I left school early, in an impulse, when I was 16. I left to go to the Junior Academy in Amsterdam, studying for advertising. Really happy how it turned out, could have been a really bad decision. At the Junior Academy, which mostly focusses on concepts, I learned how important all the details of the execution are, and I started loving design.
I love working alone, directly with my clients. I found it really hard to be creative at a company.
Working alone makes me feel really connected to my work, it's mine from start till end. Of course you have to work with clients, but I love solving there problems. I love doing all kinds of design work, and I prefer the message to be real and genuine.
My first project alone was for a organic beauty therapist - C. cosmetics - a wonderful client that really knew how important design can be for your store. It was a great project for me to start with and since it's located in the center of Amsterdam I still get new clients of it sometimes.
My process always starts with an idea. This doesn’t mean I know what I’m doing, but it always starts with an thought, a direction. I like working with my hands, making things. It’s the best way to experiment (for me). The materials used in the end are just a coincidence of the idea.
I like to focus on ideas. After that, you have to find the best way for the idea. The most simple clean version.
And check yourself constantly, is the design still serving the idea, is this the best that can happen?
I think my designs are a combination between crafts and clean design. Crafts because I love making things, clean because a clean design is a design at it's best, and while working you try to get to this perfect clean balance where there are no missing details, and no unnecessary details eater.
I've always lived in Amsterdam. I don't feel like the culture affects my designs, but I am, of course, a dutch person, so you might see that in my work, I'm not sure. I like living in Amsterdam, its my home town! I'm not sure how 'designing in the Netherlands' is compared to other countries since I did not work there.
I have a few companies I work with often as a freelancer, to do graphic design work mostly.
For the first round I love to have some time, to really get to the heart of the brand with the ideas / designs. After that I show the best of them to my clients and from there on - if all goes well - its just finishing the details.
You should get to the heart of your ideas. Where are they coming from, and why? You don’t have to tell complicated stories, but find the reason behind good or bad ideas and you’ll know where to go. Try to be original but don’t let it block you.
Tell your own story, don’t go around on the internet copying shit you see, thinking that makes it yours.
And don’t be lazy, check yourself constantly; could you do better? Really important; have fun while doing this, don’t get angry or impatient with yourself for doing stuff wrong - it’s supposed to be part of the process.
It's the best making money of being creative, I am really lucky I can pay my bills with this wonderful job. I love how your work is the center of attention instead of you, as for example if you're an actor. Your work can do the talking. Also, if I make something good, I feel really good about myself. Negative: If i don't make anything good for a while, it really makes me feel shitty. I really need my work to feel happy about myself. I don't see it as a problem, more as motivation.
Instinct and vision. And all the good designers I know know how to draw. This does not mean I think you should know how to draw if you're a designer, I just think these are people that have a natural talent for getting things out of there head / who have a good eye/hand coordination.
I couldn't live without my camera, a Canon 5D, and raw documents. Raw documents are the best!! I also work with photoshop, love illustrator, hate indesign. I love spending my money on tools, my house is full of them. And one tool that is not really a tool is putting your computer aside sometimes.
I like to think I am great managing my time. If needed, I can work really fast. If not needed, I can be really lazy.
If you want to deliver great work, you need free time as well.
I think people work too much, 40 hours a week in the Netherlands (at least). I do not understand how people do this, especially if they have kids.
Working as a freelancer in general. When I first started I had some problems with a client, who really had not enough trust and wanted to change my designs for the worst, and when I advised against it he got some photoshop friend to do it. It felt great to tell him off, putting my creative happiness above his money (he later copied my design in the ugliest way possible).
Over the years I've been working on and of with First day of Spring - Strategic influencer marketing.
Sometimes we don't work together for months but I really did a lot of nice projects with them. This is an example of a client who knows how to put there trust in my design, while still brainstorming with me.
I like it when there is no artwork yet, small companies just starting out.
This way you can really make something, and help the client look for there identity. And my independent projects of course, since I can do what ever I want.
I am not sure. This project, Micro Matter, really got a lot of attention. All of a sudden my hours that are not booked by clients are worth money as well, I'm curious to see where it takes me, it brings me a lot of freedom.
I like to work alone, but sometimes I really miss a partner that is as involved as I am. Luckily I am in a relationship with an artist, so I can always get his opinion if I really need one. And I have a lot of creative friends that always have an opinion.