vanLIESHOUTstudio

Maria is a Dutch-American illustrator and graphic novelist.
She was born and raised near Amsterdam, and studied Visual Communications at George Washington University in DC. Maria has illustrated and written 15 picture books for kids. Her graphic novel Song of a Blackbird is inspired by historic events, including those that affected her own family, during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam. Maria lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their son.
 

Maria was born and raised near Amsterdam in the Netherlands,
where she spent many weekends in the Museum Quarter row house
where her grandparents lived downstairs,
and her artist aunt and metalsmith uncle lived upstairs.
... and she would peck out stories on an old
typewriter while her uncle soldered metals.
That hope became a reality ten years later,
when she was accepted to the Visual Communications program
at George Washington University in DC.
But her visa had expired, so Maria returned to the Netherlands.
Determined to find her way back to San Francisco,
she accepted a job with an American company.
One happy day, an envelope arrived with the news she had been waiting for:
her green card was approved! Maria married her Dutchman Peter
and moved to San Francisco to pursue her love of drawing and writing.
After her grandmother’s death in 2011, Maria stumbled upon
documents written by her grandparents about their experiences
during the Nazi occupation, and she discovered how a group
of artists helped pull off the greatest bank heist in European
history to fund the Resistance, right under the noses of the Nazis.
Maria would draw while her aunt painted...
When she was eight, Maria made her first book,
filled with drawings of places in America she hoped to visit someday.
After graduation, Maria traveled to
San Francisco and was instantly smitten.
After many long days dreaming up brand campaigns,
Maria was offered a job in new brand innovation
at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta.
So she did what she has always done: she made a book.
Maria was born and raised near Amsterdam in the Netherlands,
where she spent many weekends in the Museum Quarter row
house where her grandparents lived downstairs, and her
artist aunt and metalsmith uncle lived upstairs.
Maria would draw while her aunt painted...
... and she would peck out stories on an old
typewriter while her uncle soldered metals.
When she was eight, Maria made her first book,
filled with drawings of places in America
she hoped to visit someday.
That hope became a reality ten years later,
when she was accepted to the Visual Communications program
at George Washington University in DC.
After graduation, Maria traveled to
San Francisco and was instantly smitten.
But her visa had expired, so Maria returned to the Netherlands.
Determined to find her way back to San Francisco,
she accepted a job with an American company.
After many long days dreaming up brand campaigns,
Maria was offered a job in new brand innovation
at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta.
One happy day, an envelope arrived with the news she had been waiting for:
her green card was approved! Maria married her Dutchman Peter
and moved to San Francisco to pursue her love of drawing and writing.
After her grandmother’s death in 2011, Maria stumbled upon documents
written by her grandparents about their experiences during the Nazi occupation,
and she discovered how a group of artists helped pull off the greatest bank heist
in European history to fund the Resistance, right under the noses of the Nazis.
So she did what she has always done: she made a book.