Museum of me: Bodil Jane’s prized pieces

Dutch illustrator Bodil Jane inherited her creativity and wanderlust from her parents. “Our whole house was full of objects collected from all over the world. Now my own place is just like a museum.” In Issue 36 she tells us about some of her prized pieces.

  1. Un-Dutch “As a child, I was fascinated by anything that wasn’t Dutch. Other cultures are a great source of inspiration for me, especially Japan’s. My parents gave me this antique print of a woman in a kimono who is doing calligraphy. I draw lots of women in everyday situations and often use prints in my drawings. That can be traced almost straight back to Japanese printmaking.”
  2. Magic “A flat drawing that comes to life on a utensil: that’s so beautiful to see. It’s why I was glad when I was commissioned to design for the &klevering brand, working on things like crockery and a toiletry bag. Afterward, I was always coming across things in stores and I’d hear people say, ‘Hey, I saw your work in Geneva’.”
  3. Ring “I like going to a flea market every week. And if I see a nice antique ring, well, I just have to buy it. I’m such a magpie. But whatever I buy, I wear it.”
  4. Family horse “My mother got this Swedish Dala horse from her father and later she gave it to my sister and me. I played with it endlessly; I was always trying to make my Barbie dolls ride it. I’ve often drawn it.”
  5. Cat or dog “In Japan, I fell in love with folklorist toys and started collecting them. This handmade papier-mâché beast is a Saitama Inu Hariko. It looks like a cat but is actually a dog.”
  6. Asian food “I love cooking, especially Japanese and other Asian food. I use this bamboo steam basket for it. It’s a symbol of my love of Asian food, but I also think it looks gorgeous.”
  7. Pretty present “This vase was a present from a friend. Because I like it so much, I always use it as a styling object for photos of my work.”
  8. Kitchen tool “When we left home, my father bought my sister and me a can opener from Paris, France. He thinks it’s the best can opener in the world. It works very well indeed. Rather a sweet ‘Dad’ gift, an investment for life.”
  9. Flower book “I’m always consulting this catalog of botanical drawings from the 17th century by German artist Maria Sibylla Merian. For reference, for inspiration and just because the drawings are the most beautiful ever.”
  10. Autonomous works “Even back in art school I wanted to make bedspreads. Now it’s finally happening. Usually I work on commissions for magazines and brands, but it’s great doing autonomous projects as well. Some people hang the bedspread on a wall, like a tapestry. That’s so nice.”
  11. Simply beautiful “I haven’t a clue what purpose this painted gourd from Hong Kong has. It’s typical of the kind of object I find simply irresistible. It hangs on the wall between the paintings.”
  12. More, more, more “Sometimes people do whatever they can to track down these kokeshi dolls on Etsy and eBay, but in Japan you can buy them everywhere. I’ve got quite a few because I love aesthetic handmade stuff. My style is maximalist: The more there is in my interior and in my drawings, the better.”

Text Chris Muyres  Photography Studio 5982/Akine Bouman & Tucker Good/