About Irene Cecile

sunMy name is Irene, and I love beauty and craftsmanship. My goal is to ensure that what I create on your behalf is nice to look at, and conveys the message you want to send.

In 2000, I studied biology at the University of Leiden. I chose biology out of love and admiration for nature – the little creatures, and how everything, mind-blowingly, works. Eventually I realised that I wanted to pass on my knowledge, passion, and admiration. So, I did an internship at the Naturalis museum’s educational department and graduated in science communication.muzzle beetle

Following my studies, I wanted to learn more about visual communication. How can you use images to better illustrate what you mean? I continued my studies at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (KABK) and subsequently launched my own business in 2009 – now I create wonderful things all day long!

It goes without saying that I enjoy working with other creative professionals in my network, if it leads to a better final result.

pencilI’m happy to help you with:


I love illustrations and designs with:

  • a hand drawn look and feel
  • bright and communicative colors
  • a sense of humor
  • clarity and simplicity


agendaI like to work:

  • with clear agreements (nice for both of us)
  • while keeping in touch regularly (to make sure we are still heading in the right direction)
  • quickly (getting started is nice, finishing a product is even more fun)
  • well (when you’re happy, I’m happy)
tea-cookiesWould you like me to illustrate for you too? Awesome!
Call or email me for an informal conversation, a free brainstorm session or a quotation right away.

+31 6 36 00 11 50

robinBesides all that, I’m still just Irene. I live in a lovely house near the centre of Leiden with my boyfriend, Maarten, our two children, Yuki and Jip, and the birds in our garden.
I love walking barefoot in the grass, having fun with friends, unexpected beauty, Thai curry, and empty notebooks. I also enjoy falling autumn leaves, an empty desk, red shoes, buying children’s books for myself, long walks with Maarten, dancing with Yuki, and laughing with Jip.

leafResume Irene Cecile (1981):

  • 2009 – present: illustrator and graphic designer at Irene Cécile
  • 2005 – 2009: Royal Academy of Art (KABK), The Hague (Cum Laude)
  • 2006 – 2008: Minor in “Art and Business”, Leiden University (Cum Laude)
  • 2000 – 2005: Biology, Leiden University (major in science communication)



  • Medical Contact Communication Prize 2016, nomination
  • World Wide Picture Book Illustration Competition (WWPBIC) 2015, winner
  • AwardsDe Familiekamer art prize, nomination
  • Leiden Photo Festival, nomination
  • Gouden Grijns, nomination
  • Hermine van Bers Visual Arts Prize 2010, nomination
  • ArtOlive Young talent ’09, nomination
Irene was precisely the right person to do illustrations for us. With her background as a biologist and experience in science communication, she knew exactly what we needed.
Prof.dr. Jos van den Broek

Emeritus professor of Science Communication, Leiden University, Publisher Micromys

Irene is cheerful and creative, which makes working with her a lot of fun. Communication was open and clear, which quickly led to a result supported by all parties. Plus, Irene is diligent enough to make adjustments where necessary.
Ianthe Mantingh

Architect / director, Zijdekwartier architects

Working with Irene is a pleasure. Her clear questions and creative solutions ensure you achieve a special end product together. When talking to Irene, she always knows how to hit the right note.
Annette ter Haar

Manager development, Technolab

I enjoyed working with Irene Cécile. She contributed good ideas to create an image that would match our article. ome adjustments during the process were easily implemented, including extra items for further in the article.
Christi Waanders

Chief editor, LUMC Magazine

Working with Irene was a pleasant, professional experience. Communication was clear, and Irene was able to do an excellent job of translating what I meant into wonderful drawings!
Floris Dekker

Osteopath, Dekker Osteopathy

Not only is she responsible for the beautiful drawings, but she also helped us to think creatively and critically about how to communicate the content and message as effectively as possible. A very pleasant and successful collaboration!
Dr. Ronella Grootens

Researcher / Teacher, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Irene is not only a talented illustrator but also a very pleasant person to work with. She is professional, listens carefully to your wishes, and combines this with her own creativity to create something very beautiful.
Jona Mijalkovic

researcher, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

I really enjoy working with Irene: she always delivers a beautiful production or illustration, and she is very clear about any agreements and her way of working.
Julie de Graaf

journalist and magazine maker

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