Fleurtje by Joanika Ring
'Fleurtje', drawn by Joanika and Börge Ring (Tina #8, 1974).

Joanika Ring is a Dutch sculptor and painter, and the second wife of Danish animator Børge Ring. She has worked with her husband on a couple of comics projects during the 1970s, and was an inker for Disney comics in that same period.

Early life and career
She was born in 1946 in Laren as Joanika Zwart. Her father was sculptor, painter and TV pioneer Peter Zwart (1911-2000), who goes down in history as the first set designer for Dutch television. One of her early childhood memories was the visit of Walt Disney to the family home in 1951. The entertainment legend was impressed by father Zwart's designs for puppet films and offered him a job. He was however turned down, and the family stayed in the Netherlands. Joanika followed in her father's footsteps, and at age 19 she worked as an illustrator in the Amsterdam division of the American advertising agency J. Walter Thompson.

Toonder Studios
A couple of years later she was working as a freelance artist for the Marten Toonder Studio's in the castle of Nederhorst den Bergh. It was there that she was introduced by scriptwriter Lo Hartog van Banda to Børge Ring, a Dane who worked in the animation division. According to Ring's autobiography, the two worked together on a comic strip around Christmas 1969 and by May 1970 they were married. At Toonder, Joanika participated in sketching gag pages with the anthropomorphic cat 'Pelle Svanslös' (a creation of Gösta Knutsson) for Semic Press in Sweden. Most of the scripts were by Patty Klein.

Freelance comics work
In 1973 Joanika encouraged her husband to become a freelancer, so that he could choose his own projects. Besides animations, these also included several comics for the children's magazines of VNU. Joanika served as either inker, letterer and colorist on most of these productions. For Sjors, they made the fantasy comic 'Distel' (1970-1974, scripts by Lo Hartog van Banda and Patty Klein) and the slapstick comic 'Kobus en Kachelmans' (1973-1974, scripts by Piet Hein Broenland), and for girls' magazine Tina they drew the back cover gag strip with madcap office girl 'Fleurtje' (1972-1974, scripts by Patty Klein). For 'Kobus en Kachelmans' and 'Fleurtje', Joanika furthermore took care of most of the backgrounds. Joanika's smooth inking line was furthermore useful for the Dutch production of Disney stories. In the period 1973-1980, she inked the pencil art by former Toonder colleagues Ed van Schuijlenburg and Frits Godhelp on stories with characters such as 'Brer Rabbit' and 'Little Hiawatha'. She of course also helped Børge Ring with his Disney stories. She also reinked the Carl Barks story 'Sheriff of Bullet Valley' for its Dutch publication in 1976 as the original American material was unavailable.

Other artistic activities and spiritualism
Her main activities have however been sculpting and painting. She also delved into spiritual studies, especially those about non-dualism in the Advaita Vedanta. She is the author of several books about self-realization, which she self-published under the label Uitgeverij AdvaitaRing. She furthermore gives trainings in Advaita Vedanta and organizes Satsang group meetings.

Joanika and Børge Ring have lived in a farmhouse in the Brabant town of Overlangel since 1988. Tragedy struck in 2012, when the house went up in flames, taking all their belongings with it, including their artistic legacy. The pair found refuge in Joanika's atelier, while their daughter Anne-Mieke launched a crowdfunding campaign to finance the rebuilding of the home. Joanika and Anne-Mieke's redesign of the farm's interior was documented in an episode of the the KRO-NCRV TV show 'BinnensteBuiten', broadcast on 3 March 2016.

Donald Duck by Joanika and Borge Ring
'Donald Duck' story by Börge and Joanika Ring (Donald Duck weekly #12, 1981).


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