Eileen van Essen / Serious Mae is an artist and photographer based in Amsterdam. She studied photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. After a career of 10 years in photography and painting she pursued other avenues. After a lull of 25 years she picked up photography again.

“My pictures are mostly taken on impulse when a certain or sudden light fall seems to uncover some intrinsic, hidden meaning. In nature trees, limbs and shrubs then turn into protagonists who by their gesturing evoke some deep sensation of understanding or of being understood. It’s as if nature wants to communicate something very important about being alive and being human. Some ambivalent message that hovers in between loss and acceptance, resistance and hope, transcendence and redemption. It’s these emotions I want to capture, not mundane reality. Paradoxically of course, nature is as real as it gets. Exactly by being so, nature holds magic for us as humans. I feel the need to acknowledge this.” 

Eileen also works as a therapist, love coach and astrologer. Serious Mae is her artists name.




Present and future:
2024Selected as artist in residency at ArteVentura Spain, April 2024
2023Selected for publication in ‘The Garden of Dreams,’ Black Flower’s Publishing Spring Vol. II
2023Selected for workshop Re-purposing and the artist book with RAYMOND MEEKS ar LA BABUCH, France in Oct.
1990 Graduate Gerrit Rietveld Academy Amsterdam (photography).
1990Selection Unilever Art Collection.
1991Post-graduate Masterclass Sandberg Institute.
1989-1992Portret photography for Haagse Post magazine, Quote, Elsevier, Elegance and trade magazines. Published in Photography International, Foto Netherland and Pf Magazine.
1992Member of the board of Photographers Association Gkf, Amsterdam. Responsible for visual arts and representative at the meeting with the Minister of Culture.
1990-1996Several grants from Amsterdam City Council (project subsidies) and grant Werkbeurs from The Mondrian Foundation (for painting).
1990-1996   Group and sole expositions in Amsterdam & Rotterdam (Unilever)  and group exhibition Santiago de Chili Museum of Modern Art.
1990-1996 Purchased for collections of City Council of Utrecht, City Council of Amsterdam, UGBI-Bank and private collections.
1994Adviser for the Commission for the Stimulation of the Visual Arts of the Municipality of Utrecht and an advisory member of the Theater a/d Werf commission.
1994-1996Founder and artistic director of project space D.O.C.Lands Amsterdam.
1997-2003Creative strategist for TWBA/Campain Company, Saatchi & Saatchi, Design Company Keja Donia and Total Identity.
2001-2003Co-owner Loerakker Gallery Amsterdam.
2003-2007Owner Identity Doctor – Creative Strategy and Personal Branding.


Owner Piptherapie Pratice for psychotherapy.

Owner Liefdesadviezen.com – Love Coach.

Owner Astrolovesage.com – Astrologer.
2021-now Working with photography and painting once more.
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