“It was good from day one”


Illustration from Wiplala.Statue of Philip Hopman

He is known as the man who can paint anything and has been praised by fellow painters for his craftsmanship and ingenuity. However, Philip Hopman (61) has only received one silver brush during his career. This lack of recognition will be compensated for on Thursday by the Max Velthuijs Prize, a triennial Overture of €60,000. Six colleagues about his work.

Tae Gong Kheng: He didn’t need me at all

Tjong Kheng, painter and one of Hopmans’ teachers at the Rietveld Academy: “I can be brief. Philip was good from day one. As a student, he already drew everything he wanted by hand, very easily. He didn’t need me at all.”

Illustration by Hopman from a movie

Illustration by Hopman from “22 Orphans”.Statue of Philip Hopman

Tjepi Feldkamp: He was always trying new things

Tjibbe Veldkamp, ​​the writer who gave Hopmann his first picture book with a silver brush 22 orphans The making: “It was great working with Philip. I gave him some words and he turned it into a beautiful picture book, in a world so compelling that the story always seemed to take place in exactly that world. He was always trying new things in terms of technique, use of colour, materials.. So each book differs from the previous one, but unequivocally Philip.”

Steve Lifting: Worth writing without a script

Steef Liefting, designer of a large part of Hopmans’ work: “As a painter, you can paint exactly what he says, and then destroy the imagination. You can also paint right next to it – in which case you stimulate the imagination. Philip does the latter. He’s a painter you should let go.” Philip wants to He takes into account the text that should be on the page, but loses himself a bit while drawing. Then he draws a sheet of paper quite full and I have to see how I fit in with the text. It’s all right, let the picture speak. His illustrations are of an unsurpassed class and more beautiful than any print “He deserves his own book without a script. We grew up in the same village in North Holland, which makes me feel connected. I come home to see Philips drawings.”

Daan Remmerts de Vries: “He’s greatly expanded the world”

Dan Remmert de Vries, writer and illustrator: “We’ve made three books together. In two of them, I urged Philip to try something new—because I think we should keep experimenting.” before you are there I made him use the pictures as a background. and in Stimmy or the jungle in the city We even worked on each other’s illustrations. The nice thing is: Philip immediately agreed to this. He had the greatness of doing, without complaint, something outside of what he normally did and excelled at. His great curiosity and willingness to deviate from the usual paths makes him a pioneer. Everything he creates seems to come off effortlessly – he is always in place, always beautiful, often poetic, always lively and interesting, always extremely strong in character. As far as I am concerned, Philip is one of the true masters of drawing; A person who gives and gives, thereby greatly expanding the world.

Pet Grobler: “It zooms in or out with extreme precision”

Pete Grobler, South African illustrator: “I admire Philip for the apparent ease with which he creates the universe. The world in which the story takes place becomes the whole world. With extreme precision, they are enlarged or reduced, giving the viewer a sweeping view – with an amazing understanding of space and depth. He possesses Philip has the ability to create empathy for the characters he creates.Children with the exuberance and at the same time loneliness that belong to childhood.Or animal characters who are real animals, but have enough humanity to make them recognizable to readers.I wish I had grown up with Philip Hopman books “.

Claas Verblanc: His work balances on the verge of excess

Claes Verblanc, Flemish painter: “I became acquainted with Philip when I was asked to make drawings of Jacques Frijns” Grandma, what big ears you have… I felt honored to be in this quartet with three Dutchmen that I looked up to. A friendship developed between Philip and I. He is a cheerful, generous and always welcoming man. His passion for life gives energy, he is in every way synonymous with a true friend. The generosity he shows as a human being is reflected in his illustrations. His work is balanced on the verge of transcendence, there is movement in every line, everything oscillates. He gives without asking for anything in return. He made a name for himself with his style; Just look at all of Hopman’s novels.”

De Boer BorisHe’s not making comic books with Ted van Lieshout for commercial reasons, but because he wants to make them. The first part was a gift for his eldest son, and from there it grew into something gigantic. To me, that authenticity is the benchmark of our profession. In all those years, Philip has always been Philip.

Illustration from

Illustration from Wiplala.Photo by Philip Hoffmann

Philip Hopmann is the recipient of the Max Velthuijs Prize, a triennial prize of €60,000.  Mark Yuell's photo

Philip Hopmann is the recipient of the Max Velthuijs Prize, a triennial prize of €60,000.Mark Yuell’s photo

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