I can definitely say that I am living my childhood dream of becoming an artist. I’ve faced a variety of obstacles while following that dream, but they’ve all been crucial. To me, being an artist is about being curious and open to new perspectives on art and yourself. This is why you will find many different types of art in my portfolio, and I can assure you that there will be many more to come.
I first got inspired by my grandpa around 7 years old, who has taught me a lot about art. I remember painting lessons in which I learnt how to use a pair of compasses to make the nose of a clown and how he taught me how to mix colours. In class, I was always drawing on my maths paper and imagining dragons going through the boxes on my paper. Whole new worlds were created in those notebooks.
As I grew up, I was always wondering what I wanted to do in my life and how I would want to make a living. I loved to play music and sing, but the drawing and painting were my biggest ‘distractions’ from my homework. When I was finished with high school, I decided to start my studies in Art Therapy. I was seventeen years old at the time and had already noticed that school wasn’t my favourite way to spend my time. I did enjoy a part of the Art Therapy study, but again I was constantly distracted by the dragons and frogs with umbrellas on my paper. I also felt depressed, but thought it would not be a big deal since that feeling had been there for a few years already and I was still figuring myself out.
A few months into the study, I decided to quit, since I was constantly distracted and wasn’t feeling too good mentally. Also, I noticed that I was physically getting worse somehow. The physical symptoms became clear a few months later, at the beginning of 2018, when I had the diagnose of cancer. This moment was a turning point for me and made me dive into the reasons why I wasn’t feeling comfortable with myself and the role I had in this world. Through mediation and healing practices, I learnt to reflect and let go of certain mental and emotional obstacles and it resulted in me coming closer to what I really want to do in life.
I found a lot of simplicity and joy in painting for myself, and became better at it, since I was doing it more. From multiple directions came the question if I could paint something for them, and so I decided to set up my company ‘Fleuw met een ‘o’ in 2019. This was, around the time that I heard I was healed from cancer. I had already started a blog, which is the start of this website, and now my company has become broader and I can share a portfolio that goes on forever (I did pick out the most relevant work though)!
I love to work on commission, especially when someone asks art for something really abstract, like ‘make something that would suit very well in this part of my life’ or ‘I don’t know, just something that expresses my personality. But if it turns out to be something completely different, then it’s fine too…’. In my journey through illness and healing, I found out where my qualities are and how to use them. You might have already seen that I make and offer a lot of intuitive work. This is, because when I listen to, or read a story, I see it in colours and shapes. I’m not sure if this is explainable in a very detailed way, but it comes down to the fact that I looove to work intuitively. Once you ask me to make something that expresses your personality or maybe the personality of your dog, I’m already in some sort of world behind the 3d-shapes and drawing what movement this feeling makes.
You will find this intuitive way of working in almost anything I do; if it is in paintings, digital art, design or a sketch. I have grown a lot in the techniques that come in handy when you’re an artist, but mostly I have learnt how to put my qualities into the work I’m doing. With every piece of art, I learn more about these two (to me, equally important) compounds. And since I ask myself what I would love to do most (almost) every day, to keep on learning is the most important thing to me.