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Marieke Nelissen

Marieke Nelissen - Netherlands based illustrator

Marieke Nelissen creates wonderfully intricate artwork that transports us back to the Golden Age of illustration. Her meticulous, hand-painted approach takes time and dedication, but the results are more than worth it. Whether she’s illustrating children’s books or commercial imagery, every painting draws you right into the scene and story.
Based in the Netherlands, Marieke lived in Mexico and Costa Rica when she was young, and her influences come from cultures all around the world. Ten years working in graphic design mean she knows how to deliver on a brief, and her clients always appreciate how she dives deep into each new project. She’s inspired by nature and creatives such as Edward Gorey, Lisbeth Zwerger, Shaun Tan, Tim Burton and Wes Anderson. Marieke has a degree in Visual Communication, specialising in Illustration, from Art School, ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

Approach

Natural media is key to Marieke’s individual style. By building up forms with layer upon layer of gouache she gives her images a sense of volume and physicality. Sometimes, she mixes in coloured pencils and ink for a looser style, or works spontaneously with a glass dipping pen for black and white linework.

Styles

Marieke’s art has all the charm and intricacy of traditional 19th century illustration, infused with drama, humour and narrative thanks to her unconventional compositions, use of light and shadow and small, whimsical details.

Client list

Some of Marieke’s clients include Lemniscaat, Luitingh-Sijthoff, Gottmer, De Fontein, Hoogland & van Klaveren, Lannoo, Van Holkema & Warendorf and Clavis.
Marieke and I have worked together closely for Beestachtige Buren, a book about all the wild mammals that live in Holland. Her illustrations are absolutely incredible. Every single time, she manages to give them the character and expression I envisioned and described in the stories. When my publisher and I agreed on the next book I was going to write, I immediately expressed my wish to work with Marieke again. We finished this natural-history-museum-in-print in the summer of 2020 and it was a huge pleasure working together. She brought me to tears multiple times, making ‘my’ beautiful animals come alive on paper. She is one of the most talented illustrators I know.
Lotte Stegeman, Writer and journalist
Thank you so much Marieke for such a delightful experience. Your creativity and feel for my intention has meant that my little piece of creativity can bring some joy and delight to others.
Merryl Semple, Writer
In my opinion, Marieke is one of the best Dutch illustrators in the Netherlands right now. The illustrations she has been making lately are truly beautiful in detail, composition and atmosphere. Her illustrations are made with utmost precision. She aims for the best and gives more than 100 percent. You feel her love and passion pouring out of her outstanding work.
Hannerlie Modderman, commissioning editor at the Children’s & YA List, Luitingh-Sijthoff Publishers
Marieke Nelissen is one of Holland’s finest illustrator. She pays a lot of attention to her work and continually develops her style. Her illustrations are captivating and keep fascinating.
Thille Dop, Senior Publisher , Luitingh-Sijthoff
Marieke illustrated several of my books. Working with her is always a pleasure: she has a perfect feel for the atmosphere of a story, a keen eye for the key elements and always knows how to surprise me and the audience with her elaborate, subtle and colorful illustrations. Se knows how to catch a story in images and her illustrations form an extra layer that adds a lot of value to a story.
Marco Kunst, Writer
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