Frequent asked questions
Here I will place questions and answers about various subjects that people have asked me in the past years. Click on the button of a subject (see below) to go directly to the section.
1.1 What do you exactly do?
I make apparel graphics (or also known as surface pattern design or pattern design), (fashion) illustration, sometimes GIF’s and technical drawings for tech packs.
1.2 Did you go to art school?
I did go to college for fashion design in Amsterdam and for the Master in Fashion Strategy in Arnhem. From an early age I knew that I wanted to study something in the arts or creative industry and my path brought me to fashion.
1. 3 Are you married?
1.4 Do you have kids?
No, I don’t, but would like to have, one day. But to say it clear, I don’t know if I should make a graphic novel about this question. It can be so hurtful to ask this to a woman, especially, if you don’t know where she is coming from. I know, it is conversation starter at a gathering or event. But I will never ask this question, because I know that I will have trouble to have a baby. And there are a lot of women who have medical conditions that they will not be able to have kids or that it will be an exercise of patience. I am happy for the ones who have, but it hurts when people assumes that it is always a choice to stay childless.
1. 5 Do you have a pet?
Well, not any more 🙁 I had birds and fish. And a dog that we took care for a while, very long time ago. I would like a Pug or birds again. But the time, that is something what is the issue. I want to get back to college and I don’t have my own place so no pets for now.
1.6 What kind of personality are you?
According to the Myers-Briggs scale I am an INFJ-T. Kinda like Lady Gaga, yay!
I always hear from people that I am so quiet. But my design style were so outrageous. They would tell: Why don’t we hear you say things a meeting? You don’t seem be as good in selling, only in presenting your own work. And to say it blunt: I was sick and tired to been told that like something is wrong with me. In the wake of the 2020 crisis and my knowledge that my job-that-pay-the-bills ended in Spring 2020, so I need a new job or find a new way with my studio I wanted a clear description about me and my personality. Why I have this way of thought and doing?
I did know that hip start-ups and tech companies have tests and assessments for new employers to see if they will fit the vacancy and the company. On the socials feed I saw people doing this personality test and sharing their results during the corona lockdown time. It was the free test of 16 personalizes based on Myers-Biggs research. So I went to 16personalities.com and did the test. It was an eye-opener why I am calm, but that (former) style are two different universes. And that being an INFJ-T you are a walking paradox in that sense.
1.7 Why did you studied fashion design?
So I was a 90s child that loves to draw and make her own doll house. And you might start to think: what should I do? I watched a lot of fashion shows on the French spoken TV channel TV5 with my mum. And fashion was never far away in the 90’s: the rise of Tommy Hilfiger, the Super models and famous Calvin Klein ads. But on the other hand I liked watching cartoons on TV. I did had an old-fashioned rotating thingy (plastic zootrope) that playback a strip of paper with drawing. And you could see it moving. No idea how I got that, but it was fascinating to me. I also like the illustrations in books, even though I became a bit too old for books with emphasis on illustration.
And then I was a teenager. I still love cartoons, wasn’t a shame of it. Watched the hell out of Pokemon Indigo League and Shin Chan. But I started to think about the job opportunities I will have when choosing a study thus a career as creative. Studying animation was something I really wanted to do, but as I remember of my childhood favorites most of the animation series weren’t made in the Netherlands. Even the Dutch series such as Alfred J. Kwak and Star Street were made in Japan! The names at the end credits were Japanese. Don’t asked me how a seven-year old knows that, but I did. So produced here, but draw and film outside the borders. That let me make the choice to study fashion: there were at the time a lot of Dutch fashion companies out there.
2.1 How did you develop your style?
Well, it is still developing.
2.2 Who are your favorite artists (in general)?
There are so many, but I will give here a little summary: Fiep Westerdorp, Piet Paris, Walt Disney, Hayai Mikizake (Studio Gibli), Dick Bruna (known for Nijntje – Miffy), Loish, Laura Laine, Abbey Lossing, Jack Pollock, Andy Warhol, Takeshi Murikami, Banksy, Keith Harring and Piet Parra. And every day I bumped into a new artist online that just blow my mind.
In other art disciplines such as architecture or art movements I find much inspiration for my art in: Bauhaus, Art Deco, De Stijl and Street Art.
2.3 What kind of tools do I use?
I use analogue and digital tools. And I mix the two often. I go to art supply shops, but can buy something in a retailer for interior decoration. I have use cheap stuff and more pricey professional products and it is a case or trial and error. So my advise is based on my personal experience and not so much budget wise.
- Mechanical pencils (I have so many, often no branded.)
- Bic Ball point (just love the color and the grip)
- Colored pencils (I prefer the ones you buy in art supply shops. The cheaper the worst is my option)
- A4 copier paper (no specified brand)
- Watercolor paper (sometimes of a brand, often from the shop DK Tiger)
- Copic alcohol marker
- Indian ink
- Sponses and paint brushes
- Macbook Pro 13” early 2015 (I should upgrade though)
- Wacom Intuos pen Small Pen tablet
- iPad Pro (2018) with 2nd Apple Pencil
- Adobe CC (Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, AfterEffects)
- Procreate 5
- iPhone 7+ for photography
2.4 tips and tricks
3.1 Who are your favorite fashion designers and what are your favorite fashion brands?
Designers: Raf Simons, Christian Dior, Martin Margiela, Vivienne Westwood, Jan Taminiau, Claes Iversen, Coco Chanel, Yohij Yamamoto, Henrik Vibskov, Benhard Willhelm, Walter van Beirendonck, Paul Smith and many more that are clean and timeless.
Brands: COS, Fillipa K, Nike and G-star.
3.2 I like fashion a lot, how do I get into fashion?
I get this question often, or a remark: oh what nice, you studied fashion design! People will start asking what will be the latest trends. Or that their outfit is okay. (It’s okay, don’t worry I don’t wear the hippest of the hip.) And after that a lot of time the question involves if the fashion industry pays good or how to get into that world.
Well, I start with the first question. There are a lot of ways to get into fashion. It all depends on what you want to do, who do you know that’s in it and how hard you willing to work. I can’t say that I in it now – I am more like everything in my life – a satellite that is connected but yet far away. I think I can define a few ways how people get into fashion.
The business related studies: Here are the big bucks by the way. People who studied business and often become buyers, controllers, merchandisers, brand managers with in company. These are the jobs that pay lot more from the get going than someone in the design department.
Design degree (fashion design, textile design, industrial design): often find a job as designer, stylist, trend researcher, graphics designer, art direction, content creator, graphic designer and as visual merchandiser in a store. These jobs are hard to find and the industry is looking – to be frank – more and more for people for the business and management side of the industry. Extra note for the design positions: in the beginning you will not earn that much. If you and someone who studied business administration: they will likely will have a higher salary.
3.3 What are the best schools for fashion design / management?
It is has been a while that I graduated from art and fashion school. And at this moment most colleges are re-writing their syllabus to future-proof the new students. But the main philosophies of each academy still stays the same. Some schools prepare their students to become a conceptual thinker. Those are the people who are more likely to work for a fashion maison at the higher end of the industry. Other schools will shape commercial professionals who will work at (fast moving) companies.
So, the first question you need to ask yourself: what kind of fashion professional do I want to be? When you want to work at a high-end company such as Céline, Stella McCartney or Acne, you firstly asked at Open days where alumni are working. Or browse on the websites of the institutes.
With the years I have gather some insight where people end up after graduation. If I can sum up a few names that have a bit more preparations for high end brands are Central Saint Martins (UK), Hogeschool voor de Schone Kunsten Antwerpen (BE) and ArtEZ Fashion design (NL). If you prefer to work for a wider audience and commercial you can also apply for these colleges. For in depth commercial thinking study Amsterdam Fashion Institute (NL) and FIT (US) are excellent choices. All these are colleges or university of applied sciences.
In the end you still have do the work. An internship is a great way to let people get to know you. Some schools already have some connections, but don’t relay on that. For your assignments and your work you do outside the assignments you can prepare the perfect portfolio for your dream workplace.
3.4 How do you prepare your admission to get into a fashion school?
My knowledge might be outdated, but the general take on doing admission for a creative studies: have a portfolio with your progress and train of thought! Don’t show only the finished illustrations, photos and videos. Teachers want to know your process and your WHY: what is the story you want to tell. Give a background where you from. Maybe you grew up on a farm and gather natural fibers to show the beauty of nature. And that we need to be more protective of it. Or, you have interesting cultural background that gives your work a mix of juxtaposing elements. And you want to tell with your work how societies can be tolerant. Find your niche and your underlaying interest that defines in the end your creative style.
I get itching when people say that fashion is their passion. It shows a lack in the depth that is in fashion – yeah there is a more that meets the eye. Fashion is to a large amount just clothes, but your clothing tells al lot about your mood, status and class. In fact it is the first people what will see. That makes fashion – actually clothing – a power tool in a visual world we live it.
And second, passion means to die for, in the wake of clothing been made under poor conditions it is so insensible to say fashion is a passion. I rather say that fashion is a reflection of our society and the world. And I am deeply impressed in the craftsmanship of this product. And I am doing my best to improve its production: that no one should die making it and we make last.
3.5 Should you have a degree in fashion to get a job in fashion?
The answer is no, you don’t. They are a lot of people who work in fashion with no direct degree or diploma from a fashion school or art academy. But, if you love it so much I would recommend you to go for it. The sooner you get into the network, the better.
Second reason applying for an art school is that you will have 4 years of receiving real feedback. This is something you will not have good excess to if you start with a fashion brand from your attic. Feedback is essential to improve your art and also develop your style better. And yes, feedback can be harsh sometimes, but in the end working with clients, buyers and other companies you will have to deal with (harsh) feedback too.
If fashion is something what you really want to do, what do you have to lose? Even I that had to pay it by myself, with no resources went full in. Yes, it is not as secure as for example studying to become a medical specialist. Oh, but even that is no grandee that you work as a doctor. At this moment nothing will give you a golden ticket into an industry. So take you chance, honey.
About buying my designs and hiring me
4.1 Do you sell sell prints or products of your work?
Yes, I do! You can buy my prints via these selected outlets:
- PupStore (Dutch and local webshop)
PS. I am selling in Etsy and Pupstore my older work and those will not be re-stocked. The society6 store has my latest work.
4.2 Do you do free work?
No. I have asked very low hourly rate in the past. And in 2020 was the moment that I just stop with doing that. I was planning to sit down for correct pricing. Bam, there was the corona, yet I’m going to ask the real fee from now on. A few reasons why:
- If you underrate the value you have, people will see your work as less. And aren’t willing to follow though.
- It is bad for your industry
- It is bad for yourself, because the amount of work and time YOU have to invest is not less.
- It is not a hobby. Period. If you love to do arts, doesn’t mean it is less of a job. In the end is this a job and you need to pay your rent.
- I need to pay off my huge student loans for going to all the schools.
- You have made choices in your life if you want to pursuit a creative profession in your life. While others are partying, earning a lot more than you in the office jungle or what else they do to make a living, you dedicate your time in mastering a skill that isn’t quickly learn. For example, drawing isn’t being born being good at it. It is a lot of drawing that will make the skill. Like 10,000 hours. So this choice and your skill should be paid just as you pay a lawyer for his / her dedication to learn all the laws and how to imply them.
4.3 Do you do free work for charity?
I haven’t got this question from a charity, but for me a charity is fully run by volunteers and cause that somehow is something I support I might consider. But at this moment I don’t do free work except for myself (and a few dear friends from school). And I am not a household name, so I have this feeling if an organization reached out to me for free work it’s a bit taking advanced of someone. If I was a well-known person, the name can generate awareness and give people a reason to buy and support the cause. That might work for the charity and the artist. Yeah, it is complex scenario with an even more complex answer.
4.4 Can I use one of your illustrations to print?
Personal use: yes, but do consider to buy one of my prints 🙂 With every purchase you not only show your support. It helps artists like me to make more work and not have do jobs on the side that have nothing to do with art. Except teaching 😉 And as you are moved by or enjoy looking at my art, means that art has a real value.
For businesses: No, you can’t just print my work without my permission and sell it under your name or on your products. The copy right of the illustrations and work are my and that makes you have violated the copy right laws.
Do you like my work, you can contact me via mail for licenses and projects inquiries. I will first look into your company if it fits with my values. After that we can open the conversation for a collaboration.
If you want a print as decor in your office, you can buy those via my Etsy or society6 shop.
4.5 Can I use one of your illustration as wall paper for my phone or iPad?
Personal use: yes
4.6 Can I use one of your existing illustration for my logo / business / unrelated article?
No, you can’t at this moment. I am looking into the system of licenses. Check this page often if this question got an update.
4.7 Do you take on personal commissions?
I don’t at this moment, because I am busy re-branding my studio. And that takes forever. Never say never, so look at my socials and this page if I am taking personal commissions. The personal commission are solely for personal use (e.g. birth announcements, personal portrait etc.).
4.8 Are you taking new assignments (B2B)?
At this moment I am not available for assignments, because I am busy with re-branding the studio.
4.10 Are you developing new products?
I am sketching and thinking what I can make. Up til now I have invested a lot of my savings in the postcards, art prints and textile that don’t sell well. So I will only create new samples for personal use and I might sell them in the end. The priority is to sell a large part of the stock. After that I can continue with new products in my new and refined style. Meanwhile you can buy my recent art via society6. It is print-on-demand service with a dispatch center in US and in Germany.
4.11 Do you take interns?
Owww I am flatered, but unfortunately I do not take interns. My focus at this moment is the re-branding of the studio, my new study for a bachelor of education (arts) degree and finding ways to make money with my art. Check this page if this question got an update.
4.12 What are my future plans?
I have so much futures plans in my head, but I will listen to the trainer of a Social media workshop I participate. It was a workshop organized by BNO (Beroepsorganisatie Nederlandse Ontwerpers – Dutch Association Designers) in September 2019. The trainer give me one important advice: I need to slow down and also show who am I on my socials. My Instagram profile was loaded with posts that were a creating hype, but in the end nothing of which I was saying did happen.
With that in mind, I did research what I really want to do and how can I do that without being that ‘hyper’. If you follow me on IG or just scroll back, in the period 2017 until 2019 (even beginning 2020) I posted a lot of illustrations where I just was trying to find a style. It is clearly my handwriting, but didn’t feel like me, because I was experimenting a lot. Maybe too much. I tried various styles: super kawaii style, cartoony, semi-realistic, only my patterns without mock-ups. And in the end I am back where I started after graduation: a fashion illustration style that is a mix of geometrics, stencils, hand-drawn elements and spray paint (effects). But with an updated.
Due to corona I lost my that-pay-the-bills-but-isn’t-creative job, so that give me time to do the re-branding of the studio that would fit the illustration style. I started my studio as an urban and street influenced creative thing, but now I would call it a refined, modern and quirky illustration studio.
To go back to the question: my future plan is stay closer to who I am. My universe that is calm, colorful, modern, timeless, self-willed and playful.