Still just a kid. But isn’t he already looking further than the camera lens? Does he already know what he’s going to be when he grows up? An engineer, research scientist, clerk, car mechanic, priest, politician, a butcher like his brother, or a teacher like his other brother? Options like pro football player or professional cyclist weren’t even around yet. So what will he become?
His expression doesn’t reveal what his future will be like but we still get the feeling that fate has something in store for him.
At the age of 11, Clemens wins a drawing competition at his primary school. The subject of his work: the crucifixion.
Christ died, but a talent for drawing was born! Yet the drawing was so perfect that was discovered that Paulien, Clemens’ older sister, had made a substantial contribution to it. (Clemens had drawn the cross, and his sister had drawn the figure of Jesus… or something to that effect.) By the time he was around 11 or 12, Clemens was selling his sketches to his oldest sister to help supplement his allowance – a real necessity. Spurred on as well by the success of Tom Smits, a world-famous cartoonist, Clemens was drawing cartoons for Dutch and German magazines at the age of 16. He didn’t even hesitate to write to Playboy magazine. Not surprisingly, it was already evident that Clemens wanted a life that included creativity and the willingness to take on challenges.