Scratch the Surface with illustrator Ymke Hemminga

Ymke Hemminga is a Dutch illustrator who fell in love with South Africa and one of its inhabitants. She studied  fine arts in SA and creative- and play writing in Amsterdam. She landed in South Africa permanently in 2003, where she found “an uninterrupted horizon on a smallholding in Boschkop east of Tshwane.”

I discovered Ymke’s illustrated crockery via the House & Leisure blog and contacted her to tell us more about her illustrations, her passions and how humans are different from Cocker Spaniels.

S C R A T C H  T H E  S U R F A C E

Ymke Hemminga (1974) born in Waddinxveen, a village of Benoni-esque boredom in the Netherlands, spent years thinking whilst cycling, drawing, dreaming of uninterrupted horizons, and writing, padded with a fair amount of faffing.

What inspires you?

“All absurd and beautiful aspects of being human. People and their ornaments and inventions. That there are people out there dedicating their lives to inventing ‘rubber-pet-brushing-gloves’ or saving whales or being Nelson Mandela or Paris Hilton. Human beings seem to be the kings and queens of distraction from the dazzling responsibility that we humans, as opposed to say a Cocker Spaniel, can think, feel, speak, laugh and choose.”

What are you passionate about?

“Trying to find the humour in mundane daily acts, like doing dishes and groceries etc. Collecting and creating moments or items that evoke a grin or a giggle I have to find humor in everything or else…no seriously I think its all we’ve got to rise above ourselves, to connect and evolve.”

What is your favourite item?

‘Bath your dishes’ and the ‘Light blue groceries’ illustration.

Have a look at her delightful illustrations on her website:

Her plates start from R130, Platters R250, Teapots R300, Bowls R60, Cup & Saucer R120.

Cards and crockery are available at the Pottershop in Kalkbay, Clementina’s in the Biscuit Mill and at Dot in Stellenbosch. In Johannesburg at Life Unplugged in Parkhurst. Very soon you’ll be able to order directly from her site.

Thanks Ymke!


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