1. Tell us about yourself. Have you always been interested in art and design?
Growing up in the Netherlands, design and creativity was always around me. In my family there are landscape architects, photographers and writers, and that was reflected in for example the furniture, books and art in everyone’s home. And of course it was everywhere in the culture too, in the stamps, bank notes, posters for exhibitions. It’s all part of my Dutch heritage which I didn’t actually realise until I studied Design for Visual Communication at LCC. It definitely influences my minimal designs and love for typography.
Going to LCC was a career change for me, I found myself stuck in a job and wanted to get away from the computer. I loved using the fantastic facilities at LCC and went to lots of bookbinding, box making and print workshops. For every assignment I would want to make something.
2. How did you get started in letterpress?
It started when we studied designs that were made before the computer was invented. I would look at these beautiful typographic examples and think: how on earth was this made? I really enjoyed learning about this as well as kerning, composition, type setting. A lot of things come together for me in letterpress: my love for typography, the nuances of language, and the logistics and mathematical element which meant I could apply my skills from previous jobs.
When you find what it is you love doing, I think you have no other choice then to continue with it in some way. After I graduated, I started volunteering at the London Centre for Book Arts and the Type Archive. A little while later, I created a website and started selling my work.
3. Where do you find inspiration?
In letterforms and in language. This can be from conversations or those snippets of a chat you hear. Yesterday I walked past two neighbours and all I heard from their conversation was that one said to the other: ‘and you know if they say anything silly…’ and the other replied: ‘yes, then I just let it go’. I love those little moments. Then I think: maybe I can use that in a print.
My work is about confidence, love and breakup, and mental wellbeing. They are of words you continuously want to be reminded of.
4. What does your current work setup look like?
At home I have a proofing press that I use for smaller work and commissions. I print larger work at the London Centre for Book Arts where they have two Vandercooks and a Stephenson Blake. I also have a day job which I enjoy, I use different skills there and have lovely colleagues.
5. Looking back on your time at LCC, what advice would you give to yourself, if you could travel back in time?
Experiment more! I often had thought out a design in my head and have it planned before I started making. Sometimes, it’s good to try something out and see where it takes you.
6. Where can we see more of your work?
If you have any questions, get in touch via Julia’s email