22 Apr 2013

To eternity and beyond!

Here in the Netherlands we have a company called Boomerang. They distribute flyers and promotional cards around the city to cafés and different venues. In this ad-filled world, that is nothing extra special, but what makes Boomerang different is their mission to make promotional material so appealing that they don't have to push people to pay attention to it - instead, people will notice the adverts themselves and even want to take it home. The Boomerang card racks are a classic feature in all the nicest cafés, and whenever I go out for tea with some fellow creatives, we always end up browsing through the Boomerang postcards hungry for inspiration and nice things to put on our walls.

I was really curious to know how the company works and where they get all their designs. Turns out that their prints are all crowdsourced: the Boomerang website has a special section called "Create", where they share creative briefs from their clients. The briefs are open for everyone, which means that their clients get a vast amount of designs to choose from. A cherry on top of this great system is that next to being extremely handy for companies in search for promotional designs, the submitting creatives get exposure with their contributions and if their designs happen to win the assignment, there might even be a reward that you can use to pay for your rent. The website is also quite a nice source of inspiration with an interesting collection of different styles and design aesthetics.

Last week, I noticed that one of my favourite Amsterdam venues, a concert hall called Melkweg, had a briefing on the Boomerang site. They were looking for a postcard design for an event called "Helemaal Melkweg" that brings together music, photography, art and cinema. Most importantly, they wanted the design to represent Melkweg's function as an iconic music venue and active supporter of the art scene. The Dutch word Melkweg means Milky Way, so just like many other of the contributing artists, also I was inspired by that...

...and so I spent my evenings creating a fully equipped cultural space shuttle, which is now ready to take off!

PS. I have to add that next to being a big fan of Melkweg's lineups and indie rock dance nights, I am also in love with their laid-back restaurant and café called Eat At Jo's. Despite their sometimes annoyingly irregular opening times, both me and my boyfriend have named it one of our favourite restaurants. I'm telling you, if you are away from your mom's cookings and feel like a tasty, full meal with some great oven roasted potatoes and nice vegetarian options, Eat At Jo's is the right place to go!

PPS. I know the previous might have sounded like some marketing jargon, but I swear my only connection to Eat At Jo's is the relationship my taste buds have with their food. Hence, all my praise comes straight from the heart!

11 Apr 2013

Training with a robot

Having been browsing through websites with freelance (illustration) jobs lately, I have noticed that many clients ask for vector based work. I have always been an old school pencil person, and despite having experimented with paint, ink, crayons, water colour and such, so far the only thing that I have really liked drawing with - next to my good 'ol pencils - has been charcoal. Although I'm capable of making digital drawings and most of my current work is made using mixed media anyhow, I have never quite enjoyed working fully digitally without basing my illustrations on hand-drawn images. That means that my illustrations are pretty much always a result of using a pencil, erasor, Illustrator and Photoshop together. Actually, I never use just Illustrator unless I'm designing a logo.

So, this week I decided to flex my so called illustration muscles and give a go at becoming best friends with vectors. My training buddy ended up being a robot. We spent the entire Monday evening and night until 4 AM on Tuesday morning together and had a blast! Got to say that after having discovered the charcoal in my parents fireplace as a teenager, I haven't really been this enthusiastic about drawing with something else than pencils.

PS. Don't worry, my dear pencils - I won't let my Wacom pen intimidate you!