Creativity Corner Vive La Différence

Vive La Différence – Museum Visit

November 17, 2014

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!

Vive-La-Difference---Naomi-den-Besten - museum visit
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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.

Vive-La-Difference---Tina Bernstein - museum visit

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.

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12 Comments

  • Reply Kati B ~ FurnishMyWay November 17, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Love the concept behind Vive la Difference! Can’t wait to see some of the results!

    • Reply tina November 19, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      Thank you Kati.

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey November 18, 2014 at 11:03 am

    I personally don’t go to museums and galleries often enough. That said, I do miss many fabulous London places, esp. Tate Modern & The Barbican. This is a great VLD & Naomi I love how you describe interacting with pictures in a new way due to your art photography class.

    Thanks both! xx

    • Reply tina November 19, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      I’m sure there is a great cultural scene in Belfast so get yourself down these museums G.

      I know, I feel so privileged to live in London. I also love Tate Modern and the Barbican AND the British Museum, and the V&A et cetera et cetera.
      It’s wonderful and the inspiration is never ending!

      Glad you like this VLD and thank you Sir G. xx

  • Reply Giova Brusa November 19, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    I love this collage you made Tina!! And I remember Naomi from Anne’s map class, because we had a similar subject. Two very different takes from the same subject which is what I like most from this series.

    I also saw the Egon Schiele but in Vienna. I loved it!!

    I’m looking forward to Joseph Cornell’s exhibition at the Royal Academy, I’ve seen may exhibits with his work, but he always manages to get under my skin.
    Maybe I see you in 2015?

    • Reply tina November 19, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      Ha. I never really got time to do Anne’s class… ( I had started working on Mapology and was too busy with other stuff).
      Thank you. You know how much I like showing different versions of the same theme.

      Isn’t Egon Schiele the best AND I also saw him in Vienna:-)

      Oh yes, I think JC will be fab and I do really hope we get to meet in 2015, either in London or in Amsterdam. Look forward x

  • Reply Mel November 19, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Hi ladies! Nice to meet you Naomi and I completely relate to your captivation of photography, I can get totally lost in photographic exhibitions… your sketches of the moment are brilliant and good luck with the classes! Tina you’re so lucky to be surrounded with such culture, and always do the most interesting mood boards that I could stare at for ages. Mel x

    • Reply tina November 20, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      Hello Mel.
      I really enjoy Naomi’s sketches, they bring the process to life! I don’t visit photographic exhibitions near enough as I would like.
      I love that Naomi is continuously learning and taking classes. Can’t wait to meet her in person.

      I know and believe me I do not take it for granted. The reason I live so central to everything (and make do with a smaller flat) is exactly for that reason. I love hopping on my Vespa and spontaneously catch an exhibition, a film or any cultural event. I feel blessed to be able to do that!
      Ha, thank you..did not see it as a Mood Board but I guess it is….. x

  • Reply Alison Sye November 21, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Both are so different, and both are so wonderful 🙂

    • Reply tina November 26, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      Thank you Alison. Glad you like:-)

  • Reply Catherine@farmhousehome November 24, 2014 at 8:12 am

    I can get lost in a photography exhibition for hours! Hi Naomi, your art photography class sounds fabulous and enriching and Tina so interesting to read your sketch book page about what inspires you to visit Museums and exhibtions. We have are lucky to have some fabulous exhibitions visit us here in Melbourne as well, there’s always something going on. Thank you both. Catherine x

    • Reply tina November 26, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      So glad you’re moving closer to the city as I’m sure you’ll enjoy many exhibitions.
      Thanks Catherine x

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