I’m ok. Pandemic life feels like a babbling brook and one year in I’ve found peace with it. Although I’m usually more of a waterfall type, rushing through life, I also see and feel the positives in slowing down. Work is not as hectic as it used to be, and fortunately there still is work which means I’m not at a full stop. But I can’t deny I’m longing for more spontaneous adventures, travelling and dancing in a club again.
In a time where museums are closed, events are postponed and most of the fashion and art activities are now digital, I miss the personal and real presence of the culture and art. It reminded me we took creativity and its outcomes for granted before the pandemic hit. The absence of all that has made me reconsider the value of art and fashion more and how precious it is for our society.
Just months before the pandemic, I became a mother. Next to the fact that it has a huge impact on your regular life, it has also changed my mindset in work. The choices I now make are more thoughtful. It slowed me down but also gave me a new more energised focus on my work.
There are many favourites that come to mind. I loved shooting in Hong Kong on the crowded streets working with pieces from Dutch designers. Creating a diptych with documentary photography from Lanzarote with fashion portraits shot in Amsterdam. But also a small quirky shoot in my studio with the vintage couch as inspiration, is still one of my favourite series.
Every project is fun but also has some serious challenges. From getting the looks in on time, a sudden change of weather, budget troubles, location hiccups to endless discussions to get everyone on the same page. But one of my first shoots in New York was definitely the most nerve-wrecking. We were shooting for a Dutch publication, so I had to make sure all the looks got to the city in time, get together an all New York based team and shoot a Spring Summer story in the middle of a snow storm.
I find inspiration outside, in art and in the people around me. I’m blessed with a group of friends all with their own specific styles and views, working in different creative and non-creative industries. I love how they feed me with different point of views on several subjects. Color and shape inspiration I find in art, mostly modern, and outside on the streets and in nature. Subcultures and fashion as it is worn on the streets influences me on the daily. I’m a big fan of documentary photography. I love to see how reality can be as surprising as any thought up scene or look.
High on the list is moving to another place or city with my family. I believe travelling to or living in another environment for a short or long period of time, can push creativity and ambition to another level. Meet new people, see new opportunities but also being nervous for the unknown is something I need every once in a while. I’m positive I’ll still work in fashion and styling but also hope to find a new passion next to it within the creative industry. Trend-forecasting is something I’ve always wanted to explore more, so who knows where that will lead.
I’ve never been a idolising person, not as a teenager, nor in my work life. I can admire someones work, vision or development but it’s not pin pointed to one or more specific individuals. Admiration fluctuates in time, there are periods I can dive into a subculture, reading up on a photographer I found online or there are days where I’m obsessed with a world famous painter.
My work became, like myself, more matured. I love to make a statement with simple elements, leave a designed piece in it’s value and I’m more focused on the build up of a strong visual story from beginning to end. Shapes and color combinations have become a important and valued asset in my work over the years. They are a starting point in every project and key to my creative mind.
How important it is to take a step back and take a break to reflect on your work. Once you start working in fashion and the creative industry you are quickly taken at a fast pace where it’s easy to lose sight of your authentic creativity and goals. Taking some time off to sleep and clear your head creates valuable headspace to evolve your creative mind.
New York — my second home and an inspirational shot I need once or twice a year.
We need to start living and working in an inclusive and more equal world, where there is a place and opportunity for everyone. It’s important to educate ourselves, support the game-changers and change the perspective.
Stay true to your vision and keep developing your talents and skills. Make a five year plan for your goals and dreams, read them out loud, visualise how to get there and see every small step you take as a step closer to achieving those goals.
Brookvin in Brooklyn New York. A small wine bar where they serve a fantastic mac&cheese with wine on Mondays for $5. My favourite stop when I arrive in the city to acclimate.
I’m reshaping my vision and game plan. Researching, brainstorming about new concepts and connecting with people I’d love to work with in the future. Next to ongoing projects, both commercial and editorial, I’m carving out time to create new independent series to deepen my style and creative vision.