Meet Mariëlla

When were you born?
On 09-09-1970. Still remember it like it was yesterday, very pleased about the double 9. Must bring luck in one of my universes.

Where do you live?
In an old cottage near Nijmegen (Holland). Together with my wonderful, adorable crazy boyfriend and our fluffy grey cat, not listening to the name of Kokonor.

What do you like?
Cats with striped suits, old houses with curly ornaments and marble, fountain pens, the smell of books, swimming underwater, bleating sheep, the Buddha, foggy weather, buying books in London, running in Iceland, watching the northern lights, being on top of a mountain and walking along the sea.

What do you dislike?
Arithmetic, cold feet, doing dishes and sticky shower curtains.

What makes you happy?
Watching funny animals like the slow loris, a maki, the aye aye and tapirs, a dishwashing machine, making intelligent conversation with sheep, swans swimming upside down with their feet sticking out, driving through the carwash, the Dalai Lama, my wonderful, adorable crazy boyfriend reading me bedtime stories, dogs with too much hair, hot chocolate, Kokonor purring away on my lap, incredibly warm slippers, traveling all over the world, visiting my very missed family in Aruba and sunshine.

What are your hobbies?
Books, books and books, jumping on my trampoline, horse riding, watching documentaries on my crosstrainer, traveling, swimming and hiking.
I also like to learn new things, which I try to combine with drawing. Learning Spanish or Japanese for example is wonderful for remembering which drawing I made during vocabulary lessons. O aide kite ure shii desu! Igualmente :-)

Who do you admire?
Thanks to my beloved and patient father who offered his scarce freetime during holidays, I grew up with the Olivier B.Bommel stories of Marten Toonder. My first steps into unknown wonderful worlds and incredibly funny characters, while sitting under a pinetree in France, sharing some chocolate. I admire both my father and Marten Toonder and of course Mr. Bommel himself.
I also adore the illustrator Chris Riddell; if only I could make a drawing half as good and funny as his one day, I could die peacefully.
Then there are Rebecca Dautremer and Jimmy Spa, whose beautiful artwork make me speechless in both very different ways.

What are your favorite children's books?
When I was a child I loved 'Het malle ding van Bobbistiek' by Leonie Kooiker and all the stories from Marten Toonder.
Nowadays I really enjoy 'Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror' and other books by Chris Priestley, the Ottoline books from Chris Riddell and 'The Magician's Elephant' by Kate Dicamillo.
I think they make incredibly beautiful children's books in England and I would love to illustrate one some day!

What is your favorite food?
Chocolate of course or better yet: Cadbury's, pumpkin (in every shape or form), big green salads, sushi and all fruits.

Do you have secret wishes?
Yes! Breathing underwater, travel back in time, holding a koala, feeding a slow loris, my own private swimming pool, living abroad somewhere warm and sunny, visit Japan (eat loads of sushi), Africa (to pet a giraffe) and Antarctica (to dive under the ice with a supernasa-thermo-divesuit on and record secret underwater sounds), a dishwashing machine, playing the cello, (with special Kokonor-cat-ear-protection), schools teaching happiness to children and me making beautiful books which make children happy!