Anges Loonstra: “I thought my schedule always had to be full”

It took a long time for illustrator Agnes Loonstra to realize that she didn’t have to feel guilty about not having a full schedule.

“For a long time, I thought that my schedule always had to be full,” Loonstra says. “It became a compulsion, a subconscious behavior for me. Having a busy life fell within my comfort zone. It felt like a reassurance, but in the long run, it had the opposite effect. I now know that it’s not necessary to experience everything or to go to every event, and that skipping a party or even just doing nothing can also be heavenly sometimes.

I can’t be creative until I’ve struck a balance between receiving stimuli and processing them. Luckily, I’ve never suffered from a burnout, but I have been on the verge of one. I’m actually thankful for that experience because it was what helped me discover that everything will continue to go well as long as I say ‘no’ to something once in a while.

Sometimes you really have to find these things out for yourself; you can’t always learn these things from a book. I no longer feel guilty if I spend a day just doing nothing once in a while.”

  • Visit Agnes’s website here.
  • Find more life lessons from our illustrators in Issue 36.

Text Caroline Buijs  Photography