How did I become an Artist

Esther and hennie in a Painting

How did I become an Artist in Pastel Paintings?

For everyone who didn’t know yet, together with my husband Hennie we have a transport company called  we transport containers and have our own fleet of trucks.

Everyone can understand that we sometimes have stress from this, both business and private…..



At one point I thought, I used to have hobbies I’ve done all kinds of things in those early days: crochet, knitting, made clothes, made jewelry, made clay dolls, made cards and much more and why did I stop doing that?

The answer is amazingly simple: life. Got married, got children, got divorced and I was forced to support myself and take care of the household, animals, and the children so simply no time enough for hobbies. In the end I was married again with Hennie who I’ve been married now for 20 years.

Together we have three children and two grandchildren. We have a remarkably busy life.

But at 54 I really thought it was high time to think about myself again.



So, I asked everyone for money for my birthday and went into a hobby shop with no clear plan and bought everything I thought I liked including sharpies, coloring book for adults, lettering book, sketchbook, colored pencils and much more what I don’t exactly know anymore.

I went home and got straight to work because that’s who I am. First started in the coloring book for adults, after a quarter of a page I already found out that the colored pencils I had for this (the cheap ones) did not yield the desired result that I had in mind, and I was already fed up with it.

After that I started lettering and I really liked doing that, but after several drawings and cards for various people’s birthdays, my inspiration was gone. Then I came across a mandala somewhere and I thought hey maybe I can do that and so I did.




And before I knew it, the mandalas wall art was getting bigger and bigger and more and more complicated. and I went to buy the right expensive materials for this, including Sakura gel pens that I ordered in America because they were not yet available here at the time and I had to wait 3 months for this, but they were worth it.

​Today, I have an outstanding selection of mandala art pieces with a variety of centered geometric patterns that are inspired by so many different things. and this is when I sold my first mandala.







Constant needing a challenge

But I am someone who needs a constant challenge so after 2 years of making mandalas I was ready for a new challenge and I decided to go for it to draw my own dog Angel realistically, I used to draw in my childhood a lot from comic books and that went well.

Long live google and YouTube!

Here I discovered all kinds of free tutorials and I started to draw along with such a tutorial. And boy did I get addicted!

In the summer I got up at 4 or 5 o’clock and went to work, every minute I had free I was drawing or watching YouTube tutorials, I was really drawing for at least 4 to 8 hours every day, 7 days a week, for 2 years long.

I began with colored pencils but after seeing free tutorials with pastel pencils, and I realized that it was a much faster medium so with that in mind because I was already in my fifties and thought in this pace, I don’t reach my goals in this life, so I was in need to try that the rest is history.


Drawing courses

In between I also did some paid simple basic courses drawing and anatomy of animal’s online on that I could do at my own pace. I also tried to follow a real-life drawing class nearby, but since I am quite stubborn and want to do it my own way, I gave up after 3 times.

After doing all this it was of course finally time to take a good picture of Angel and get to work with it, and this is the result of my very first pastel artwork hanging on my wall.

Angel pastelpainting dog


Cas pastelpainting cat


After that I really went wild and my pastel drawings got better and better until of course the moment came when a colleague asked me, would you like to make a pastel painting of my sister’s cat for me for a fee?

Commissions of Pastel drawings

Of course, I did and that was exciting, because doing something for yourself or doing something for someone for a fee pff that is completely different… you must learn to deal with the pressure that this entails.

If you do something for yourself and it’s not right, you just throw it away and start over but for a customer you don’t do that so quickly then you somehow correct your “mistakes”.


My own website/shop with Pastel Paintings

And that’s how it started it became more and more assignments and at some point, I went on Etsy but that didn’t work for me, after much encouragement from Hubbie and bestie I decided together with my husband that it was best to register with the chamber of commerce and open a business account and start my own website/art store and suddenly I was a real artist!

Arty |By Esther with her pastelpaintings

Let me hear your stories of how becoming an artist!

















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