Daily ritual: Hylkje tries to draw every day

daily ritual
Sometimes a small surprise or new ritual can be all you need to liven up your daily life. Hylkje Ehrenburg (39, sales assistant) sets aside time every day to draw, and tells us about her daily ritual.

Do your days usually fill up fast?

“Yes, my life is pretty hectic at the moment. My family and I have just moved into a fixer-upper built in the 1930s and the four of us are camping out downstairs; we’re renovating the bedrooms ourselves. I also work a couple of days a week in a store that sells art supplies, which is the equivalent of a candy store for me. I love being surrounded by paper, brushes and easels. The chats I have with customers are inspiring, but sometimes it makes me anxious.”
How do you relax each day?
“I try to make the time to draw every day, in the evening once the kids are in bed and on the weekend. This is how I process what I experience; it’s an outlet for me. I often make a few small drawings with a lot of details of people or animals, in watercolor or gouache; great types of paint that are easy to combine with other materials. When I’m at my drawing desk, a weight just falls from my shoulders, because I get immersed in the drawing almost immediately. The worrying stops; the world is no larger than the drawing in front of me. I like testing out new colors and am trying to focus more on the details as well as the big picture. It’s like time stands still: I could go on drawing forever.”

What happens after that?
“I start feeling more intense satisfaction and happiness. My daily cares about work and other things fade and I don’t dread things as much, I see them in the right proportions. I also get a better overview of everything, I have a clearer picture of what needs to be done and the best place to start. Sometimes I get this incredible drive to start renovating, even though I’m not really the DIY type. In my mind, I don’t have to think twice about grabbing a hammer or paint roller. We’ll get the renovation done, is what I think.”

  • Other people tell about their daily ritual in Issue 33.

Interview Mariska Jansen  Fotografie Mike Petrucci/Unsplash.com