Organice my home on a budget

One year, we had a big renovation in our rental house. Finally we got double (or insulated) windows, central heating, a new ventilation system, new kitchen, bathroom and toilet, and new balconies. Everything was really old and dirty, so we were happy for this big change in our house. Not to mention the mount we would save on our energy bill. We had to move out for several weeks, and when our house was finished we wanted to make a fresh start!

Window during winter before renovation, window winter after revovation
Windows before/after renovation
Old stuff for flea market
Old stuff for flea market
Moodboard of pictures I've made (@ headquarter Humanoid) and pictures we found on blogs.
My mood board

We had the idea to change most of our furniture, but we didn't had much money. So what to do?

A few weeks before our renovation we had to pack all of our stuff in boxes; the house had to be empty for the construction workers. Best moment to make choices: what are we going to keep? And what are we going to throw away?

Or better: what are we going to sell? We wanted to sell all of our old stuff at a flea market, to create money for new furniture! We packed ten moving boxes, got one big clothing rack, and collected so much more.

With a lot of enthusiasm, fun and sunshine, me and my husband had a great day! Sales of this day? 530 EUR (715 US dollars)!!!

So now we had a budget: 530 EUR to buy furniture. We didn't want to buy new stuff, cause we prefer vintage furniture. We love the old look and feel of a used piece. We made a mood board with some pretty things, and then we went searching: flea markets, second-hand stores, internet.

And we found some real good stuff!

Checklist to organice your home on a budget

Old furniture

  • Collect your old stuff in your house. Take your time; do it when the weather is bad, or when you are bored.
  •  Take pictures, and put it on internet (eBay, marketplace, etc) so people can place bids. You can also rent a stall at a flea market in your neighborhood.

New furniture

  • Make your own moodboard. What do you like? Buy magazines, follow vintage blogs, look around, visit second hand stores and make pictures.
  • Make time to search for beautiful vintage furniture on the internet. When you find something you really want mail or call the seller immediately! Place your own bid!
  • When you want to buy something from the internet, don't check everything all the time. Check the new advertisements every day. Look at old advertisements when you have more time.
  • Take your time! You don't have to hurry. Tomorrow is another day to look around. Make your own plan, make it fun. But don't hesitate when you find something you really like: buy it!

Places I visited

I hope you are inspired.. I'm in love with our home on a budget!

Joey 

p.s. Visit my work at Haus of Joey!


Madonna supports people who are different!

What a night! What a performer Madonna is!

Madonna during her song "Human Nature". Picture: Joey Holthaus

Madonna's concert during her MDNA tour

Queen of Pop Madonna visited the Netherlands with her much talked about world tour called MDNA, and  I was there too with Mark: we were some of the lucky ones who won two Golden Triangle tickets.

Green Golden Triangle arm chain & stamp. Picture: Mark Siebelink
Me and my husband Mark, waiting in line @ Ziggodome, Amsterdam

We’ve bought some very expensive VIP Tickets months before, and we could win Golden Triangle tickets standing in line, hours before the concert. I freaked out when I found out we won (thanks to Mark) cause you have the best spot at the Golden Triangle!

Golden Triangle spot (inside red circle)

My girl and founder of Organice Your Life® Lonneke Engel was visiting the Netherlands, and was invited by her long time friend & Madonna's manager Guy Oseary. She also had tickets for the Golden Triangle, so I was very pleased we could watch the concert together!!!! Guy’s and Lonneke’s friend and magician David Blaine was also there! It was so nice to meet David & Guy in person!

Madonna's manager Guy Oseary, Lonneke Engel & magician David Blaine. Picture: Joey Holthaus
Me and Lonneke inside Golden Triangle. Picture: Mark Siebelink
Mark & Brooke, Lonneke's American friend and her guest. Picture: Joey Holthaus

The whole show was an energetic rollercoaster! It all happened around us, and sometimes you didn’t know where to look! At one point some drummer boys (during the song "Give Me All Your Luvin") were flying above us in the sky. It felt so surreal!

Showtime! Picture: Joey Holthaus
Madonna and dancers from Golden Triangle. Picture: Joey Holthaus

Madonna's speech

One of the best moments of this show was her beautiful speech. Madonna explained what the song "Saggara Jo" was about. It's about smashing apples, and she talked about the deeper meaning of the song.

So Madonna loves apples too! We also do, here @ Organice Your Life®!

It’s so great how she talked about smashing prejudice, smashing discrimination, smashing judgement, and how she supported people who are different!

“Thank God for people who are different! That is what makes the world go round”

She doesn’t have to say this, she doesn’t have to talk about it, but she does. So that’s why I say: thank you, Madonna!!!

I’ve made this illustration, after this incredible evening:

Madonna Beautiful Killer MDNA tour. Illustration by Atelier Joey Holthaus

Beautiful Killer is one of her extra songs on her new MDNA album. This outfit is one of her looks during the concert. Check more of my illustrations @ Haus of Joey

Love,Joey

First published on July 18th 2012, updated in 2019


Madonna's corset by Jean Paul Gautier for her MDNA tour (VOGUE), 2012

The Fashion World Of Jean Paul Gaultier

French enfant terrible of pop couture Jean Paul Gaultier is one of my fashion heros. In 1990, when he designed the clothes of Madonna's Blond Ambition Tour (my other hero, as you know), I saw his sketches of the stage clothes in magazines at bookstores and they were art pieces of their own. His drawings were A-MA-ZING and truly an inspiration for me to draw!

Illustration Madonna by Jean Paul Gaultier, Blond Ambition World Tour Cherish outfit 1990
Illustration Madonna by Jean Paul Gaultier, Blond Ambition World Tour Cherish outfit 1990

I never tried to copy his style (there was no internet around that time, no google whatsoever), but when I look at my own illustrations, I definitely see a similarity in his and my signature. We both love black thick and thin lines. Remember I was a little boy around that time (I was eleven years old), and as the years went by I forgot this first encounter of illustration art.

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier in Rotterdam

This week I visited the great exposition The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier in Rotterdam. Over a hundred and forty original creations from the early 1970s to the present day, and from both his haute couture collections and his ready-to-wear lines, can be seen at the Kunsthal. When you love fashion it's an EYE-mazing fingerlicking rollercoaster of beautiful dresses, dessins, colours, shoes, wigs and fabrics. Big surpise to me were the moving faces, projected on some to the mannequins.

Couture by Jean Paul Gaultier
Couture by Jean Paul Gaultier
Great contrast! Stripes windows versus lamps Jean paul Gaultier
Great contrast! Stripes windows versus lamps Jean paul Gaultier
The face of these mannequins are moving!
The face of these mannequins are moving!
What a work: all beads!!! By Jean Paul Gaultier
What a work: all beads!!! By Jean Paul Gaultier
Punk! by Jean Paul Gaultier
Punk! by Jean Paul Gaultier
Romantic dress by Jean Paul Gaultier
Romantic dress by Jean Paul Gaultier
Gorgeous dress, great styling... Jean Paul Gaultier
Gorgeous dress, great styling... Jean Paul Gaultier
Japanese influences by Jean Paul Gaultier
Japanese influences by Jean Paul Gaultier

What a surreal experience! Absolutely gorgeous and innovating concept!

I made lots of pictures (great atmosphere, lights and themes), and when I was walking by all the lovely designs of the master I saw them... His illustrations. The real ones.

Óne of Jean Paul Gaultier's original illustrations for Madonna's Blond Ambition World Tour, 1990
Óne of Jean Paul Gaultier's original illustrations for Madonna's Blond Ambition World Tour, 1990

WOW! Flashback! This was such a precious moment to me (no I did not cry)... I also saw some of Jean Paul Gaultier's creations for Madonna, and I felt like I was the happiest gay in the world. How cool! You could even touch the black corset he made for Madonna's MDNA Tour. Heaven!

Madonna's corset by Jean Paul Gautier for her MDNA tour (VOGUE), 2012
Madonna's corset by Jean Paul Gautier for her MDNA tour (VOGUE), 2012

 

And a video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAXjFIp71Mw

The exposition ended on May 12th, 2013. At the end of the expo you could buy lots of great Jean Paul Gaultier stuff. The ARTBAG specially designed for this was for sale too! The proceeds of this bag went to the STOP AIDS NOW! foundation. And you have your own real Jean Paul Gaultier bag!

Me and my Jean Paul Gaultier art bag
Me and my Jean Paul Gaultier art bag

LOVE, Joey

p.s. follow my work at Haus of Joey!

All pictures by Joey Holthaus

First published in 2013, updated in 2019


OYL Circle of Five by Joey Holthaus

Here I was, getting ready to go onstage... to supposedly convince and inspire thousands of people... to get unified and to fight the prejudice... you know, that I couldn't even inspire seven dancers. - Madonna TRUTH OR DARE, 1990

Do you know that feeling when you want to change the world? When you want to inspire people? But you can’t even inspire yourself sometimes?

That’s how I felt a while ago. I was lost. I didn’t know what to do. How to begin. How to get the energy again.

My life changed in 2013

Let me tell you about the months in my life in mid-2013 as a lot changed for me. I resigned my parttime job because I wanted to really focus on my company HAUS OF JOEY. I only want to work as a freelance illustrator. A lot of people around me told me also to quit my job. "Just do what you do best. You can do it! Just focus!" So I did. Without a real plan.

I forgot that I always had a job (since I was nineteen). I always had a boss. I always got my money at the end of the month. I had a rhythm every day: get up, go to work, own your money, go to home, spend some time with my husband, go to my friends, etc. I loved it, but I was also used to it. It was regular. Normal. In control. And I love it to be in control. Cause I’m a control freak.

That all ended. Now I am my own boss.
Now I have make my own plans, my own choices, my own rules, etc.
Now I have to make my own money... Oi!

I started too positive. Too happy. Because I had some money. No worries, right? I took some time to get in my new mood, my new rhythm. And it was hard. It felt like I was in rehab.

It’s always busy in my creative head, and I had to do a lot. But how to start? Where to begin?

And then I thought about one episode of Oprah. Rudine Howard suffered from lifelong anorexia, and Oprah followed her story from 1989 to her death in 1994. When Traci Gold appeared with Rudine (age 29 and 58 lbs.), Traci insisted Rudine could overcome anorexia by taking steps to “fill your mind.” Rudine heart-wrenchingly asked, “But how do you do it?” It changed Oprah’s way of thinking.

That is it. That is what everybody wants to know. How? This is the central question in life. - Oprah

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not comparing myself with this sad story, or the woman who suffered from this disease. It’s all about her question. How? How do you do it? How do you get a succesful business? What do you have to do?

The Organice Your Life®'s the Circle of Five

I thought about Organice Your Life®'s the Circle of Five. These 5 steps can help you to organize and improve your home, your finances, your career, your health, your relationships, and your good charitable work for others.

Why not start with that? Just to get back on track. So I did.

1. Organice Your Home

I cleaned up my atelier, my work office. Started with my administration, organiced all my old illustrations (hundreds!!!), pictures (thousands!), etc. It took some time but boy, I’m so happy I did it! Luckely my place at home was already organiced!

1-HOME-1READ MORE: Organize Your Shoe Closet
1-HOME-2
1-HOME-3

2. Organice Your AGENDA

I started reading “Start from Your Heart”, a book about how to start your company in your own steps, with your own feelings. It helped me to get back to basic. Why do I want to get a successful business? What do I want to earn? What are my goals? For now? And for the next couple of years?

I’ve written everything down, and now I have my own manuscript about how to start my own company. And I did it in the way I wanted to do it. It felt so good. Cleaned up my head again.

2-AGENDA

3. Organice YOURSELF

I love to take care of my body and mind. But sometimes I need structure to get back the focus. I do not drink a lot, and don’t use any drugs. I’m trying to eat better (step by step, with the help of great Organice Your Life recipes, and I’m doing my exercises again. All at home. Low budget.3-YOURSELF-(1)3-YOURSELF-(2)My schedule? In the morning I start with the sun salutation and after that I do my push-ups, or use some dumbles. I run 3 times a week. It gives me such a nice feeling, and my body’s getting back in shape again!

4. Organice Your RELATIONSHIPS

My situation in 2013

Husband - I married the best man in the whole world! He supports me in everything, and he believes in me. Every Wednesday evening is our night, and we do something together: we’re going to the movies, having dinner outside, take a walk. Such good quality time.

Family - I love my brothers and sister. We talk almost every day (thank God for group whatsapp), and once a while we go out together. Crazy nights!

Friends - My friends are really important to me. I really take the time to visit them, to be around them. Good friends are gold. They give me positive energy and love, and I can really be myself around them.

5. Organice Your GOOD HEART

I’m trying to be a good person. A few months ago I found a wallet on the street. Couldn’t find a telephone number inside, but a lot of his (credit) cards. Found his name on the internet and called him, and he was so grateful I called him. I didn’t noticed the wallet was filled with a lot of money (I did not search for it), but when he came back to pick up the wallet he saw all the money was there (think it was more than 1000 EUR). He wanted to give me a reward. I didn’t want it, but he insisted. He gave me 200 euro (!) and walked away. I was flabbergasted. Okay, I could have all the money if I kept the wallet, but I’m not one of those people. It wasn’t mine and I believe in karma. I know this is just a little thing, but a good heart starts with simple things. Be kind. Be helpful. Be a human.

These five steps help me to focus. Focus on what’s important.

Challenge yourself and try it. It really helps!

Joey


I use the Vitality & Energy Mask for a radiant skin

SKIN CARE FOR MEN

As the days are getting colder (well, here in the Netherlands) I have to be extra careful with my skin. Not every man likes to put some effort in his "beauty" skin care for men regime (most men only wash their faces with water and that's it), but I'm a fanatic skin care user for many years now. I don't mind getting older (I'm 33 right now), but with my healthy lifestyle and the help of some natural products I can reduce the process a little bit.

As you know I don't drink any alcohol for almost a year anymore (read: Choose Your Juice), and I can see the effect on my skin! It looks healthier than ever before!

Every morning I use some natural face products for men. Here are the steps in pictures:

Step 1:

Picture 1: my morning face, Picture 2: Intensive cleaning with scrub gel
Picture 1: my morning face, Picture 2: Intensive cleaning with scrub gel

You can scrub your face a few times a week. Always apply it on a moisty face (and neck). Wash it away with lots of hot water.

Step 2:

Gentle facial cleanser by Rituals
Gentle facial cleanser by Rituals

Luxury Face Treat by Rituals

 

I use the Vitality & Energy Mask for a radiant skin
I use the Vitality & Energy Mask for a radiant skin

 

You can make funny faces while waiting (10 - 15 minutes)
You can make funny faces while waiting (10 - 15 minutes)

Wash it away with lots of hot water. You can use a mask one or two times a week.

Step 4:

FACE nr 3: Ultra moistering face lotion by Rituals
FACE nr 3: Ultra moistering face lotion by Rituals
Finishing touch! I use this ultra moisturising face lotion every day!
Finishing touch! I use this ultra moisturising face lotion every day!

After this skin care you are awake and ready to start your day!

Ready to go with my fresh and healthy skin!
Ready to go with my fresh and healthy skin!

I also protect my hands with this lovely lotion:

Hand cream by FACE STOCKHOLM
Hand cream by FACE STOCKHOLM

This rich, concentrated hand cream leaves hands delicately scented, while locking in the moisture that is vital for the maintenance of healthy, hydrated hands. And it smells sooo good!

I hope all the men are inspired to take care of their skin! And if you have other tips: SHARE!

Ps: VALENTINA also shared her beauty skin secrets (for women and men) a few months ago! You can read it HERE!

Good luck!
Good luck!

 


Fruit Juice by Joey

Choose your JUICE!

One day in October 2011, I quit drinking alcohol. I quit after the worst hangover E-VER.

The day before this hangover, I had a great party, and drank some beer. I didn’t drink too much, but my hangover on Sunday was terrible. My headache was so painful, and I couldn’t get out of bed.

Joey as ugly duck at Fairy tail Party
Joey as ugly duck at Fairy tail Party @ the 29th of October

I realized I did not want that feeling anymore.

It’s not that I drank every day. I only drank when I went out. I think the amount of alcohol was sometimes too much. And I think getting older is also not helping…

A lot of people ask me why I do not drink anymore. Some think it’s really brave of me, some do not understand. You don’t have to. It’s my own choice.

I didn’t have to quit drinking, but at that moment I thought it was the best.

After 307 days I have to say it’s hard not to drink. It’s not that I miss it, but everywhere you go it’s all about alcohol. When you visit a friend, when you go out, when there’s a celebration, when you’re having dinner, with holidays like New year’s Eve, and so on.

Everybody seems to be into alcohol, everybody’s offering you a glass. Here in the Netherlands it’s so normal to drink that it’s rare when you’re not drinking. Strange world.

I know I can try to drink one or two glasses, but I can’t. When I drink, I want more. And after more alcohol, I might get a hangover. And I don’t want that feeling anymore.

I want to live healthy, and I want to have control over my body. I want to prove myself I can do this.

So I choose not to drink alcohol anymore. Just to see how it feels, and if I could do this. And it feels awesome!

I try to change my life, and not drinking alcohol was one of my goals. If I could do this, I could change my life a bit more. Quiting alcohol was step one. Trying to get in shape was step two. I’m going to write about my fitness experience the next time.

Next step: the perfect body!
Next step: the perfect body!

What I’ve also changed is my thought about alcoholism. I’ve always been surrounded by alcoholics, and I always had one thought. Just stop. Just stop drinking. How hard can it be?

Well, now I know. It’s hard. If it’s hard for somebody’s who isn’t an alcoholic, how would it feels like for an alcoholic? I stop being prejudiced. I stop being like everybody else. I want to be different.

I’m not saying I am never going drink again. But I hope I’m strong enough not to go back in time.

So… what I’m still looking for are some new healthy juices I can drink when I go out!

My favorite right now is cranberry juice. Very refreshing, and it tastes great!

At home you can make your own juices (see all the healthy juices here on Organice Your Life), but going out it’s so hard to find some fine non-alcoholic healthy juices! Isn't it?

 

Fruit Juice by Joey
Fruit Juice by Joey

My favorite juice (or smoothie, whatever you call it) @ home: fresh strawberries, 1 banana, coconut water, pinapple juice. Just put in in a blender and mix it!

So I wanna hear what your favorite non-alchol drinks are! What do you prefer?

Can’t wait to hear from you: surprise me!

 

Love,

Joey


Proud to be Gay

Joey Holthaus has been a singer in a boy band called "All of Us" for many years. Today he works as an illustrator and fashion consultant in the Netherlands. He is sharing his experiences as an openly gay man with Organice Your Life®.

 

... "Hey, dirty F*GG#T!"... Damn! I just did my best to look like a cool dude today. I'm wearing my baggy trousers, old school sneakers, big hoodie, Diesel cap and it's all in traditional masculine colors. Thought I looked like a straight guy, but guess I was wrong. When I look up I see some kids laughing at me, some are giving me the finger. Grrrrrr. Just another bunch of kids who think they have the right to call me dirty.

Strange. Strange because I'm never ever been a dirty boy (well, not in that way). I take a shower every morning, wash my hair, put on my Aussiebum's (for the straight guys & girls: it's the Bjørn Borg for gay people) & some new fresh socks, and as a final touch my everyday (Malin + Goetz) fragrance. Why? Because I can't stand dirty stuff. I gag when I smell sweat, mold and unpleasant odors. I can't quite place have to disappear as soon as possible. I've heard too many dirty stories, told by my best friends, even though they know I can't stand them (so I run to the bathroom to throw up). I visualize every little thing. So funny, but not for me...

Well, I know that the kids are referring to that other 'dirty' something. You know, how gay people have sex. How they do it. Probably some of those kids also do it with their girlfriends, lovers, or maybe each other? But when gay people do it, they think it's more disgusting. That's why they call us dirty. And say f*gg#t. Right in your face.

I know that it's in fashion for straight people to have a*** intercourse. It's not a gay thing anymore, doing it "the Greek way". When I'm listening to all the many sex stories of my female friends (about their relationships) I know it's true, and they do like it (and quite surprising, some straight men too, if you know what I mean..)

Okay, back to the kids. I'm so surprised they outed me. When you look at all the straight men these days, I can't see a difference in style with the fashionable gay men of a few years ago. Famous metro men (like über metro David Beckham) set the trend, and half of the straight young men followed. It was hot to look good and fashionable for a straight guy. Before David, gay people created the most wanted styles in fashion. Now I can't spot the difference anymore. For me, a normal gay guy, it became very difficult to trust my "gaydar". I thought I had one, but these days I think everybody looks gay. Think my gaydar is really out of order...

Don’t get me wrong, I like to “dress up” for the nights, but my "Yoohooo... look at me, I'm gay" look lies far behind me right now.

I remember my first year in 1996 as a fashion student, when I transformed from a little young boy to a self-assured boy with waaay too much make up on my face. One of my classmates (and still my BFF) looked like the inspiration for Lady Gaga's looks nowadays (but in a so much better and creative way). He was the one who supported me to polish my nails. First I let them grow and then I polished them all black (how gothic). Then I used all kinds of colours and finally I was drawing all kind of little creations on my nails. How creative! My signature eyebrows before my first year Fashion Design looked like I was Bert's cousin (Sesame Street). An ugly unibrow.

During this first year I discovered the magic of a tweezer! First I pulled out a few hairs, then a little bit more, and then... Oi. I looked like I drew two stripes above my eyes. Yikes.

I also put too much make up on my face to cover up the rings underneath my eyes and pimples, and I've made my eyebrows more colourful with a black eyeliner. On top of that you must know that it was very hot to be a fan of the SPICE GIRLS (well that is, if you were a four-to-twelve year old girl, or a screaming young gay like me and my BFF), so imagine what we looked like. Dressed in shirts that were too small, low bootcut jeans,  high (20cm) plateau shoes and blond spikey hair (aaaargh!!!) I was clubbing in Arnhem's gay club Entre Nous every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. Like every night we waited (after whining for a long time) till the DJ played our favorite song: "SPICE UP YOUR LIFE"! Shake it, shake it, shake it... ENCORE!

Okay, maybe I looked like a drag queen, but at that time (1996!) I had never been bullied openly on the streets. No one had ever called me "dirty F*GG#T", no matter how flamboyant my outfit was. It’s so sad that the times have changed.

May 2012: On the cover of Dutch magazine "L'Homo" you can see two straight famous Dutch male actors kissing each other, with their tongue. The magazine is telling us that you don't have to be ashamed when you kiss another guy.

                 * Cover Dutch gay magazine "L'Homo" 2012 *

This cover made headlines in Holland. In 2012! Why? Just because of that kiss. Even though Holland seems very accepting of homosexuality to the outside world, in fact gays get bullied here everyday when they walk hand in hand. Some gays get beat up on the streets when they come out of a club. When you kiss your boyfriend, EVERYBODY is watching you. Like you're an attraction at a carnaval.

That’s why "L'Homo" magazine had to make that cover. Those covers HAVE to make headlines. We HAVE to talk about it. We have to get used to it, because most of the people are sadly not.

I’m so proud of president Obama. Last week he told the whole world that same-sex couples should be able to get married. BAM! Thank u Mr. Obama. We (the gay people) just need that kind of support. So stand up with the president & sign here!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQGMTPab9GQ[/youtube]

 

So, how can I support myself and others gays? How can I tell the world that I’m an openly gay man for more than 18 years, and that I'm proud of it? That I love the way I'm living my life, and that I'm not ashamed for being gay? I think this self-made picture of me and my husband says enough:

 

I tweeted this picture to the magazine L'Homo, and they started a contest: Share your kiss & win! You can see Mark and I right here.

I am glad you all can see I'm gay. Looks like I haven't change a bit since 1996. Minus my nail polish, but plus spicing up (& organicing!) my happy life with my beautiful and gorgeous husband Mark.

Be proud. Be yourself.

 

X Joey

[poutsch id="1007131" width="490"]

 


Regret is a waste of time

When I was a seven old year boy I remember I was watching our black & white TV, and suddenly I saw the video of Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach” on MTV. I just sat there and watched it with my mouth open.

What a gorgeous woman! Such pale white skin, hot lips, and perfect body! I didn’t understand a word she was singing (hello; I was seven and I’m a Dutch boy) but she sang the song so strong that I was touched by it. I also wanted a “Italians Do It Better” T-shirt, so I made it with white paint on a black shirt by hand.

Didn’t have a clue what it meant, but I danced the night away on that T-shirt in my bedroom.

From that moment I was hooked on Madonna. Every little thing about Madonna I wanted to have, I wanted to listen to all her singles, watch all her videos. I was the first boy to impersonate Madonna at our local talent show. As an eight year old boy I won my first ever playback show as Madonna, with her hit single “Dress You Up” (so suitable). I think nobody in the audience knew I was a boy, I was playing her role with verve!

*Joey as Madonna 1986

Every week I went to the magazine store to spot all the new magazines she was in. When I got my first pocket-money I spent all my money on her. My bedroom walls were covered with her posters and photos, you couldn’t find a single open spot. Every month I changed the posters to make a new composition, and I invited my parents and brothers to watch it over and over again. My passion and feeling for creativity began to grow…

*One of my bedroomwalls

In 1991 (when I was 12 years old) I was allowed to watch the documentary “In Bed With Madonna”.

There it was! Her life, her romances, her live-performances, her dancers, her humor: it was everything I ever dreamed of! She also spoke about homosexuality as if it was the most normal thing in the world. It was such a revelation to watch the two male dancers French kiss each other during the game "Truth Or Dare": this was what I wanted too! From that moment I knew I was gay.

In 1994 Madonna released her album “Bedtime Stories”. She promoted the album on radio and television. During one of these interviews one man asked Madonna if she had regrets about some decisions in her life. Her answer? “No. I have no regret. Regret is a waste of time.”

Boom! Such a good and simple answer, but oh so clear. From that moment I started living my life without regretting my decisions. I move on and try to learn from all the mistakes I make. I'm also not afraid to make one.

Madonna has been inspiring me from that day in 1986.

Because of her, I took dance lessons, studied Fashion Design in Arnhem, was a member of the boy band All Of us and recorded several singles, performed live many times for huge audiences, started to make fashion illustrations, cultivated my talent for images and composition, experienced homosexuality as normal thing in life, love music, became a perfectionist and always want to reinvent myself!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtiHD3qgv-M[/youtube]
*Singing in boyband All Of Us

In 2011 I started my own business Atelier Joey Holthaus. I create (fashion) illustrations for calendars, magazines, books, cards, websites, posters, baby clothing, t-shirts and bags. My first calendar was a tribute to astrology, women and big hair. Sometimes I shoot behind the scenes pictures at video clips, fashion shoots and large celebrations, trying to capture humor and happiness in every shot.

I live my life. I live it just the way I want to live it. Being happy, and married to the love of my life Mark.

So who inspires you? Who dares you to think differently? To challenge yourself every day? Share it!

Love,

Joey