Although I have only been teaching for a few years, I always felt like a teacher in some way. As a child, I caught beetles and grasshoppers to show them to the neighbour’s boys and girls. I still do pretty much the same, but with a deeper meaning behind it.
People drifted further from nature than ever before. I am deeply worried by the changes which I daily notice in our landscape. We hear about climate change, which is abstract to most of us and of such a scale that our individual actions seem to have little impact. But we overlook the wide-scale draining of any piece of land which holds water, and which is exactly the result of many individual actions. In order to see, we must first open our eyes to the beauty which surrounds us. Teaching this is my passion, and illustrating is a part of it. This is why my illustrations are based on reality. In a way, they are simplifications which I use to tell about our surroundings.
Speaking metaphorically, I was a biologist first and only later went to study biology. I specialized in the ecology of amphibians and reptiles, but have a wide interest in anything alive. To me, there is no great division between observing animals in nature and keeping them in captivity, both are aspects of the same interest. Therefore, I will always be a passionate animal keeper, as well as a nature conservationist.
I grew up in the Netherlands, where nature is almost an equivalent of grass between the pavement, or rather, what’s left of the animals and plants remains because it is carefully managed. I currently live in Slovenia, where I find the animals which I knew only from books when I was a child. Now I like to go out and show them to you as well …