Joep & Sien
In 1996, when I was 15, I suddenly, unfazed by my complete lack of drawing skills, started to make small cartoons about Joep (male) and Sien (female), two ageless characters leaning over a fence.
I don’t know why I started doing this, as I have no drawing talent at all (hence the simple surroundings!), but somehow their commentary on the daily high school life of my friends and me were, to our teenage eyes, absolutely hilarious.
As I grew older, new comics appeared irregularly, until my man and I spent a year in Australia about six years ago. Suddenly Joep and Sien were there again, in single drawings, commenting on our life on the road. And as that life was not spent behind a fence, I even had to stretch my talents and try something new:
About people annoyingly keeping their engine running in the drive-in, because of the air conditioning.
At this time, the year was almost over and we really wanted to go home. And yes, that’s the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House in the background 🙂
Even though I usually identify with Sien, who is female, bubbly, impulsive and prone to PMS mood swings (while Joep is more down-to-earth and practical), these two are not modelled on me or anyone else, they are just who they are. But of course almost all their adventures are based on real life.
Nowadays, I draw them as three-frame comics again, usually in a comfortable A3-size sketchbook.
J: What are you doing?
S: Wallpapering with photos from an old book. Cool, eh?
J: Yeah, but shouldn’t you clean the wall first? And use wallpaper glue?
S: Of course not, old fusspot. You’re no fun. – Argh…
About renovating our house:
-Ma’m, would you like the ventilation to go straight instead of with a bend?
S: Uhm… Yeah, sure…
-Ma’m, would you like the socket on the left or the right? It can also go in the middle. Or on the left in the back.
S: Uhm… Left? Or maybe right.
-Ma’m, do you want a T-piece or a U-piece? Connection… wiring… wire length… nails… screws… etc…etc…
S: RAAAAAH! I don’t know! Who cares?! As long as it’s painted white!
So these two have been with me for 16 years already, and I hope they will stay for many years to come! I’m still contemplating learning some basic photoshop skills, so that I can put them in different surroundings without having to go through the frustrating process of drawing these completely myself (I’m not a patient drawer, and my skills are still very basic 🙂 ), which would be nice.
But in the meantime, I’m planning to let them stop by on this blog every once in a while. Enjoy!