Maartje van den Noort is an artist. You will come across her illustrations in Flow and Flow Weekly, but you can also find her delicate works for sale in her web shop.
Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
“I mainly grew up on the island of Schouwen-Duiveland in the southwestern Netherlands. I studied in Rotterdam – first doing a graphics course and then one in fine arts at the Willem de Kooning Academy. I like to observe things, and if I see something that strikes me, I capture it – most often by taking a photo or making a drawing. I always liked to draw and paint, and through my studies, I noticed that these are what I prefer to do most. So I am now slowly creating products that have my drawings incorporated in them. In addition to that, over the past few years I’ve been focusing more and more on finding jobs in this area. How cool is it that I can now earn my living doing this? For a long time, I worked in homecare, but that’s no longer necessary.”
Why do you draw so many birds?
“I think that’s down to my husband, Ruben. He’s got a thing for birds – has done for a while – and it’s obviously rubbing off on me. But I also think that, ultimately, it’s comes from the birds themselves: they’re a tad smart, elegant, full of energy and very much in their own world. As humans, we can only guess what goes on in their minds. It remains a mystery – at least for me – which is what I like.”
What does your work say about you?
“It shows that I like to watch and observe. I love the details in life. Beauty with a raw edge. The honesty that nature has in itself. I myself am a dreamer, the type of person that wants to make the world around them more beautiful. For example, with my work. Which means that sometimes, I want to portray things better than they actually are. In that way, nature remains the inspiration for honesty: it is as it is.”