Mirage

For the Utrechtse Studenten Cantorij I did the photography and graphics design for their marketing campaign for their upcoming program: Mirage.

An open en curious feeling dominates the picture, whereas the white, overflowing circle depicts the mirage. Is it actually there? The porgramme is a combination of Dutch and Iranian compositions, both old and newly written or discovered.

 

Stadsopera Trijn

For “Stadsopera Trijn” I designed all visuals and developed their website. The result is a consistent visual language across digital and physical mediums. Stadsopera Trijn produces a newly written opera revolving around Trijn van Leemput, a figure from the 16th century living in Utrecht, who tore down the city’s castle and walls after the conflict with the Spanish ended.

The main colours are red and white – the same as Utrecht’s coat of arms, with the red amped up just a “little” but to give it a bit of a kick. Read on to know more about the process and see more elements that are part of the visuals. Be sure to check out the website!

Breaking down a castle, but make it modern

I always enjoy having to present a dated concept in a new and modern way. It’s an opportunity to bring back history in ways that would otherwise leave it undiscovered. To centre the visual concept around the hilariously simple image of a brick came to me in one of the meetings I had with the organizers of the opera – it just so happened that we sat down in a café with an exposed brick wall. Being a graphics designer is hard y’all!

Trijn van Leemput actually tore down the castle and city walls with a pickaxe, I’m not kidding. It’s factually true. Together with a horde of women she stormed the castle with pickaxes in hand and they chopped the whole things down until there was nothing left. I boiled down this whole situation to a simple image: a pickaxe breaking a brick.

Wait, a castle?

Like any modern opera production a big selling point is how relevant the story is in today’s times. We’ve heard it time and time again. For Trijn that is no different. But what does in fact make it relevant is the story’s connection to the city of Utrecht and how many an Utrechter actually has no clue that the city used to have a formidable castle with city walls, let alone what happened to it and that there’s a horrifyingly modern shopping mall on its exact spot right now. Ah, the beauties of urban development.

 

Nesko: Staat Sterk

Since 2018 I have been the in-house designer for the Dutch Student Chamber Orchestra (NESKO), giving every edition its pronounced theme and its comprehensive materials. This includes posters, flyers, stickers, CD-cases and so forth.

The theme of NESKO 2022 is “Staat sterk”, or Stands strong, revolving around their choice for a female composer in the programme.

The Dutch Student Chamber Orchestra is an orchestra which forms yearly from new members to tour The Netherlands and Belgium with classical chamber music.

Oblivion

Dive into a hazy autumn morning.

I can’t get enough of my Lumix camera and the vintage Canon lens I use it with. Waking up one early November morning I found the world shrouded in fog – before I knew I rushed outside with my camera towards the local forest. The result is as mysterious as it is tranquil, almost meditative, video and soundtrack.

Mahler 10

For the Utrechtsch Studenten Concert I designed the visuals for their winter 2021 program.

This winter the USConcert is playing the infamous Tenth Symphony by Gustav Mahler, as completed by Deryck Cooke. This symphony is rarely performed because of its obscurity; Mahler never finished the symphony himself, but a completion was attempted by multiple people, of which Deruck Cooke is one. A performance of the piece is a rare sight already, but a student orchestra performing the piece makes it even more special.

For the visuals I went with a contemplative and solemn feel while still being striking enough to leave an impression on passer-by’s. The symphony, which he wrote during a turbulent personal period, marked the end of Mahler’s life. The music is heavy and gripping, with musicologists suggesting the music at times refers to Mahler’s feelings towards his wife cheating.

The rose is a nod to the visuals I made in 2016 for the same orchestra, but then for Mahler’s Second Symphony, which featured mainly roses in full colour. The sharp ends on the numerals mimic thorns.

Distant Light

“Distant Light” is an animation created for the choir piece by the same title. Based on Illustrations by Paul van Gemen and on text by Elea Bekkers. Animation and composition by me. Arranged for high voices by Hansje van Welbergen.

Performed by Veronika Akhmetchina, Marleen van Os, Channe Visscher, Viktoria Nikolova, Sylvia Boone, Hansje van Welbergen and Elea Bekkers.

Text:

The trees seem green. The yellow leaves float feebly to the forest floor.
And as she took off she realised she could not fly.
Not even the sun now warmed the city that had killed her dreams.
The light is low and they could only fall.

Queercare.nl

For COC Limburg I designed and developed their Queercare website concept: a place where LGBTQ+ people in Limburg can turn to to chat with other people in the community and find info about available LGBTQ+ care.

Vibrant and active colours are the heart of this design, telling the visitors that your colours are welcome here, just like the community is full of all different colours. Throughout the website abstract avatars are used, sometimes based on the people that run the chat.

Visit the website here and have a look around!

Life in Winter

In february the city of Utrecht was suddenly treated to a thick blanket of snow, resulting in a winter wonderland. I took my amazing Panasonic Lumix S5 camera out, geared with a vintage canon lens (FD 50mm f/1.4) and took it all in through the viewfinder. My fingers froze over, but it was definitely worth it!

Soundtrack, videography and color grading by me.

genderpraatjes.nl

Genderpraatjes.nl is a helpline for youth and young adults questioning their gender and seeking help, information or simply someone who listens.

I’m very honoured to be a part of this project as the designer and coder of the website. As a non-binary person myself I feel closely connected to the subject at hand. To be able to help others through building this website means the world to me.

Fluidity

The design relies on fluidity. Straight (pun intended) shapes are scarce. The fluid shapes, lines and colours are a warm, comforting bath while at same time visualising the fluidity of gender. Aimed at young people, the website takes on a fun and dynamic character.

Even more important than design, is of course its functionality. A visitor should be able to reach out for help on any page. Every page should be clear and helpful.

Collaboration

I take great joy in creating websites like these. It’s a collaboration, not a job. I don’t create websites like this to earn money – I do it because I love making websites and making them for the best of causes only further strengthens that joy. Are you looking to strengthen your online presence as a cause, artist or anything else? Let’s talk!

Flower Waltz Recording

For the Utrecht University I recorded a New Year’s video to be sent to their employees and students. A part of Tchaikovski’s Flower Waltz from the Nutcracker Suite was selected and recorded on video and audio by me.