When Niken asked me to join the creative blog hop, I kindly reclined. Partly due to final yoga exams and not enough time, but another part of me was not quite sure what to write about and more importantly, if I had anything worth sharing. What did I have to say that's any different form all the other creatives that have answered the questions before me? And more importantly, my projects never seem as fun and interesting as theirs. Then Inge asked me to join a few weeks later and I thought, "Well this must be a sign, I'll just have to do it."
The truth is, most of my work never makes it on the blog or in my portfolio. I am at an early stage in my full-time freelance life, going on 5 months now. A big part of my clients aren't what many in the online creative world would call "dream clients", meaning they are not exactly the kind of projects that get you really excited and leave you majorly inspired. But more often than not, those are the projects that pay the bills, and let me do crazy things like buying food and heating my place. And then there are some projects that give you so much energy, working with inspiring people that are right in line with your aesthetics.
These things take time I believe, all of it. There will come a day when most of my clients will fit the latter category. Or not, who knows? But for the time being, I am grateful to both, for keeping me financially and creatively afloat and letting me pursue my dream job.
What am I working on?
Well, you are catching me at a good time, because at the moment I am working on two fun branding projects with great people involved. One is for a young "consultancy" team, shaking things up in the business world and the other is for a local food shop here in Amsterdam. I can't go into more detail at the moment, but will share some progress soon! Besides that, I have a retainer client, who I do monthly work for.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This is quite hard to answer. I think these days it's easy to find a great designer that produces quality work. The difference lies in the person itself, in the relationship with the client and how they choose to do things. I love a personal approach, meeting my clients where possible, really getting to know them and keeping them involved in the process. Many of my clients have become friends. Also, my interests are very diverse, which can be both good and bad, but I try to bring them into the projects as an extra asset.
Why do I create what I do?
Because it somehow was on my crooked path, which let me to where I am today. I studied business in university, but kept busy with photography, writing and other creative endeavours, to keep the right side of my brain happy. Fast forward from finishing my degree to various internships, I didn't end up doing anything with my business degree ( although it does come in pretty handy now that I am working as a freelancer. See everything happens for a reason ;), but went back to school for graphic design and am finding myself doing exactly what I want to be doing.
How does my writing/illustration/creative process work?
It always differs a bit, but in general it looks something like this: For a branding project, I first always meet/talk with the client and try to get a very clear idea on what they want (also with the help of a survey). Then I do research, which is probably my favourite part. I first create a mind map and dump out all the words, ideas and things that come to mind in reference to the project. Usually a few of these words/ideas stick out and I do some "background checks", reading up on history, competitors, customs or whatever lies behind. There will be moodboard(s) to show the client. From there I pursue three or so different directions and sketch them out before bringing them to Illustrator. Then presenting the ideas to the client to get feedback and then following and refining one of the directions or possibly a combination of ideas.