GUEST BLOG – NATASCHA BOEL (2/4)

Geschreven op 27 May 2014 door Flowmagazine

Each week we feature a guest blogger on Flowmagazine.com. This month we yield the floor to Natascha Boel. After first working as a lawyer in a few big firms, when she was 35 she decided to follow her heart and go to art school. As of 2010 she works as an independent designer, making illustrations for magazines, bags, paintings and wonderful post cards. She does all this from her little old house in the country she’s recently moved to. More about Natascha and het work at Nataschaboel.nl

Last week I told you about my new workshop, right in the middle of the fields of Linschoten. It’s hidden inside of an old barn from 1870. We left the outside – and the inside as well really – like it always had been (we did let the cows go), but inside….

1 Text in image: At the arrow, that’s where I work

A brand new little house is suspended. And I work inside of that! It’s wonderfully high, spectacularly light, open and very quiet. When I look outside I see a big pear orchard. What a place, right?

2Text in image: New work shop

If you’re familiar with my work a little you’ll know I simply adore little ornaments, lush decorations, curlicues, bric-a-brac, well, rather opulent embellishments. And books of course. I love having lots of different picture books near me for essential inspiration while I’m working. So my work shop didn’t stay quite this white and neatly empty for long. Here’s the result.

3Text in image:Wonderfully light!

I like to refer to the table in the middle as my operating table. At the moment I am making big paintings and drawings on paper (more about that later) and I can drape those nicely over the table so I can work on them easily (sometimes I even put them on the floor because it’s easier). The space has been well filled by now and I am here a lot. Every day at 8.30 I’m ‘off to work’. Apart from all my books, painting and drawing equipment, there are also quite a few little still lifes.

4Text in image:Still lifes galore

Those still lifes just happen once you’ve accumulated the amount of knickknacks I have over the years. You come across them in the spaces of my old mail sorting desk, on the heater, in, on and under the cupboard… And how marvellous that I can simply put (almost) all of them somewhere without bothering anybody else with my ‘junk’. I’m like a magpie, dragging anything shiny and sparkly back to my little house. These are interspersed with my work. Like the letter “E” I made for the Flow alphabet.

5Text in image: It’s like one big diorama here

Once I’d been working on assignment for a while and I’d been working on my little web shop quite hard, I felt it was time to try a different way of working. Thanks to this wonderful new space I really felt like making free work again. That’s kind of an assignment you give yourself. You never know what the result will be. That quest is something I really enjoy. Of course I found an umbrella to put my drawings and paintings under. If I didn’t, if I’d really have no idea where to start, I’d find it very hard to fill an empty, white sheet of paper. The little umbrellas became ‘embellishments’, what else could they have been. In this case the embellishments people use to make themselves pretty. I’ll tell you more about this next week.

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SATURDAY MARKET – (177): COOS-JE

Geschreven op 24 May 2014 door Flowmagazine

In her web shop – more of a hobby that got out of control – Stephanie Koster manages to present surprising brands rarely seen elsewhere in the Netherlands.140510-Saturday-Market_Coos-je

First of all, tell us about yourself?

“I just turned 41, happily married for years and mother of three boys. School wasn’t my cup of tea and after I finished high school I went straight to work. For years I worked in Human Resources and as an executive assistant. Until a year and a half ago. Because the company I worked for was taken over, I lost my job. That was THE moment to start the shop, I’d been thinking about it for a while. I also work in home care, the occasional morning, as the web shop isn’t making enough money to live of just yet. I mostly see it as a hobby I can really express myself in. One day I hope to open my own ‘real’ shop.”

 

Do you like about running a web shop?

“I like it a lot, but it definitely isn’t easy. I’m a perfectionist. I also want to be, and remain, original, but that’s a tall order. There are a lot of people who copy me, which of course I can’t forbid them to do. Everybody’s free to sell whatever he or she wants. In my opinion there’s not much point in all of us selling the same thing. It’s also hard because lots of (online) department stores are selling everything these days.”

 

What do you dream of when it comes to your own home?

“Got a minute? There are scores of things haha… Lighting is so important in a house, so there are some lamps of  Scandinavian origin that I’d love to have, such as two lamps by Gubi. The children’s coat stand ‘Hang it all’ by Eames is on my wish list as is a String wardrobe.”

Coos-je.nl/shop/

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GUEST BLOG – NATASCHA BOEL (1/4)

Geschreven op 21 May 2014 door Flowmagazine

Each week we feature a guest blogger on Flowmagazine.com. This month we yield the floor to Natascha Boel. After first working as a lawyer in a few big firms, when she was 35 she decided to follow her heart and go to art school. As of 2010 she works as an independent designer, making illustrations for magazines, bags, paintings and wonderful post cards. She does all this from her little old house in the country she’s recently moved to. More about Natascha and het work at Nataschaboel.nl

Let me start by saying: Geertje, your work is so wonderfully refined. What amazing patience you must have. Really beautiful. And how special that I get to talk about my adventures as an illustrator the next few times.

1Text in picture: My old work shop

A while back you may have read in Flow that I lived and worked in (then) Gouda together with my boyfriend and two sons. In my attic work shop (shown in these pictures) I used to work on assignments for Flow and my web shop, Tempsperdu, to mention a few, until we all fell in love with the cutest little farm house in Linschoten which has taken up most of our time and attention ever since. The cute little farm house was in need of some pretty thorough renovations.

2Text in picture: TempsPerdu Card boxes (etc)

In my ‘in-between-two-houses-work-shop’ I made a series of dioramas for a fairytale client. I drew some of my inspiration for these pieces from Polly Becker, Lisa Kokin and Su Blackwell. All three of them have beautiful websites. There’s a pic of the dioramas below. Other than that I didn’t get to do much illustration work while we were in this breaking-and-building-period.

3Text in picture: Fairy tale dioramas

After a year and a half of bricklaying, plastering, sawing, hammering and painting (very educational actually) we now live in peace and quiet among little lambs, luscious blossoms and frolicking just-put-back-into-pasture-cows.

This daily holiday vibe was well worth the remodeling!

4Text in picture: In this pretty landscape / Sits my house/ Where they used to live

Along the little river ‘De Lange Linschoten’ (‘the long Linschoten’), where I live, there’s a pretty cycling route (have a look at Planjeroute.nl for instance) so if you should accidentally (or on purpose) pass by, ring my bell (you’ll know it’s my house when you see it) and have a look inside my new work shop.

We built, or rather ‘hung’, that work shop inside an old barn next to the house. It’s really the stuff dreams are made of… I’ll tell you more next week, including pictures of course!

See you then!

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SATURDAY MARKET (176): VIVE LA VIV

Geschreven op 17 May 2014 door Flowmagazine

Vivian Nijenhuis is an OR assistant and creates cool, feminine jewelry and accessories.

140502-Saturday-Market_Vive-la-Viv

How did you start your shop?
“After finishing high school I trained as a goldsmith at the vocational school in Schoonhoven. After working as a goldsmith in Iceland and Denmark for two years I went back to the Netherlands, but I had a hard time finding a job here. So I went back to school and studied to be an OR assistant and did a Master Physician Assistant urology. Which is what I do. But I’ve always kept on a small work shop. I did some personal assignments, like wedding rings for friends. I was always drawn to the creative and I never completely gave up goldsmithing. A year ago I started my own line of jewelry Vive La Viv. I design and make jewelry from authentic, natural materials in small editions or even unique pieces.”

You trained as a goldsmith, does it show in your designs?
“I know a lot about materials, I know the pros and cons of using different metals. All the jewelry I make is also available in precious metals. You can also see my technical skills in the workmanship of the pieces. Almost all of my pieces contain (semi)precious stones with a meaning and the charms I use have a meaningas well. I always add a label to the jewelry with a description of the specific meaning and the powers of the precious stones.”

What are your plans for Vive La Viv?
“I hope to make a name for Vive La Viv, so I can spread the joy! My jewelry is affordable and it is sent out as a real present, I feel it’s important that it’s within reach for lots of people.”

Vivelaviv.nl

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GUEST BLOG – GEERTJE AALDERS (5/5)

Geschreven op 16 May 2014 door Flowmagazine

Each Wednesday we feature a guest blogger on Flowmagazine.com. This month we yield the floor to papercut artist Geertje Aalders. Using a knife she cuts the most wonderful scenes from paper, often with animals and flowers taking center stage. She does this for Flow quite often, for instance, she cut out our latest cover of 2 – 2014. All this month she will tell us about herself, her life and her work on this blog.

Me again! The past few weeks you may have been reading about who I am, what I make and how I work. The great thing is that April has a whopping five Wednesdays. So in this final edition of my stint as a guest blogger I am taking the opportunity to tell you about my new adventure

I may be a bit old-fashioned. I still like to send hand written letters, I look at a map at home to see how to get to places before I get into my car and I don’t use an app to see what the weather is like outside. Also, the trade I practice has its origins back in 300 b.C. And I’ve got the very old-fashioned Dutch name Geertje. People sometimes say they were expecting someone much older when they see me in the flesh for the first time, at a trade fair or for an interview.

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But now it’s time, I’m ready for it, this is the moment: there’s going to be a Geertje Aalders Illustrations web shop! A very special one, with a tiny selection of very pretty stuff. I never had the ambition to run a shop, as I don’t underestimate the amazing amount time and effort that goes into something like that. But I do really want to spread my work and meet the enthusiastic demand for it. And I don’t mind going with the times just a little bit… So, finally, I am putting things in motion.

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Last week I got together with graphic designer Marie-Louise de Bruijn of www.gravue.nl to go over some details . She will start working on my house style and my website, both of which will be completely revamped in the near future. Together we’re trying to figure out how the web shop should be built. In the mean time I will finish completing the collection. I’ll be selling papercuts in different sizes and colors, little books, screen prints, textiles and more. I am really looking forward to it!

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4Keep an eye on www.geertjeaalders.nl! Via twitter @geertjeaalders I’ll be announcing our launch. It would be great to see you there!

Thanks to Flow Magazine, for letting me write this blog, I absolutely loved it. But thanks most of all for your boundless enthusiasm and the attention you lavish on all the illustrators you have created such a rewarding podium for. It’s wonderful.

So long everybody, thanks for reading my blog. Bye!

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NEW DIGITAL SPECIAL APP ABOUT SNAIL MAIL

Geschreven op 12 May 2014 door Flowmagazine

We love the sound of letters or a package dropping into the mailbox or onto the doormat. Despite all the emails and texts we send out and about, nothing beats receiving real post on paper. Post that someone has put time and energy into. That’s made a real, physical journey. With stamps preferably from another country.

This digital special of Flow Magazine for iPad and Android tablets is about the joys of snail mail and postcrossing. With articles about the wonders of postcrossing, snapshots from snail mail lovers on Instagram, shops and inspiration and a DIY to fold you own origami envelopes.

We’re offering it now for free in the App Store and Google Play.

foto 1 foto 4 foto 7

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SATURDAY MARKET (175): IT’S SIMPLY MAX

Geschreven op 10 May 2014 door Flowmagazine

German Andrea Maassen rediscovered her creative talent thanks to her dull Dutch office job. Just goes to show: there’s always a silver lining.
140426 Saturday Market_ it's simply maxWhat path led you to working as an illustrator?
“I have always enjoyed being creative, even when I was a kid. I dreamed of doing ‘something creative’ when I grew up and to study graphic design once I finished my ‘Abitur’ (finals). However -  interests do change over time, and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to cut it – so I went to the Netherlands to study psychology. When I graduated I had a desk job for three years which made me more and more unhappy. Back in those days I picked up drawing again and I started my blog. After a while I became so unhappy at work that I simply quit to be an illustrator. Very scary, but it has worked out much better than I ever could have imagined. It doesn’t quite pay the bills (yet) but I keep getting more and more assignments. And I have found that doing something you love is really much more important than making money.”

Tell us about your 365 Days Project: a drawing a day.
“I never thought I’d be able to keep it up. But the thing that really helped was that I posted all my drawings on Instagram. All those positive and sweet responses I kept getting were a great motivation to continue drawing. Creatively speaking it also paid off. I was ‘forced’ to keep coming up with new stuff. If I need inspiration for a new assignment I often look through my little book.”

What are you working on at the moment?
“Recently I designed a coloring book and some stamps for Psikhouvanjou.nl. That was such a great assignment and it has taught me a lot. Currently I am working on a project of my own, a series of illustrations called ‘paperboat stories’. I am also working on several assignments, such as one for a German food blog and some birth announcements.”

Etsy.com/shop/itssimplymax

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GUEST BLOG – GEERTJE AALDERS (4/5)

Geschreven op 8 May 2014 door Flowmagazine

Each week we feature a guest blogger on Flowmagazine.com. This month we yield the floor to papercut artist Geertje Aalders. Using a knife she cuts the most wonderful scenes from paper, often with animals and flowers taking center stage. She does this for Flow quite often, for instance, she cut out our latest cover. All this month she will tell us about herself, her life and her work on this blog.

I’ve already showed you how I work and what I make. Now I’d like to give you some insight into where I find my inspiration. Like a small tour through my mind. There’s a lot going on up there. I love outdoors, particularly the woods. If you were to look for me, you’d never find me as I always take the little rabbit trails and the narrow sneaky deer paths. A walk with me can be a bit tiring: if I find one then I insist on pulling apart an owl pellet to find out what was on the menu. I’ll be fiddling with my backpack, looking for my binoculars so I can study a bird that has usually flown by then. I’d help a dung beetle cross the road. Or I’d inspect a lair to decide what animal resides there. I sometimes check whether droppings (like the ones I showed you last week) are fresh, so I can calculate whether we’ll be likely to run into the boar. It’s never happened so far. Pretty vistas I’d store inside my head, dead insects I’d take home with me.

1Text in image:
A mole cricket just crossed the street
Pretty vistas to remember
Found: an egg, beetle, bumblebee, my papercut dragonfly, stag beetle, flat frog and another bumblebee. )

Nature has loads of cool stuff to offer. Like these animals. I feel the bowhead whale is swimming upside down. Look how he starts to shine once you turn him over! Imagine being a horsfield’s tarsier, or a slender loris. And just look at the pink fairy armadillo… Wouldn’t just just stick him on the barbecue by mistake?

2Text in image:
Curious crayfish
All the picture above come rom this book
One time when I opened the door there were two ducks
I often find animals in need of a bit of love and attention and occasionally medical care or a funeral)

 I always get such happy new ideas from the captions in some – often old – books. Or the hilarious  descriptions of birds’ sounds in an old Peterson’s birds guide. Or when I read about how people used to interact with animals and plants.3Text in image: This is the funny way birds sounds are described in Peterson’s Guide to birdsHaha, just imagine that!At the top: how to cure breaks with fox fat, pig bladder, oat straw and earthwormsBelow: an old recipe for ‘dove’ and ‘finch’ from The Hague.)

There’s lots of old stuff in my work shop. Often these books, cans, boxes have been designed with so much attention to detail, it inspires me to take the time to get to the bottom of things and patiently make something beautiful.
4It’s kind of complex to find out where my ideas come from. I see so much and I remember a lot, I marvel and collect everything. And all those things sometimes emerge together as a whole new thing.

I take a lot of pleasure in the sound of the wind, rustling through a poplar. And in a radish in mint condition. How a duck sometimes swims for a while with hit butt sticking out. In the weird things people say to one another without even noticing. The way a caterpillar moves. In a tale from the Thousand and One Nights. In the fact that there are herons on the Albert Cuyp market (big market in Amsterdam). The scent outside after a huge downpour on a summer day. The creaking sensation you get when you cut a mushroom in half. The fact that a fat sheep can bellow very low and a big goat unseemingly high. How some people start resembling their dogs. How during a bike ride an insect will fly right into the center of your forehead. And the noise it makes.

I take pleasure in lots of things and I work these small stories into my illustrations. Sometimes quite literally, when I translate a mythological story to the here and now in an illustration. Or when I turn a pretty forest edge into a papercut. And sometimes I have simply no idea from which shelf in the filing cabinet I like to call my mind this idea sprang from.

Next week will be the last edition of my blog. I’ll be showing you which exciting project I’m working on at the moment. See you then!

Geertjeaalders.nl

 

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