, an illustrator and compulsive drawer living in the wonderful city of Amsterdam (lucky huh?)


  • Tell us a bit about yourself Koosje.

I’m an illustrator and drawing addict from Amsterdam

Born and raised in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, I still live in this wonderful city. As a kid I was drawing all the time, and I never stopped doing that.
After an education in graphic design, I went to art school to learn photography. I made a living as a freelance photographer for almost 10 years, until I found out my heart wasn’t just in photography, but in creating on many levels. The itch to draw, paint and illustrate needed to be scratched. And that’s what I do.
I love drawing, and I do it all the time.
My work has been published in several magazines, both Dutch and international, and I work on many non-commissioned projects throughout the year.
To inspire and to spread knowledge is important to me, and that’s why I’m sharing the techniques that I use for my drawings, by teaching online drawing courses. You can find all course information by clicking here

Apart from drawing, I love to:

– Cook (and eat)
Of course I make illustrated recipes for my favourite dishes!
– Travel
It’s so refreshing and inspiring
– Run
I became a more balanced person ever since I started running and I have to admit: I’m addicted. To both drawing and running. Not at the same time though!

If you would ask me what you could wake me up for in the middle of the night, I would answer ‘Som Tam’ (Thai spicy papaya salad) or a visit to the art supply shop. Crazy? I don’t think so – I just love the taste of lime and chili, and the smell of freshly sharpened pencils!*

koosje koene self portrait

  • What inspired this latest drawing?

I have an ongoing project on drawing my own face. (Who else will be such a willing model every moment of the day for me?)
It’s interesting to see how my drawing style, my appearance and the way I interpret it differs every time.

  • What do you do when your Muse goes AWOL?

At first I get grumpy, but I try to snap out of it, by going for a walk (or a run), go knitting, get out and visit a museum or gallery… well, I just try to use a different side of my brain for a bit and tell myself: tomorrow the world will look different again.

Thanks Koosje 🙂 


koosje koene illustration

Looking at the creative output of other artists is a great way to inspire and coax your muse back. Take a peek at Koosje’s Etsy shop and maybe create a treasury including some of her and other examples of drawing. I find creating an Etsy treasury a great way to relax and unwind. There’re soooo many wonderful things to see there – it’s a concentrated shot of inspiration.

What if you’re reading this and thinking – “I can’t draw.” ? Well I read a good quote about this at another illustrator’s site last night;

Recently, more and more research is coming to light that indicates talent is a matter of time spent practicing, not a matter of innate ability. The idea that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to master a skill is increasingly gaining mainstream acceptance. Personally, I’m a big fan of the idea because it gives hope to people who once believed talent to be a gift they had not been given.

Stephen McCranie

This is something that I’ve always believed wholeheartedly and something that drove me to promote art teaching whenever I was able to during my teaching career. The arts are massively undervalued, which makes me both cross and bitterly sad.

just draw it course logoBut, there are many people out here in the online world that think like Stephen and Koosje and it’s getting even easier to access guidance, ideas and teaching in the arts. I recently discovered the joys of the eCourse and if I hadn’t already splurged out on some already this year, I’m sure I’d be signing up for Koosje’s. I’ve heard lots of positive feedback about it. Be sure to surf over to her website and read about her drawing course. Your brain will thank you for it…



*Buying art stash is one of life’s great pleasures. What’s not to love? Apart from having to pay for it…



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