GUEST BLOG – SUZY ULTMAN (4/4)

Geschreven op 16 July 2014 door Flowmagazine

Each Wednesday we feature a guest blogger on Flowmagazine.com. This month we yield the floor to illustrator Suzy Ultman. Suzy is from the US, but used to live in Amsterdam for years. She recenly came back for a visit and she popped around to our editorial office in Hoofddorp. She’s working on illustrations for our new Book for Paper Lovers (due to appear in the middle of November). Have a look at her work on Suzyultman.com.

NEW ADVENTURES

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This spring, I began a new adventure – I got married!

Before the ceremonies could begin, I needed to design invitations, table settings, cake decorations… the whole wedding works. This event was an opportunity to use all of my paper and craft talents! My partner and I both enjoy being part of the creative process, so dreaming-up the wedding vibe was a team effort from start to finish. We penned a long to-do list, met once a week over date night, and set off planning a festive, love filled celebration.

The invitation was the first step. Choosing foxes as the bride and groom characters was inspired directly from our backyard. About two years ago, we had a sweet, mischievous, red fox visit our yard for the first time. An entire family has since moved into the neighborhood, and we keep track of their comings and goings. The remaining invitation icons – sun, moon, lighthouse, ship, hot air balloon, etc – all tell mini stories that have special meaning to us.

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For the table settings, I went back to my shrinky dink roots. I baked small charms containing each guest’s name with a corresponding boy or girl fox. The charms were attached to napkins and then placed on top of hand-made menus.

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I also created the cake toppers from shrinky dinks (note: you can order your very own from my etsy site). The shrinky dink material allowed me to play with the topper’s shape and illustration content, while maintaining a clean, modern look. Finally, there were love-struck candles, flag-topped cupcakes, modern ivy banners, and even tulips, a nod to my adopted homeland of Holland. It was a beautiful day!

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As my guest blogging duties wrap-up today, a very special thanks to my new friends at Flow for giving me the time and space to post my work and thoughts. This experience was another new adventure for me! Cheers to all my fellow paper lovers and goodbye for now,

Suzy
Suzyultman.com

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SATURDAY MARKET (184): LIEFS VAN MAANTJE

Geschreven op 12 July 2014 door Flowmagazine

The paper dolls and all those posters in Janneke van Houtum’s shop Liefs van Maantje (‘Love from little moon’)… Aren’t they just wonderful? After realizing she’d rather start following her heart she started this web shop. And it’s a good thing she did.

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Can you tell us a little more about yourself?
“I’m 33 years old, I live in Eindhoven, I’m married and the mother of sons Raave (5) and Midas (3).

Apart from the shop I also work part time in child care as an educational assistant. I started the shop back in November of last year. I had gotten to a turning point in my life. I wanted to follow my heart and my passion more. I came to this conclusion after a difficult year in which my batteries, partly due to a slow working thyroid, were completely depleted.  The ideas for this shop had been there for a while and in the summer of 2013 I finally sat down to develop them. And ‘Liefs van Maantje’ was the result.”

 What has been your hardest web shop experience so far?
“When the web shop went online, after all those months of preparation. And then I simply had to sit and wait for the first visitor to show up, and the first order.

Luckily I managed to make a bit of a name for myself via Instagram and I got mentioned on several popular blogs and so things gradually started to pick up. Making a name for yourself is hard, it takes a lot of your time.”

And the nicest?
“My first market as ‘Liefs van Maantje’! I had a stall at the FeelGood Market in Eindhoven. I thought it was ever so exciting as I really had to get out of my comfort zone, but it became a triumph! I never expected to enjoy it this much. I got immediate feedback on my products and it was great to meet people I only knew via Instagram and clients in person. I definitely want to do more of these!”

Liefsvanmaantje.nl

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GUEST BLOG – SUZY ULTMAN (3/4)

Geschreven op 9 July 2014 door Flowmagazine

Each Wednesday we feature a guest blogger on Flowmagazine.com. This month we yield the floor to illustrator Suzy Ultman. Suzy is from the US, but used to live in Amsterdam for years. She recenly came back for a visit and she popped around to our editorial office in Hoofddorp. She’s working on illustrations for our new Book for Paper Lovers (due to appear in the middle of November). Have a look at her work on Suzyultman.com.

CRAFTY GIRL

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This week, I’m going off paper trail to give you a peek into the world of my everyday craft. It’s a happy place filled with needles and thread, felt and embroidery floss, measuring cups and flour, wooden scraps and nails, and shrinky dinks and ovens.

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My passion for ‘making’ comes from my parents. My mom loved sewing, and taught me to thread a needle, cut patterns, and shop for beautiful cloth. She also embraced bringing people together, and had me baking at a young age. My dad encouraged me to learn how to use every tool in his workshop. When I was twelve, we even built a dollhouse together. To this day, I’m always ‘making’ something!

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I’ve pitched many of my craft ideas to clients, and had the pleasure of seeing several of them become artfully adorable Land of Nod products (a web shop specialized in children’s furniture and accessories). It’s a good reminder to keep doing what you love, no matter the form, even if it’s a cake that gets eaten in one sitting!

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Until next week, Suzy
Suzyultman.com

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SATURDAY MARKET (182): MIERPAPIER

Geschreven op 5 July 2014 door Flowmagazine

Mirjam Mulder  of Mierpapier (‘ant paper’) makes little works of art you’ve just got to love. And manages to prove that paper mache is so much more than messing around with wet paper and a balloon.

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Who are you and how did you get ‘into’ paper mache?
“I’m 35 and I live with my husband Wybo and our two little dogs Raafje and Fae in a small village in South Holland. When I studied Art and Design in Leeuwarden I did an internship with illustrator Inge Adema. I worked on an exposition of paper mache chickens with her. I really enjoyed it right away and these days I work with paper mache full time.”

You have a very distinct style, how do your figures come about?
“Usually I’ll first sketch a little and then get to work. It’s so much fun making a creature and giving him or her an appearance and character of their own. My style still keeps changing, and I find inspiration all over the place: daily stuff, nature (I adore animals), work by other illustrators and artists, but also movies, TV and the internet.”

What’s the big appeal of paper mache for you?
“Everybody messed around with bits of paper, glue and a balloon back in primary school, but you can do so much more with it. It’s an amazingly versatile product. Personally I like to make paper pulp, a type of ‘clay’ consisting of (news)paper, water and glue. Once this pulp has dried out it’s rock-hard and easy to sand down and paint. When I’d just graduated I used to make lots of paintings and illustrations as well, but these days I practically work with paper mache only. You could easily say I’m hooked.”

Mierpapier.nl

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GUEST BLOG – SUZY ULTMAN (2/4)

Geschreven op 1 July 2014 door Flowmagazine

Each Wednesday we feature a guest blogger on Flowmagazine.com. This month we yield the floor to Suzy Ultman. Suzy is from the US, but used to live in Amsterdam for years. She recently came back for a visit and she popped around to our editorial office in Hoofddorp. She’s working on illustrations for our new Book for Paper Lovers (due to appear in the middle of November). Have a look at her work on Suzyultman.com.

PAPER, SCISSORS, BOX

I am a cut and paste girl. As I mentioned last week, I’ve been collecting scraps of paper treasure since I was a little meisje. To this day, I continue to collect ephemera in the form of vintage cards and books and origami and everyday papers.

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My love of collage began early. Soon after my small hands could master scissors, I began cutting and pasting. I always felt comfortable in that space. When I look at the gold-starred projects that my mom saved from my schooldays, there is a bulk of collage projects but few drawings. Even in graduate school, I would spend hours moving letterforms around a page, by hand, until every form had its perfect mate. I was always searching for balance in the shapes. It wasn’t until I started illustrating full time that I realized I see the world in flat shapes.

Now, when time allows, before or between projects, I grab my favorite pair of scissors, a tub of glue, and my box of ephemera, and create some collages.
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Here are some examples of early projects that evolved from collage ‘sketches’. They were all Chronicle Books collaborations.

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Recently, I created Box World Adventures with Chronicle Books. It is a craft kit that upcycles everyday boxes into adorable dwellings from around the world. The Box World project allowed me to tell a larger narrative through paper craft. After months of cutting and pasting, stacking and building, and illustrating and writing, Box World took shape, showcasing England, France, China, Scotland, Africa, Japan, America, Russia, Italy, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

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To date, Box World’s been my project with the biggest scope, requiring me to pull from everything in my creative toolbox. It was a fantastic experience! If I spend too much time cutting and pasting on the computer, I get stale. At least once a month, I need to pull out the metal scissors and sticky glue, and get messy. It keeps my work fresh. It also just makes me plain happy.

Cheers, Suzy
Suzyultman.com

 

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SATURDAY MARKET (181) : TATTOORARY

Geschreven op 28 June 2014 door Flowmagazine

Wilma Boekholt loves tattoos but her predilections change too often to get one herself. So she started a shop in temporary tattoos. Her Delftware designs are really spot-on. 

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Can you tell us a little about yourself?
“I’m 29, live with my boyfriend Tom, our ten month-old son Rens and our cat. Originally I’m an interior designer, but at the moment I’m not really pursuing that as a career. Apart from my Etsy shop I also blog on ByWilma.com, which is mostly about DIY inspiration.”

An Etsy shop with tattoos – how did you come up with that?
“It was just a hunch. I love drawing and I adore vintage stuff and pictures. I thought it’d be great to combine the two. I really like tattoos, but I prefer them on other people. My predilections vary a lot, so a temporary tattoo is a much better option. I started the shop in February of this year and I’d never dared to dream it would be going so well already!

No, I don’t draw everything myself. I do draw a part, but some of them are vintage illustrations, that I sometimes adapt a little. I came up with the Delftware tattoos because I wanted to give the shop a Dutch touch. They’re also a big hit outside the Netherlands!”

What was your nicest web shop experience so far?
“You can order custom tattoos in my shop as well, with your name or a beautiful quote. Some of them are really special. And some people have let me know that they want to turn my tattoo into a lasting one. That is so wonderful to hear!”

What are your plans for the future?
“I am setting up my shop outside Etsy, with my own url. I also want to put more time into my ByWilma.com blog. I have no idea where all of this is going to take me, but I’m full of ideas!”

Etsy.com/shop/Tattoorary

Categorie: Miscellaneous | Reacties: Plaats een reactie

GUEST BLOG – SUZY ULTMAN (1/4)

Geschreven op 25 June 2014 door Flowmagazine

Each Wednesday we feature a guest blogger on Flowmagazine.com. This month we yield the floor to Suzy Ultman. Suzy is from the US, but used to live in Amsterdam for years. She recenly came back for a visit and she popped around to our editorial office in Hoofddorp. She’s working on illustrations for our new Book for Paper Lovers (due to appear in the middle of November). Have a look at her work on Suzyultman.com.

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Paper Is the Key to My Heart

Hello & Hoi Flow!
For the month of June, I have the honor of guest blogging about paper, one of my favorite subjects. As a young girl, I spent time collecting stickers, magazine clippings, fabric swatches, buttons, ribbons, notes, papers and envelopes. I organized boxes of my found treasure. On rainy days, I’d pull out the bits & scraps, and assemble them into books & letters. Paper projects always made my heart happy.

Today, in our busy world, I still take the time to make stationery and write letters. I actually prefer more personal forms of contact over email and social media. This brings me to today’s post. It had been several years since I created a ‘professional’ business card. I decided that this paper project deserved my special attention. I wanted to make an object, a small gift of sorts. I wanted the card to be something that would make people smile first, keep second, and eventually realize that it was my business card.

I am fortunate to be dear friends with Allison Chapman, owner of Igloo Letterpress, and goddess of letterpress printing. The letterpress printing process, with its clean yet imperfect quality, was just the right match for my paper project. I wanted the cards to feel very ‘Suzy’: both nostalgic and modern.

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The process began with a sketch presentation to Allison where we discussed any potential production issues (to name a few — line weight quality, plate colors, die shapes). Then, I rendered the final art in the computer. From here, Allison created photopolymer plates for each color.

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Hand-mix the colors. Print. Go gold!

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We experimented with several secondary color ideas, and decided to move forward with pink. After playing with the color on the press, we found just the right shade. Hooray! The chosen pink sample, or ‘Go By’, was hung for reference. Time to start the presses.

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My personal information is printed on the flip side, and finally the cards are sent to another vendor to be cut. The final product is a simply sweet key that just so happens to be my business card. I love paper, and the power of passing notes. I hope this little key helps spread the joy!

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Till next week!

Suzy

suzyultman.com

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SATURDAY MARKET (179): RARE BIRD

Geschreven op 21 June 2014 door Flowmagazine

Fed up with office life, Nancy Veeken started her shop smack bang in the middle of the recession. Things could only get better. And they did.

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Why did you start Rarebird?
“I went to Montaigne fashion academy in Amsterdam and after I my graduation I worked for years as a designer of children’s clothes. After a while I noticed it was starting to grate on me – making yet another collection each season. Designing wintercoats in the middle of summer, it just didn’t do it for me anymore. Because of a sad event, I came to a point at which I could change the course of my life. I wrote a plan and I visualized everything using mood boards. Of course everybody kept warning me about the recession, but I just thought: I might as well start something now, things can only get better.”

How do you like the combination of a ‘real’ shop and a web shop?
“I originally wanted to set up a web shop, but I didn’t want to be stuck somewhere on an industrial estate. Having both a shop that’s not on an A-location and a web shop was a great start. Customers know how to find me both ways. And I have great conversations with complete strangers every day. That was virtually unimaginable when I was still working for an employer.”

How did you figure out what kind of shop you wanted?
“Because of my work I used to travel a lot. On my travels I got inspired by special shops, as I could feel someone’s poured his heart and soul into his shop. That’s what I wanted. I currently sell a mix of old and new. For instance prints and illustrations I like. But I’m also selling the vintage and antique items my mum collected during her life. I couldn’t just sell them to some junk-dealer. So now they’re in my shop, together with my own collection of vintage stuff. In the future I’d like to design more myself, but all in good time. I am seizing the day, living my dream.”

Rarebird.nl

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