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.
Last updated: August 2023
1.1 What do you exactly do?
I am art educator, make apparel graphics (or also known as surface pattern design or pattern design), (fashion) illustrations and sometimes GIF’s. At this moment I work as advisor cultural education at Kunstloc Brabant.
I have a background in fashion design where I did create technical drawings for tech packs, apparel graphics and textile design.
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.
In 2020 I went back to art school for a visual art teacher training in Tilburg (NL) which I completed in 2022. At this moment I study the Master’s in Art Education in Tilburg
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.
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, Hayao Miyazaki (Studio Gibli), Dick Bruna (known for Nijntje, in English: Miffy), Loish, Laura Laine, Cecilia Carlstedt, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Takashi 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: Hip-hop, Bauhaus, Street Art, Art Deco and De Stijl.
2.3 What kind of tools do I use?
I use analogue and digital tools. I often mix the two. 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 advice 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 16” 2021
- Wacom Intuos pen Small Pen tablet
- iPad Pro (2018) with 2nd Apple Pencil
- Adobe CC (Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, AfterEffects)
- Procreate 5
- iPhone 13 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, Yohij Yamamoto, Henrik Vibskov, Paul Smith and many more.
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 either. And having your own style is so much better than following hypes.) 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.
3.6 But wait, what about safety in the fashion industry and fashion schools?!
Well, that is good question. I have based my graduation research (in 2021/2022) at my visual arts teacher training on my experiences at AMFI during 2005 – 2009. Especially about this issue.
I really liked the study at AMFI, but with the years something started to feel off. Not just about the study but the fashion industry in whole. My experience at AMFI was tainted by this teacher who slowly to took over the control of the fashion design department. With this he put in a regime that divided students in winners and losers. And you might it guess it: white students versus black and students of Color. When I bumped into former classmates (often the ones that are of Color) years after graduation we talked about the absence of us as fashion professionals in the fashion companies. But that the branding of the fashion brands is tapped from the coolness of our cultures or another non-western cultures. And water downed (or better said: white washed) to appeal to (white) customers.
For my graduation project at the Master’s in Art Education I will do more research into the power of teachers at art academies. And how hip-hop pedagogy can help to make Dutch art academies more receptive for a global perspective within their curriculums.
To come back to the question: efforts are made, but the reality is still bleak. I hear a lot of stories about students who don’t belong to the norm – aka are black or of color – that are getting harass by fellow classmates or teachers, presented as tokens, need to teach their teachers, don’t see representation in their teachers or curriculum that is still outdated. There is a long way to go. But don’t let this bother you to go to an art school: show up, be present, because by people being present in institutions like art academies means they can’t avoid that our stories exists. And that they matter.
About buying my designs and hiring me
4.1 Do you sell sell prints or products of your work?
No, not anymore!
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. I decided to pursuit a visual arts teacher training instead.
I will sum up reasons why not to do free work:
- 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).
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 work of artists instead. With every purchase you not only show your support. It helps artists 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.
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, due to copyright legislation it is forbidden to use artworks of artists or studios without their permission. Always contact the artist or studio if you want to use their artwork.
4.7 Do you take on personal commissions?
I don’t as my studio is on hiatus.
4.8 Are you taking new assignments (B2B)?
At this moment I am not available for assignments, because the studio is on hiatus.
At this moment I don’t accept requests for consignations of my (former) products and/or designs for concept stores, online stores or brand collaborations.
4.10 Are you developing new products?
No I am not.
4.11 Do you take interns?
Owww I am flatered, but unfortunately I do not take interns as I have stopped all activities as illustration studio/ creative small business.
4.12 What are my future plans?
Currently I work as advisor cultural education and I am a Master’s in Art Education student. My focus is to begin in September 2023 with my graduation year. Continue to create awareness as advisor for equity for children with art education.
Regarding my illustrations: I really need to find my love back for it. Follow me on Instagram where I have a digital sketch book. Chances are that if, emphasis on the IF, will come back as someone who will sell her artwork, it will be in the fashion as visual artist. Not as small business that produces products. Or someone that will take the route of content creator/influencer.