ABOUT MARJORIE VAN HEERDEN

  • UPDATE:  Marjorie
    van Heerden’s 2017, 2018, 2019 and the first half of 2020

    (Children’s Book
    Writer and Illustrator
    )

     “These past few
    years I have been very busy illustrating and loving every moment – but I have
    neglected updating my CV.  Below is a
    summary of what I have been busy with…”

    Marjorie started working on the The Adventures
    of Willy Nilly & Thumper
    series in 2014.
    The first year she spent mostly developing the characters and the design of the
    books, and also creating visual material for a website to market the series. At
    the same time the team in the USA chose the first few stories, rewriting and
    editing where necessary and sorting out the order in which these first stories would
    be published. And then Marjorie started with the illustrations.


    In early in 2016 the first two books were printed.  In May 2016 the author, Jim Henry, invited
    Marjorie to fly to Texas, as his personal guest, for the official launch of the
    first two Willy Nilly and Thumper
    books.


    The following years (2016 onwards) Marjorie spent illustrating
    the books in the The Adventures of Willy
    Nilly & Thumper
    series, written by Jim Henry (with Jimmy Patterson) and
    published by Willy Nilly Books, Midland, Texas.


    Published in 2016:

        Book One: The Lost Treasure of Mount Methuselah

        Book Two: The Hermit’s Last Hairs

        Book Three:
    Stella Star

    Published in 2017:

        Book Four:
    Charlie the Cross-Eyed Crocodile

        Book Five:
    The Very Hungry Ogre

    After the five books in this series, the adventures
    of Willy Nilly and Hopper (Thumper’s new name) continue in a new series called
    the Tales from Hoop ‘n’ Holler:

        Book One: The Wizard’s Apprentice (2018)

        Book Two: The Underground Invaders (2019)

        Book
    Three: Sly Fox Stew (2020)

    To date there are six books in the Tales from Hoop ‘n’ Holler series, so
    there are three more books in the pipeline.

    The
    books in the series received some awards in the USA:

    The Adventures of Willy Nilly
    & Thumper
    :
    Book Three Stella Star (2016) –
    Winner of the 2018
    Reader Views Kids Choice Award.

    The Adventures of Willy Nilly
    & Thumper
    :
    Book Four: Charlie, the Cross-Eyed
    Crocodile
    (2017) – the 2017
    Writer’s Digest Award – Honorable Mention.

    Tales from Hoop ’n’ Holler: Book One – The Wizard’s Apprentice (2018) – Bronze
    medal winner of the 2019 
    Moonbeam
    Children’s Book Awards
     an award from entries all over the world.

    The Wizard’s Apprentice was also the Winner of the 2019 Readers
    Views Kids Award for Best Children’s Book of the Year.

     Although
    this series of amazing American books has kept Marjorie very busy during this
    period she did manage to illustrate at least one book for a South African
    publisher each year…

    In 2015 and 2016 Marjorie was also doing
    illustrations for Storiemuis (“Story Mouse”), the series of Afrikaans
    children’s books written by
    Leon Rousseau and
    published by Human & Rousseau Publishers in Cape Town – The six books in
    the series were illustrated by three illustrators, Marjorie, Karen Ahlschläger
    and Johann Strauss. Storiemuis
    Book 6” was
    shortlisted
    for the MER Prize
    at the 2017
    Media24 Books
    Literary Awards
    for illustrated
    children’s books.

    Marjorie also illustrated a book by South African
    author Wendy Maartens. It is a collection of stories related to the sea, and
    published in both English (as Sea Stories)
    and Afrikaans (as Stories van die See)
    in 2016.

    In
    2017 Marjorie illustrated
    Die Leeutemmer
    se Assistent

     , written by Solet Scheeres (in Afrikaans) and
    published by LAPA Publishers (South Africa).

    In 2018 she illustrated Peter Pan and
    Laurie, A Sequel to Peter Pan and Wendy by J. M. Barrie
    , written
    by Marié Heese, published in the original English and in Afrikaans translation by
    Protea Books in 2019.

    Grandma Lim’s
    Persimmons

    written by Sunita Lad Bhamray, illustrated by Marjorie Van Heerden was
    republished in Korea by Jungin Publishing Co (Originally Published by
    Oyez!Books, Malaysia May 2013).

    In 2016 and in 2017 Marjorie was, for the seventh and
    eighth consecu­tive years, invited to present a 5-day Children’s Book
    Illustration Course at the Centre for Comic, Illustrative and Book Arts (CCIBA)
    at the Stellenbosch University’s Department of Visual Arts (part of a series of
    creative workshops offered by the university during the Spring Break).

    Marjorie continued as Co-RA for the South African
    chapter of the SCBWI through 2016, 2017 and 2018, but because of her work load she
    decided that it was time to cut back on some of her additional commitments and she
    reluctantly decided to step down from being a Regional Advisor. So, on the 1st
    of December 2018 Marjorie van Heerden resigned as Co-RA of the South African
    chapter of the SCBWI. She received
    Regional Advisor
    Emerita status
    (which includes life time membership) from
    the SCBWI after 18 years of enthusiastic and dedicated leadership.

    Kathleen
    Ahrens
    , International Advisor Chair & Angela
    Cerrito, Assistant International Advisor wrote:

                   Thank you for 18 years of
    Leadership.

                   Many of you know Marjorie van
    Heerden (
    http://www.grafikon.co.za/) who
    has been founder and Co-RA of SCBWI’s South Africa chapter since 2003. But I
    bet you didn’t know that she also started the chapter in Greece and was RA for Greece
    for 3 years in 2000-2003.

    Marjorie began
    illustrating children’s books in 1983. Before joining SCBWI, she was gathering
    children’s book people together for talks, workshops, lectures, and university
    courses. So, you can imagine the result when Marjorie and SCBWI finally
    connected!

    In her own
    words: When I found out about the SCBWI I felt as if I had discovered
    friends and family I had never known about and since becoming a member I have
    been encouraged and supported to follow my dream of helping the children’s book
    writers and illustrators of Africa to develop their craft and to follow their
    own dreams.

    Marjorie led
    SCBWI South Africa with a Co-RA by her side (first Paddy Bouma and since 2008
    Elaine Ridge) and Jenny Hatton as ARA. Marjorie’s also had a team of dedicated
    committee members helping to make the magic happen. This team has organized an
    event at least every other month and several large international conferences
    hosting superstars like Ken Brown, Harriett Barton, Tony Ross, Katherine
    Patterson, Steve Mooser, and many others. The conferences and special events
    are too many to mention here, so I’ll mention only one. Marjorie initiated the
    first children’s book conference in South Africa. Towards
    Understanding
     hosted 550 delegates with keynote speaker Joseph H.
    Schwarcz, author of Ways of the Illustrator: Visual Communication in
    Children’s Literature 
    and The Picture Book Comes of Age:
    Looking at Childhood Through the Art of Illustration.

    Marjorie, we
    can’t thank you enough for all that you have done for SCBWI and for the world
    of children’s literature!

    Marjorie’s last
    day as Co-RA was 1 December. She now joins the ranks of RAE. To congratulate
    her off list please write to 
    marjorie@grafikon.co.za

    Kathleen Ahrens,
    International Advisor Chair & Angela Cerrito, Assistant International
    Advisor

    To continue:

    From the beginning of 2020 Marjorie has been very
    busy. She finished the illustrations for Book Three: Sly Fox Stew of the Tales from Hoop ‘n’ Holler series. It was
    published in May that year.

    And October
    5, 2020
    Jump the Moon,
    another American children’s book written by Kathy Simmers and is to be published
    in the USA later this year (2020).

    Fortunately, before the current lockdown, Marjorie
    managed to get together enough art materials to finish the next four books that
    are lined up. That means she will be able to continue working, so Marjorie will
    spend most of her time safely in her studio, during this terrifying Covid 19
    Pandemic.  Although on request she helps
    illustrators on the Internet with their work (via
    zoom, the
    video and online chat communication service). You can contact her on
    marjorie@grafikon.co.za for
    more information about these one-on-one sessions.

    Update… An 2018 overview to see what Marjorie did in 2018

    Marjorie van Heerden received RA emerita status from SCBWI

    On the 1st of December 2018 Marjorie van Heerden resigned as Co-RA of the South African chapter of the SCBWI. She received Regional Advisor Emerita status from SCBWI after 18 years of enthusiastic and dedicated Leadership

    Kathleen Ahrens, International Advisor Chair & Angela Cerrito, Assistant International Advisor wrote…

    Thank you for 18 years of Leadership

    Many of you know Marjorie van Heerden (http://www.grafikon.co.za/)
    who has been founder and Co-RA of SCBWI’s South Africa chapter since
    2003. But I bet you didn’t know that she was started the chapter in
    Greece and was RA for there for 3 years in 2000-2003.

    Marjorie began illustrating children’s books in 1983. Before joining
    SCBWI, she was gathering children’s book people together for talks,
    workshops, lectures, and university courses. So, you can imagine the
    result when Marjorie and SCBWI finally connected!

    In her own words: When I found out about the SCBWI I felt as if I
    had discovered friends and family I had never known about and since
    becoming a member I have been encouraged and supported to follow my
    dream of helping the children’s book writers and illustrators of Africa
    to develop their craft and to follow their own dreams.

    Marjorie led SCBWI South Africa with a Co-RA by her side (first Paddy
    Bouma and since 2008 Elaine Ridge) and Jenny Hatton as ARA. Marjorie’s
    also had a team of dedicated committee members helping to make the magic
    happen. This team has organized an event at least every other month and
    several large international conferences hosting superstars like Ken
    Brown, Harriett Barton, Tony Ross, Katherine Patterson, Steve Mooser,
    and many others. The conferences and special events are too many to
    mention here, so I’ll mention only one. Marjorie initiated the first
    children’s book conference in South Africa. Towards Understanding hosted 550 delegates with keynote speaker Joseph H. Scwarcz, author of Ways of the Illustrator: Visual Communication in Children’s Literature and The Picture Book Comes of Age: Looking at Childhood Through the Art of Illustration.

    Marjorie, we can’t thank you enough for all that you have done for SCBWI and for the world of children’s literature!

    Marjorie’s last day as Co-RA was 1 December. She now joins the ranks of RAE. To congratulate her off list please write to marjorie@grafikon.co.za

    Kathleen Ahrens, International Advisor Chair & Angela Cerrito, Assistant International Advisor

    Update… 2016 overview to see what Marjorie did in 2016

    Update… An 2015 overview to see what Marjorie did in 2015

    Update… An 2014 overview to see what Marjorie did in 2014 – Go to http://www.marjorie-cv.blogspot.com/2014/11/marjorie-van-heerdens-2014-childrens.html

    Update… An 2013 overview to see what Marjorie did in 2013 – Go to http://www.marjorie-cv.blogspot.com/2014/01/marjorie-van-heerdens-2013.html

    Update… An 2012 overview Go to http://www.marjorie-cv.blogspot.com/2013/01/marjorie-van-heerdens-2012.html to see all the “fun” I had in 2012 – a busy year for me. Also go to see the blog I made about the books, Numbers Do and Ears Hear (a pair of bilingual books for very young children written by Chu-Ren Huang & Kathleen Ahrens and illustrated by Me) published by a Chinese publisher Sun-Ya in 2012. http://booksfromtheeast.blogspot.com/ 

    CV before 2012

    Marjorie van Heerden grew up on a farm in the Hex River Valley in South Africa. From an early age she loved drawing animals and fairies and people and dinosaurs and children and dragons and monsters and today they appear in all shapes and sizes in the more than 100 books that feature her work. Since the publication of her first children’s picture book in 1983 Marjorie van Heerden has been published as illustrator or illustrator/author in 33 languages in Africa, England, Europe, the East, Canada and the USA.
    She and her husband lived and worked in Stellenbosch near Cape Town, South Africa for 20 years, in Johannesburg (SA) for another ten, travelled for eighteen months on honeymoon in a camper van around Europe, lived for a year on the banks of Lake Michigan in the USA and for four years in a forest on a mountain north of Athens in Greece. From each of these places Marjorie drew inspiration for her menagerie of animals, fairies, dragons, monsters and people.
    Since 2003 the Van Heerdens live next to the sea in Gordon’s Bay, once again near Cape Town. Their two children are grown up and out of the house. Marjorie’s studio is in the loft and she sits looking at the magnificent view over False Bay while she writes and illustrates her stories.
    Marjorie tirelessly works for the development of South African children’s book writers and illustrators and in 2003 she started the South African chapter of the international Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) based in Los Angeles and active in more than 40 countries around the globe. She is currently the co-regional advisor of the SA chapter. (She also started the SCBWI chapter in Greece in 2000).
    In 2009 Human & Rousseau Publishers commissioned Marjorie van Heerden to illustrate André P. Brink’s Afrikaans translation of Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865). The publication coincided with the celebrated novelist, scholar and translator’s 75th birthday.
    In 2008 Marjorie, with children’s book author, Wendy Hartmann, won the M.E.R Award for best illustrated children’s book, for Nina and Little Duck published by Human & Rousseau (SA) in 2007 (also available in Afrikaans) and in 2011 she won the W.B Mkhize Award given by the Usiba Writers’ Guild for Uhambo LukaLulama Olude (Zulu version of Lulama’s long way home, which she wrote and illustrated (Giraffe Books, an imprint of Pan MacMillan.
    She has just completed two Chinese children’s picture books written by Kathleen Ahrens, the SCBWI Regional Advisor chairperson and Chu-Ren Huang. Published in China in 2012  – 
    http://booksfromtheeast.blogspot.com/

ARTIST STATEMENT

  • I love picture books. I remember when I was about four years old my mother gave me a book called Ferdinand the Bull (first published in 1937). Half a century later I realize what a profound impact that little book had on me – in my young mind it triggered a fascination with the interaction between words and pictures. I remember pouring over that book and loving lines like “His mother saw that he was not lonely, and because she was an understanding mother; even though she was a cow, she let him just sit there and be happy.” I remember some pictures showed far away scenes with big empty white areas on the rest of the page and other pictures showed close-up figures completely filling the page. I wanted to draw pictures like that. Later, when it became clear that my dyslexia made words harder than pictures, I started focusing more and more on expressing myself though drawing, even as a child. And it all started with a little bull who loved smelling the flowers.
    To share a few notes on the technique and materials I currently enjoy using when I illustrate a children’s picture book: After completing a full set of rough pencil drawings and sorting out the design and layout of the book, I like to choose a specific paper that would suit the atmosphere of the story best. Generally I find that a fast-paced story wants a rougher paper, whereas an intimate, quiet story benefits from a smoother, fine paper on which I can do much more detailed work. I then redraw the illustration onto the selected paper, often using a light box. Next I paint a wash onto the illustration area of the page to indicate light source and finish the detailed drawing with crayons over the wash.
    I use Caran d’Ache ‘Neocolor II Aquarelle’ oil pastels. Oil pastels that are water soluble! It also scans very well. Four makes of paper that work well for me are Canson Mi-teintes 160g/m2 (when I want yo use a colour paper), Fabriano 4 Liscio 220g/m2 (especially when working in Monochrne – Pen and ink or conti pencil), Bainbridge Coquille Bristol #2 Has a lovely texture – I did the Alice in Wonderland illustrations on this paper) and Saunders HP 190 grms – (wonderful for washes – takes watercolour very well), I currently like the last one best…

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