Today I’m delighted to feature another guest in this month’s Vive la Différence series. Apologies for not posting this series in October, but I was busy launching the all new Mapology Guides. Thank you to everyone who left such nice comments.
Please welcome Naomi Den Besten, a graphic designer living in Amsterdam. I came across Naomi when she designed and self-published the creative guide to Amsterdam. Please peruse Naomi’s website Pretty Unexpected and her blog.
For new readers:
The concept: each month I will invite one blogger. They will create and showcase one image/vignette. There are 20 themes and 20 objects for my guest to choose from. They choose 1 theme and up to 3 objects. I will then create an image/vignette based on their choice. Everyone has free reign on how to create the image. It can be simple photography, a drawing, a collage, a hand-painted image, a styled table top… the choice is yours! The fun part is that you, my readers, will see 2 versions inspired by the same subject matter. There is no right or wrong. There’s just ‘different’.
Naomi chose the theme: Museum Visit…. with the objects: Art Supplies. Here is Naomi’s Vignette.
When Tina invited me to join the series and emailed me the list of topics, I knew right away that it had to be ‘Museum visit’. Amsterdam is a pretty crowded city and I love going to bookstores and museums for a quiet afternoon of gathering inspiration. So last week I biked to FOAM, the photography museum. My intention was to create a series of small drawings about my experience at the museum, like an illustrated journal entry. I felt a bit self-conscious about bring my sketchbook into the museum though, so I decided to take photos of the things that I might wanted to draw later on.
Currently there are three exhibitions on display in the museum, showing work by JH Engström, Vivian Maier and several young American photographers. Engström makes images that sometimes are really beautiful and romantic but most of the time really raw and snapshot-like. It sparked a lot of comments from fellow visitors. Vivian Maier is a street photographer whose work was only recently discovered. It truly is a remarkable story and if you’re interested I’d highly recommend watching the documentary Finding Vivian Maier. One of the the American photographers, Lucas Blalock, made a photo of a cactus which is visibly photoshopped, but keeps you wondering for a second if it could be real.
I’m currently taking an art photography class in the evenings and therefore I’m looking at a lot of photos; taken by myself, fellow students and well-known photographers. When I went into the museum, I noticed that I looked at the images a little differently because of it. I spent more time comparing images in a series, contemplating the photographers intention and reflecting on why I like some photos more than others. Every photo tells a story but you don’t always know what you’re looking at, which is something that I wanted to express in my illustration too. The idea of putting nine small illustrations together came from looking at the wall that displayed nine self-portraits of Vivian Maier.
Thank you Tina for having me – it was such a fun experience!
Where do I start with a museum visit? Being a designer, doing art and loving exhibitions it was quite hard for me to choose what to do. And I live in London with a plethora of amazing museums and art galleries.
I somehow wanted to transmit the inspiration I get from starting with the excitement of visiting a museum, right to the moment I go and visit. I started asking myself the question: ‘What makes a great museum visit?’ and ‘Why do I go to a museum?’
In the end I opted to create a sketchbook page where I answered these questions, listed some exhibitions I look forward to visiting in 2015 and some of my favourite exhibitions of 2014. Here they are:
1. Quentin Blake’s Inside Stories at The House of Illustration
2. Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs at Tate Modern (now showing at MOMA in New York)
3. Hockney, Printmaker at the Dulwich Picture Gallery
4. A nod to my guest Naomi. My favourite Egon Schiele exhibition was the first dutch retrospective of work by Egon Schiele at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2005.
Thank you Naomi for being part of the Vive la Différence family and enchanting us with your wonderful sketches of a museum visit. Vive la Différence will return on Monday 15th December.