Sacha Heemels illustration

About Sacha

photo's by Rowena Rutten

As long as I can remember I have been drawing. I was completely absorbed in it, the movement, the colors of the pencils, the smell of the paper. I come from an artist family, so the choice for art academy was quite obvious. Yet during my education I chose a different path, namely fashion and textiles, even though my drawing teacher wanted me to choose the drawing direction. After the academy I started working as a designer in the textile industry. There I was mainly involved with color design. Drawing completely disappeared into the background, but when I lost my permanent job during the corona crisis, I got time and space again to pick up my old love. I experienced how happy that made me, and decided to take the plunge and start working as an illustrator, specializing in picture books.

I have always had a great love for picture books. I first bought them mainly because of the beautiful illustrations, but when I started reading them to my children, I came to understand the importance of a good story, the interplay of the illustrations with the text and how it can reinforce each other. This symbiosis is unique to picture books and it is why this genre appeals to me so much.

My dream is to write and illustrate picture books myself, which can enrich the lives of a new generation of children, and which they in turn will read to their own children.

I prefer to work traditionally, with watercolor. I scan these paintings in order to digitally edit and optimize them. Characteristic of my work is a fairly realistic style combined with more painterly backgrounds. Something that watercolor lends itself perfectly to. I also like to use different perspectives, because this gives extra dynamism to an image. 

In July 2022 I won the international illustration competition Picture this! from publisher Lemniscaat.

 The jury report said the following:

The jury was immediately captivated by the beautiful images in the night-time snow and the wayward look of little polar bear. The tranquil compositions and the seemingly simple story radiate a successful sense ofsecurity and calm. The illustrations in watercolour are very carefully and thoughtfully painted and worked out. The colour blue is really icy and the glow of the moon is pleasantly present everywhere. The three different perspectives also stand out. The illustrator clearly made this choice consciously. And it works! First from above, then very close and then zoomed out again with a perspective from the ground. The consistent style and colour palette make the illustrations very ‘readable’. The subtle little footsteps of little polar bear between the big steps of big polar bear really add to the whole.


2023  Picturebookmaker for publisher Lemniscaat

2022 – 2023 Illustration course Topcursusillustratie by Marijke Ten Cate and Irene Goede

July 2022 Winner of the international illustration competition Picture This! from publisher Lemniscaat.

2021  Mentored by Ellen Vesters from Venster academy.

2002 – 2020 in-house designer for weaving mill Schellens and wall covering manufacturer Vescom. I did mainly color development. 

1998 – 2002 Studied  textiles at the art academy in Maastricht