Nicole Henriëtte Hermance Carstens was born on February 9, 1958 in The Hague in The Netherlands as the second in a family of four children. She was a very creative child and always busy drawing; she loved to make small comics. With her friends she spent whole weekends in her room, writing stories and illustrating them. As a young girl she loved to compete in artistic contests and won many prizes, for instance for building the most beautiful sand sculpture. Nicole was not only a creative person; she was also good at sports. She was a very talented tennis player. While she was completing her university study geography and urban planning, she had already turned to art.

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