Maartje van den Noort

This week we’re giving away a complimentary Flow Journal Pack (worth €11.95) with every purchase of €25 or more made in the Flow web shop. The Flow Journal Pack is a set of four notebooks—‘Homemade Happiness’, ‘A New Beginning’, ‘The Joy of Making Lists’ and ‘How to Slow Down’—each of which contains lists to fill in, lovely inspirational quotes, mini posters, drawing tutorials, nature facts, and solutions to everyday problems. In ‘A New Beginning’, you’ll find a nature tidbit about the goldfinch, which is accompanied by a lovely illustration by Dutch illustrator Maartje van den Noort. Here, Maartje talks briefly about her work.

How would you describe your work?
My work has a simple feel about it. I mostly do line drawings, and add some color using watercolors. When I paint, I prefer to use grey-ish hues and then black as an accent. I’m inspired by the whimsical beauty of nature. As well as my friends, family, music, books, design and paper.

How would you go about making an illustration like the goldfinch featured in the Flow Journal?
I start by looking for pretty pictures of goldfinches in books, magazines or on the internet. Once I’ve chosen one, I’ll print a black-and-white version of the bird, then get some good-quality thick paper and my 0:05 fineliner pens, and start to copy it. Then I add some color where necessary.

What do you like most about your job?
The freedom; the fact that, whenever I think of something that would be nice to make, it’s almost always possible for me to see it through and do so. And it’s fantastic that other people can get pleasure from my work. That is certainly the icing on the cake…

What does your workplace look like?
I work in Amsterdam in a former sailor’s home, opposite the Scheepvaartmuseum (the National Maritime Museum). It’s an old building, full of character: it’s very spacious and light inside, with high ceilings and large windows on two sides, and in summer, I throw the balcony doors wide open.