Today's Q+A takes us to the Netherlands to interview Miranda van Dijk of Puur Anders. I've admired Puur Anders for a few years now, with her beautiful fabric flowers and leaves that she applies photographs to, readymade or custom ordered. Such a precious gift to give for Mother's Day, a bride, a grad, even yourself. Here's her bio and answers to some of our questions.
I was born in 1976 in a small village near Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Nowadays I live in a larger village nearby my hometown with my husband and our son of 3. In 2008 I started Puur Anders, a styling and design studio. Puur Anders means pure and different in Dutch.
Tell us a little bit about you. Where did you train or study and what led you to the path you currently are on?
I’ve studied Tourism and economics after high school and worked as a pr-advisor for a bank for several years. I quit my day job when I started studying Interior Styling. It was great, the creativity and conceptual working! Finally I found what I was looking for all these years. I thought. But what I loved most was the creating process. And doing something of my own and not working for a company. Now I think I’m more an independent artist than a stylist, but then I didn’t realized that. Between the school assignments I’d already created the story concept ‘Abandoned by Nature’ about the last woman on Earth who is abandoned by Mother Nature. For this concept I crocheted dark rubber flower jewelry. I started selling these items on markets and galleries and Puur Anders was coming to live.
What's your main focus currently and/or how would you describe your current design aesthetic?
Today I’m working on my collection Hidden Memories. A collection of leaves and flowers printed with vintage photographs. It is inspired by the connection between nature and humankind. Somehow it has always been an issue in my work.
Although I make leaves and flowers with my own pictures found on Etsy and fleamarkets, my main focus is custom work. I like that a lot, working on an order with a customer’s photo. Photographs are important memories and making a leaf or flower of it is very worthwhile.
Love your work - can you explain that design process?
Ideas always pop up when it is quiet in my head. So I always carry a notebook with me. It is full of ideas sometimes with a simple drawing or a clipping from a magazine. Some ideas will stay there until I’ve found time for it or an idea how to produce it. Most of the time I have to start with the material right away. So I can found out whether it works or not. Last year I’ve noticed I have to post my experiments on social media (facebook and blog) to get some comments on it. Positive reactions are such a boost for my work process.
What designers/makers/architects, etc do you look up to, are influenced by or inspire you?
I get inspired by so many wonderful designers, photographers, makers and bloggers. I like dreamy and poetic work a lot. On my blog I share my inspiration. Here are some sites.
Barbara Munsel http://barbaramunsel.com/
Lyndie Dourth http://lyndiedourtheworks.blogspot.fr/
Frieda Mellema http://www.lab71.nl/
Kirstie van Noort http://www.kirstievannoort.nl/
Mady Dooijes http://anabundanceof.blogspot.nl/
Where else do you pull inspiration from?
Everywhere! Nature, citylife and just around the corner. I’ve found a beautiful leaf lately. It was just on my doorstep. Pinterest, blogs and facebook are also very inspiring!
Any sneak peeks or plans you can share of new or future things on the go?
Well, I’m working on a lot of new flowers for framing or to put in a vase. My dream is to make a whole bouquet with memory flowers and branches. Or decorating a wedding with my work.
And on my own site (in Dutch) I opened my Mooie Momenten Tuin, which means ‘Garden of Beautiful Moments’. It is a digital garden where I share the stories behind the flowers and leaves I’ve made for my customers and myself. I want it to be a garden of inspiration and full of memories where you can wander around. It is a place for celebrating and cherishing the beautiful moments in life, like marriage, birth and holidays, but also a place for goodbyes and memories of people who aren’t here anymore. Cherishing them.
It is a start and I let it grow wild and peaceful at the same time. I don’t know where it will take me, but I like the idea of being inspired or moved by the stories I hear of my customers.
The garden on my site is in Dutch, but I’ve opened an English version too: http://gardenofbeautifulmoments.blogspot.nl/
Thanks Miranda. Visit Puur Anders online:
Shop : www.puuranders.etsy.com
and at Poppytalk at marketplace.poppytalk.com/author/puur-anders/