Hi, I’m Eva!
I’m an author, illustrator and artist living in Amsterdam together with my husband, Mauri, and our two little children, Livia and Samuel.
The work I’m most known for are my picture books about emotions, When Sadness Comes to Call and Where Happiness Begins that have been translated in 20+ languages and were nominated and shortlisted for several awards, as well as won some of them (see list below). My third picture book with Andersen Press will be released in summer 2024 and I’m currently working on the fourth.
I grew up in Delft in the Netherlands and also lived for a few years in Nijmegen before starting my study in 2003 at the Text and Image department of the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. After an exchange program at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York, where I dipped my toes in animation and film, I decided to continue my studies at the Rietveld Academy at the Audiovisual Design department, where I graduated in 2008.
After graduating it took me a little while to figure out what I wanted to be doing with all the writing and drawing that always kept running as a thread throughout my creative work. Whilst plotting and planning and dreaming of studying again, I worked at a bookshop and after school care and daycare centres, with children from 2 till 10 years old. As much as I loved working with children, I missed having the time and energy to focus on my creative work and when I read about a master in Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art, my heart skipped a beat. I signed up for the summer school and I was hooked. I still took a year to take the leap and sign up for the MA, but I have never looked back since. I finally felt like I found my tribe of people (slightly crazy and idealistic, but with big hearts and a passion for drawing and picture books). I thrived being a student again, this time with a bigger appreciation for the time I had to dedicate myself exploring ideas and learning all there was about storytelling and drawing, and also much more focused on ensuring I’d be able to continue the work after the course was finished. During my studies I participated with my work at the Cambridge School of Art stand at the International Children’s Book Fair in Bologna, where my work was discovered by Andersen Press. I worked with them on my debut picture book When Sadness Comes to Call during the summer of my final study year in 2017, and graduated with distinction in 2018.
I love to watch people and draw from observation, experimenting with traditional materials and printmaking (in particular Risography). I’m also always eager to learn more about storytelling and ways to create meaningful work, that resonates with others. Fascinated by human behaviour and psychology, I don’t shy away from the more difficult subjects like sadness, loneliness and the creative process. I like to address those in my work, but often in an encouraging or humorous way. The subjects I’m drawn to are often those that I struggle with myself or that still hold some mystery for me.
My work celebrates ordinary moments and things, creating space for reflection, comfort and hope. The limitations of a picture book and a page are my playground, where explore Risography, limited colour palettes, narrative and what it means to be human.
The personal often becomes universal and it’s thrilling and reassuring to know that my work is connecting with a lot of people, big and small, and that it helps them feeling less alone with some big feelings they are having.
I feel equally excited about and overwhelmed with all the possible books and prints I can still make.
MORE ABOUT ME
If you have any questions, you can have a look at the FAQ page, or ask them there. If you want to stay up to date with any new publications, prints or other news, or general musings about the creative process and picture books, you can sign up below to my news letter and/or follow me @evaeland on Instagram.
If you want to learn more about my creative process and thoughts on picture books about emotions, I’ve written a blog post for Booktrust and Foyles. If you prefer to read in Dutch, you can find interviews with me on Pluizer and ZitDaZo.
My debut picture book When Sadness Comes to Call, published by Andersen Press, came out January 2019 and is translated in 20+ languages. It was shortlisted for the World of Illustration Award, longlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal and the UKLA Book Awards and won the V&A award in the book cover category and also the Klaus Flugge Prize for the most promising and exciting newcomer in picture book illustration.
My second picture book Where Happiness Begins is published by Andersen Press in February 2020 and translated in 18 languages and was long listed for the UKLA Book Awards and nominated for the Kate Greenway Award.
I earned an MA Children’s Book Illustration with distinction from the Cambridge School of Art in 2018. I also graduated from Audiovisual Design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam in 2008, and did an exchange for half a year at the film department of the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York.
AWARDS, EXHIBITIONS AND SUBSIDIES
2023 // Recipient of Werktuig PPO.
2022 // Recipient of Pictoright Steunfonds.
2022 // Recipient of Stimuleringsfonds (fonds voor Praktijkverdieping en Professionalisering)
2021 // Nominated for the Kate Greenaway Award (Where Happiness Begins).
2021 // Longlisted for UKLA Book Awards (Where Happiness Begins).
2020 // Selected for The Original Art 2020 exhibit by the Society of Illustrators in New York (When Sadness is at Your Door, Random House (the USA edition of When Sadness Comes to Call, Andersen Press)).
2020 // Winner of the Klaus Flugge Prize (When Sadness Comes to Call, Andersen Press).
2020 // Winner of the V&A Award in the Book Cover category (When Sadness Comes to Call, Andersen Press).
2020 // Longlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award (When Sadness Comes to Call, Andersen Press).
2020 // Included in the Read for empathy list by EmpathyLab (When Sadness Comes to Call, Andersen Press).
2020 // Longlisted for UKLA Book Awards (When Sadness Comes to Call, Andersen Press).
2019// Merit award for the Little Hakka International Picture Book Award (When Sadness Comes to Call, Andersen Press).
2019 // Selected for the BIB (Bratislava Illustration Biennial) by IBBY UK (When Sadness Comes to Call, Andersen Press).
2019 // Shortlisted for the World of Illustration Award by the AOI (When Sadness Comes to Call, Andersen Press).
2019 // Included in the exhibition of the Illustrating Mental Health conference by Worcester University.
2019 // Vlag & Wimpel, an honourable mention awarded by the jury of the Gouden Penseel and Zilveren Penseel awards (for illustrations in children’s literature). (Als Verdriet op bezoek komt, Leopold (the Dutch translation of When Sadness Comes to Call, Andersen Press)
2018 // Winner of the Sally Goldsworthy Bursary, issued by Discover Centre in London.
2016 // Winner of a scholarship from the Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds, to study at the MA Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art.