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Results 1 - 25 of 585
1. Travel Journal: Beach Memories

Keeping a travel art journal has so many benefits. While drawing, you enjoy the moment so much more, your senses open up and you really look at your surroundings. It makes you appreciate the place, the moment, your time, and it makes you realize how lucky you are to be where you are.
Plus, you're creating a book of memories to never forget.
Seeing this drawing again brings me right back to the warm breeze on my skin, the sound of the wind through the palm tree leaves and the sound of the waves. 

 

After doing the drawing above, a lady who worked at the beach restaurant came over curiously and flipped through my sketchbook. Then she asked me to draw her. I felt challenged, I never did something like that on request, but I thought 'why not?' and gave it a go, next to a bunch of blind contour drawings I made of my husband earlier that day. 
The drawing doesn't look much like her, but it was a nice and intimate moment and a great way to connect with a local anyway. I asked her name, which was Tui, and then I asked her to write it on the drawing. Not my best drawing ever, but a wonderful memory.





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2. Travel Journal: Drawing Vehicles

In last Monday's blogpost I shared my adventure on drawing fishing boats from the pier in a Thai marina. On that same pier, I sat again the next day, to draw one of the many tuk-tuks on the island. I found a place in the shade, with a good view on a parked tuk-tuk. There was a little terminal post I sat on. Not very comfortable, but it gave me the right point of view and perspective to draw all the details of the motorcycle and its awesome cart build around it.
Again, I found myself drawing for an hour or so (my butt was totally numb after that!), and every now and then someone would walk over to stand behind me for a while. looking over my shoulder. The last 15 or 20 minutes of the drawing, one man stood behind me to follow the process intensely and each time I looked up, he would give me a big smile and a thumb up. I don't speak Thai and he didn't speak much English either, so 'good' and 'thank you' were pretty much the words we exchanged.
After adding the last bit of colour, I told him it was finished and he wanted to take a picture of the final drawing with his mobile phone. After that, he thanked me and walked over to the tuk-tuk to drive off with it. I hadn't realized he had been waiting for me to finish the drawing. So I apologized and thanked him about a million times (I am glad I know how to do that in Thai!). It was really awfully kind of him, and I felt kind of bad for letting him wait and maybe miss out on clients! I felt relieved when 10 minutes later I walked by the tuk-tuk, parked in front of a house in town. it had a blanket over the motor so that indicated he was done for the day. The driver had been on his way home anyway and I believe he was proud that his tuk-tuk was being portrayed and it was worth a little bit of hanging around on the pier before heading home. Otherwise I'm sure he wouldn't have waited for me to finish the drawing, and just drive off anyway.

Later that day, I added a little layer of coloured pencil, to deepen the colours and add some more depth and contrast to the drawing. I left room for writing on the right side of the page and I might as well still write this story there.

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3. Draw Tip Tuesday - golden oldies never really get old

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!
And ... it's Throw Back Tuesday here today.
Why? Because golden oldies never really get old. So here's a fun video for you that will hopefully ignite you into some experimenting yourself.




If you'd like to learn more, have a look on my website: koosjekoene.nl, and sign up for one of my classes today!

The workshop 'Draw It Like It's Hot', on drawing food and illustrating recipes has started just yesterday, so you can dive right in. Click here to enroll and start right away.

Or you could start a daily drawing habit during my online workshop 'Awesome Art Journaling'. Click here for more info and to enroll.

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4. Travel Journal: Drawing Thai Boats

I still haven't shared all the drawings I made during my week in Thailand. Here's a drawing that took me over an hour and was an adventure from beginning to end.

Intrigued by all the colours of the Thai Fishermen's boats, I planted myself in the shade of the waiting area on the pier of the marina. Then, I took a good look first, to single out an area to draw. I chose this row of three boats and focused on those, so I would not get distracted by all the other colourful elements around them and in the background. Then I started drawing. Drawing all the lines and shapes (making a lot of use of negative spaces) was very interesting and challenging too, since the boats were floating and constantly moving a little bit, turning left and right, with the waves of the water. I just relaxed and whenever an element got out of view because of the swell of the sea, I just focused on another detail or shape, to get back to it later.
At some point when I was well into my drawing, a fisherman left with his boat that was on the right side of these three boats, so all three boats moved drastically towards the right, closer to the quay, and for a moment I was afraid that it would mess up the whole scene and my drawing, but all I needed to do, is move a little to the right so I had the same poit of view on the boats again.

Step by step, my drawing grew while I listened to the constant chatter and bustle around me on the pier. At some point I realized I had an audience: tuk-tuk drivers waiting for the next ferry to come in, were watching my drawing moves closely. When I looked around and up to them, they gave me encouraging thumbs up.
The moment I opened my travel watercolour box and waterbrush, I even heard a few 'ooh's' and 'aah's'.

As you can imagine, I was very proud when I finished the drawing and felt a great sense of accomplishment.

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5. The core of it.

Sometimes Setchbook keeping, or art journaling, is so much more than keeping a drawing habit. Yes, I do make a habit of making a daily drawing, but often it's not even about the outcome of the drawing itself. Wether the result is good or bad doesn't matter. The drawing is a memory, or the drawing and its process ignites all sorts of thoughts and emotions. A drawing can carry deep emotions, but they can also be random thoughts, like the ones I jotted down when I drew this apple core. Actually, I do know the answer to the question I wrote there. No, I'm not the only one; my mom also nibbles endlessly around the apple core like I do.


That's what art journaling is about: while each time you enjoy the process of drawing, you fill the pages with little stories of your life. Looking back at the pages brings back vivid memories.

Every artist has his or her own way of doing that, and learning how other people do it, is so inspiring.
That's why I am so happy Danny and I partnered up and created Sketchbook Skool.
Never heard of it? click here and read about the courses.

The kourse themed 'Beginnings' has just started and you can still join! Also the kourses 'Seeing', and 'Storytelling' are starting in a couple of weeks, plus we have created a free training for everyone who took all three kourses to deepen their art skills and habits.
Meanwhile, we're working on new outlines with a new team of fantastic artists to teach in our new kourse that will start in April. I can't wait to get inspired by both the teachers and all students!

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6. Journal page

Here's a journal page I did last month. Sipping a slow drip and drawing - what better way to spend a Sunday?


Here's another one from last month.
I'm always intrigued by map art. I'm not very good at drawing maps - even giving directions in Amsterdam (where I have lived all my life) gets me into trouble - my mind maps things completely different! My husband had a band gig in the south of Holland and we decided to combine that with a fun weekend out. Doing a map of the appartment we stayed in, was a great exercise and fun to do. I needed to get up many times to see what was where, even though the apartment was kind of tiny!

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7. the silence of a falling star and other juicy quotes

Day Four of the post three drawings for five days challenge. Yes, it's taking longer than five days. Way longer.
Today, I chose these three drawings because they are all linked. Obviously, they are, but I thought I'd expand on how they are linked. And, how I work sometimes. So yes, of course, I've worked with the same palette here. Incidentally, blues and browns are my favourite colour combination. I just think they work so beautifully together. They also work great with the cream Moleskine paper which is the sketchbook I worked in here.
I often have a few sketchbooks on the go. Quite a few in fact. A lot are Moleskine, but not all. These days I'll draw on anything and everything. The top page is from what I call a 'spare sketchbook'. It's the kind of book that doesn't have a specific theme, it's just somewhere where I dump all of my thoughts, play around with images and compositions, practice my handwriting, file all those lovely juicy quotes and lyrics - that I happen upon - for future reference and make lists. Lots of lists. I love these kind of books. Everyone should have this sort of sketchbook. I can guarantee if I look through this book (this one is about seven years old now) I am reminded of and inspired by all sorts of things I'd forgotten.
At one time, when I was going through a drawing funk (they don't happen anymore by the way) and whining about it on my blog I was offered a piece of advice that I've never forgotten. I remember who gave me the advice too. It was Felicity Graces who some of you may know - although she doesn't draw, or at least, post her drawings anywhere near enough these days. Anyway, where as other people had been telling me to look through the work of my favourite artists or contemporaries, Felicity said definitely do not do that but look back through my own back catalogue of work. It was good advice. That's where you reconnect with what you love to do and the things you love to draw and why you love to draw.
So, that's why I recommend having a 'spare sketchbook'. You'll find so much in there too relight your fire. And, so to these drawings. Both of the two (bottom) drawings came about from developing themes I played around with in the top spread. By taking the notes and ideas and pushing and pulling them in all directions.

And, another thing, the envelope spread is what can happen when something goes wrong on a page; collage. The best way to cover all of your mistakes.

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8. Life Begins Where Your Comfort Zone Ends

Hi there Koosje!

Don't you just love surrounding yourself with fabulous art tools, beautiful sketchbooks and watercolor paper, and maybe even books about art and drawing to inspire you?
A lot of people do. And then... they don't draw!
Does that sound familiar?
Schermafbeelding 2015-01-20 om 17.14.49

Getting started can feel like a big step.

Even though you know how good it will make you feel once you're in the process of doing what you love, it can be kind of scary. You never know what's going to happen once you start, do you?
Well here's the two choices you have:
1. Keep feeling uncomfortable about it, don't start, and feel frustrated with yourself.
2. Embrace the fact that you can't control a drawing, jump in and enjoy the process and let the drawing unfold. Let go.
20150109BootKamp WritingCrop
Needless to ask which one of the above you prefer.
When I hear myself think 'I can't do this', I just know that when I push through, I will find that most of those limits are inside my head, and I can exceed them. Not just when drawing. The quote here on the right applies to many situations in life.
So THAT is where the sweet stuff is:
Right there, when you step outside of your comfort zone, is where the magic happens.
20140725 chocolates
Some people claim you should do something that scares you every day. I don't know about that, but I sure do know that you can accomplish a lot by sinking your teeth into those large or small challenges.

So what are you doing today to challenge yourself?

Whatever you do, have a great day, and make awesome art.
Koosje.

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9. Sitting on the Stairs in Castleford Library



I took the train to Castleford yesterday, to work in the library for the day, running the drawing workshops I was telling you about, with local, Y4 school children. They did me proud and I'll show you some examples next time, once I've sorted through them all.

In my lunch break, I sat in the glass stairwell and sketched the view from the window, using my favourite Sailor Pen and some watercolour. I'm not much into drawing cars, but I liked the long view right across the car park, across the shopping street, towards a river and distant hills: 


I was using an A5, grey-paper, concertina sketchbook which a fellow member of Urban Sketchers Yorkshire, Lucie Golton, made for me as a present, because I loved my tinted-paper Strathmore so much and she noticed how I've recently been getting into the extendable space of the concertina format. How lovely is that? Concertinas are great for longer views like this, when there's loads to fit in, especially if you don't like drawing small.

Ignore the candlestick by the way: that was part of some sketching I did during a recent SketchCrawl day in Buxton.

I did everything but the white, pastel highlights on the spot, but ran out of time before I could get them added (white chalk really lifts things when you are sketching onto a tinted ground). I added the pastel on the train and so got into a lovely conversation with a young man and his mum who were sitting across the aisle. They had been talking about his baby daughter previously so, with an apology for ear-wigging, I signed him a copy of Baby Goes Baaaaa!, passing on the present vibe:


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10. Best Friends Daily Sketch

I am so unbelievably blessed with some very open, honest, and funny girlfriends. I've always been one who struggles with friends, but as an adult, I believe I have some of the best and strongest relationships I never thought possible.

One of these friends is fellow illustrator and work from home mom, Candace Camling. We are so much a like, yet so very different, and I adore this about our relationship. We can be very honest, borderline offensive honest, and still want to talk to each other. I find this very special and I treasure it.

"Explore all the World" illustration by Candace Camling

She's on her way to New York today for a very important trip. She's attending the SCBWI conference where she will be presenting her top notch portfolio to directors, editors, and participating in the illustrator event (sorry, I don't know ALL the details). She's on her way to the top as a children's book illustrator.

I thought of her this morning as she's beginning this fun adventure. I've been able to help her out with printing her portfolio, and I am very honored to be there for her. She helps me out by being my soundboard for those really rough days and nights all about being mom or struggling artist.

She's my light for today, reminding myself that you get what you put in. She puts in long hours, money, perseverance, and hope for her career, and I'm inspired by that.


Visit Candace's blog and her portfolio!!!

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11. 5 Tips to Help You Keep Making Art

In my online art classes, there are often discussions and questions about how to keep a daily art habit. Well, first of all: if you made a commitment to yourself that you want to make art every day: that's fantastic! But don't beat yourself up about it or feel guilty when you miss a day every now and then, because life can just get crazy busy, I know!
But if the problem is finding subjects or themes to fill your art journal pages with: here's a few tips to solve that.
1. Give yourself a break.
A doodle is a drawing too. If you run out of time on a busy day, just doodle a little and have fun doing that.
2. Treat yo'self!
Go and get yourself a treat. Sit down to enjoy it. Wether it's eating an ice cream, drinking a caramel latte, going for a pedicure... enjoy the moment even more by drawing it.
20150201 Coffeejurnal
3. Do it everywhere
Find every opportunity to draw. Even if you didn't bring a journal or sketchbook - you can draw. On beer coasters, napkins, or, like I did here: on a paper placemat.
20150131 paperPlacemat 
(I always feel this childish excitement bubbling up inside me when I enter a restaurant and see they have paper placemats. Or even better: paper tablecloths!)
20150126 happinessquote
4. Look at yourself.
have a good look at yourself and draw what you wear. If you do this regularly, it's a fun way to document your
5.Find a quote.
Find an affirmation sentence, a song text or an expression you like. Paint it, fill an art journal page with it.
It's challenging to keep that creative habit, I know. But at the same time, it's also kind of an addiction, don't you agree?
Keep on going, enjoy the process every day and make awesome art.

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12. a strange dust lands on your hands

This week my class, at Sketchbook Skool, has come around again. The course is called 'Seeing' and is about, well, seeing. Really looking at your subject and perhaps seeing all those details that, if you weren't drawing, you'd never notice. I try to demonstrate this through one of my collection drawings.
Here are a couple of my drawings of one collection - my friend's collection of keys to be precise. They belonged to her father who had all sorts of collections. Most of these, I believe, were from model railways and clocks. I love keys. I love the symbolism of them and all the stories they could tell and doors the could unlock. I'm particularly happy with the drawing below. Don't know why. I just like it.
If you're interested, you can find out more about becoming a student at Sketchbook Skool HERE.

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13. Selfie

It had been a while since I  did a self portait. So what better reason to do one, than a fresh hair cut?
Before going to the hair dresser, I sat down and treated myself to a cup of tea. And after returning home -with bangs- I took out a bic ballpoint pen, and started drawing a selfie. The top half actually has a pretty good resemblance. But the nose, mount and chin are a bit 'off'.

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14. How many hats do you get to wear?

20141127 hats

How many hats do you get to wear?

I know I need more shelves to fit all the hats on, that I get to wear throughout the day. On the first page of my brand new sketchbook, I drew just a selection of all the hats that fit me. If I could have fit more on the page, I could've gone on for quite a while.
You probably have many roles in life too; you're an artist, someone's child, maybe you are a caretaker, a friend, a colleague, you may be a parent... and since we're all still learning in life, you're a student too.
Sometimes life is overwhelming, at least that's how I feel.
Life can get so crazy and busy, that there's hardly any time to live it.
20141009Basel
Still, we need to stay focused on what's really important in life, and on doing what we love.
That's how I managed to illustrate the recipe below, by just making use of small pockets of time throughout the week. 15 minutes here, 20 minutes there, and by the end of the week I was happy with the result. And what a treat to test the recipe, to make sure the measurements were right!
So here you go, the recipe for a sweet and comforting choc-o-holic treat. (No sugar added, so it's good for you too!) If you have time to try it: enjoy.
Choc-o-spread
The recipe is published on www.theydrawandcook.com
Even with the busy holiday season coming up, whatever you do, you can always find time to Make Awesome Art.
Schermafbeelding 2014-11-29 om 10.31.57
Finally I planned and scheduled the new classes for 2015. So if you have any new year's resolutions for a year full of creativity; I'll be happy to help you to get you going and to keep you going!
You can get yourself a seat in class by enrolling today. (click here)

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15. Not a girly kind of girl

In case you haven't noticed, I am not a 'girly' kind of girl. Even though I have the tendency to squeal when I see a mouse, I like to see myself as kind of tough. Let's just say I combine feminine things with boyish play. That's why I drew my nailpolished hands, binding wraps for my weekly kickboxtraining.

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16. Just Draw It! The Sketchcrawl.

Some of the participants in my current online course JustDraw It, said they would love to go out and sketch and/or try your hand at some urban sketching. Now that we're well on our way into the course, it was time to pluck up the courage, head out and do a world wide JustDrawIt SketchCrawl together.

The idea of this was to all head outside on the same day, and sketch in public! We may all live in different parts of the globe, but still, we're doing it together. For some people this may be a bit scary, but doing it together, helps.
So I declared Saturday, December 6, to be JDI-SketchCrawl Day
. People from around could join me in Amsterdam, others would 'crawl' in their own corner of the world.

A nice group of Dutchies gathered, to sketch together. It was a great afternoon, fuelled by cappuccinos and fresh mint teas, and surrounded by interesting people to draw and a whole lot of art supplies.

At these occasions, I always feel very distracted, and my drawings are interrupted many times. It shows in the drawings, but the nice thing is: I can remember the intertuptions and the converstaions I had, through looking at these pages. Great fresh memories added in my sketchbook!




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17. 3 ways to stay sane

Sometimes it's all just a bit much. (Especially on Mondays.) 

You wake up to a brand new day, happy as can be, a fresh to-do-list waiting for you to start on after breakfast. All is well. But then something small happens that interferes with your mood.
 Like: You throw something in the garbage can that's already a bit too full, and because of that, you miss! Even before your first sip of coffee, you're mopping the kitchen floor. Grrrr.
 Or: You know you shouldn't, but you open your email while waiting for the kettle to boil... and there's an alarming email in there with a problem that needs to be fixed urgently. So much for enjoying your breakfast without hurry.
 Or: You planned to get out to run some errands, look out of the window and see the driveway all covered in snow. "Well that's just a great outlook," you hear yourself grown, "shovelling snow right after breakfast!"
Yeah, you know. Those kinds of things...
Don't let them ruin your day!
Here are three things you could do to stay sane:

Sometimes something small happens that can totally interfere with your good mood. Don't let it ruin your day.
*1 Sit down. Breathe in. Breathe out. Take out your smartphone, switch on the camera, make a face that represents your mood and take a selfie. Then, laugh about it. I know you don't want to, but if you put things in perspective - it's not that bad. You'll survive.
Use the photo to draw a selfie from. You'll feel so much better when you're drawing!
20141129 kickboxing
*2 Plan something that takes your mind off of things. It could be making a selfie drawing like above, or a chat with a friend, but for me, working out is also a great outlet. I run, but I also do kickbox trainings and, a one-hour training really empties my mind completely.
20141130 mokapot
*3 Treat yourself.
It can be something small, like making yourself a fabulous cup of coffee and enjoy every sip of it.
Or, get inspired! Buy yourself something to look forward to:
get help reaching your artistic goals for the new year.
I'd love to help you with that. Click here to register for one of my online classes.
Oh and don't forget: keep breathing. Even if the day doesn't turn out the way you expected, you'll be fine. You can change the mood again.
And even when on some days it feels really hard to get over a threshold; take every opportunity to Make Awesome Art.
You can do it.

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18. Draw Tip Tuesday: DIY Holiday Greetings

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!
The pre-holiday-season-days can be so crazy, and you might even forget someone to send a Christmas card to.
Not to worry, just craft one yourself - it’ll be the best personal holiday wish they will receive!


And... if you're looking for a great holiday gift for yourself or a loved one: check out my online classes:
-Awesome Art Journaling; kick off the new year by filling your journal pages every day.
Starts January 5. Click here to find out more and to enroll in Awesome Art Journaling
-Just Draw It!; the 11th edition of the onine drawing course that'll make you surprise yourself.
Starts February 2. Click here to find out more and enroll in Just Draw It! 
-Draw it like it's Hot; drawing food and illustrating recipes
Starts March 2. Click here to find out more and enroll in Draw It Like It's Hot!
All these classes are taught in limited groups, so I can personally guide every participant and give my feedback on everything that's shared.
-How to design a character - the Workshop; design your own children's book character or cartoon character
This course is self-led, and on-demand, which means you can start RIGHT NOW! Click here to find out more and enroll in How to Design a Character 

Happy Holidays!

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19. Journal page


These fuzzy slippers will be attached to my feet for the following few months. So they're worth drawing.

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20. Draw Tip Tuesday - Happy Holidays!

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!
Let's doodle! Fill the white space, and surprise yourself with the result.
I wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

Have you started thinking of new years resolutions yet? Here’s a suggestion: Make Awesome Art!
I can help to get you going, and keep you going.
Would you like to kick-off the new year by filling your art journal pages every day in January? Click here and sign up for the online workshop 'Awesome Art Journaling' today!



Did you like this video? There is more where that came from! 
Don't wait for the perfect moment, the right art journal, or the magic pen that will make it happen. 
You can Make Awesome Art. Start today and click here to register for the online workshop 'Awesome Art Journaling' now!

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21. i drew my friends shoe

Here's a couple of drawings that I made back in the day. When my eyes could see better.
The top one was made with a ballpoint pen and the bottom one with colour pencil.
I'm pretty proud of both of these actually.
There's a little collection of my shoe drawings (if you'd like to peruse) HERE.

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22. Merry Christmas....

...if that's your thing.
If it isn't, well, here's a moose.
And a pear.

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23. Waiting Room Bliss

 
It may sound strange and unlogical, but sometimes when I have a very full schedule, I can really look forward to being in a waiting room; the doctor's office, the dentist, waiting at the hairdresser's... 
Why? Because they are drawing opportunities! 

Here's what happened when I made the sketch above: My bangs were almost hanging in front of my eyes, so I went to the hairdresser. Thinking about how they sometimes have pretty long waiting times, when it's a busy day.
So I started just randomly drawing one of the chairs, hoping to add details of it, and of the interior. But just after a few minutes, I was already called for my hair cut. So I just left it, and later I added a little bit of hatching and some background decoration with grey brush pen, to make the page a little less 'bare'.


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24. Selfie in pen and watercolur

This is a quick entry in my art journal, done from a photo I took with the camera on my phone.

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25. Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Make it a creative one. And Make Awesome Art!

 


 

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