I met Anouk about ten years ago, when she was working in an office. Over the years, her lovely illustrations and crafts got so popular that she started her own business. It is rather unusual that someone takes such a drastic turn in life and starts making a living of what they love to do, so I decided to do a mini-interview with her, after spending some time together getting prepared to the Neighbourfood market in Westerpark in May, 2016.
How did you feel, leaving the corporate environment to become and entrepreneur?
Anouk: To start with, I felt quite a bit insecure next to sensing the freedom and opportunity lurking around the corner; I was leaving the safe corporate environment after so many years. As soon as I left, I had a million and one ideas, about drawing and creating and I wanted to execute all of them immediately. Something I had been giving quite a bit of thought over the past couple of years, was starting my very own creative venture, next to this I dreamt about writing & illustrating my own childrensbook(s).
I finally had the opportunity to earn money with my hobbies, but didn’t know immediately how to channel all the ideas I had. I therefore took my time, to see if starting my own business was a good idea. Once I was able to filter those million and one ideas and an explosion of my head was averted, I was ready to take it on and words like “it’s now or never!”, echoing in my brain.
Which part of being an entrepreneur is the most appealing to you?
Anouk: There are quite a few very appealing advantages, it’s hard to choose just one; I like the freedom and the time I can take creating my creations and I absolutely love, pleasantly surprising my clients, living up to their expectations and more. I give them a touch extra… a colourful positive smile!
What was your favourite assignment so far?
Anouk: I enjoyed every assignment so far. All assignments are so different which pushes me to explore areas of my creativity, I hadn’t discovered yet. It is so cool to see that I was even able to do ‘the botanical’ – thing! A friend of mine asked me to make these and I love the banana-leaves I created! They can be used for so many things; For wallpaper, as nice framed prints on the wall, I can transfer these on fabrics (and, for example, create canvas bags from this). Botanicals are always cool and at the moment they are mighty trending.
I also had an assignment where I was requested to draw 6 different unisex emotions (so not in the form of a girl or a boy). For someone that usually creates female or male characters that was quite a challenge. But the result was excellent!
Which product/drawing are you the most proud of?
Anouk: There is pride and love in all the drawing and 3D (handmade) work I do, but sometimes I make something I like that much that I want to keep it ;-). Recently I made a rabbit out of an old woollen, hole-riddled jumper. I felted the jumper and together with Bea I created this cute big rabbit. The stuffing was mixed with Patchouli and Lavender oils, so he smells great and comforting too.
I love what I do now, even though it is a bit hectic & chaotic at the moment. I am grateful that so many great people/organisations managed to find their way to me and supplied me with an overload of wonderful assignments I can sink my teeth into. My venture is a true adventure and I am embracing the colourful chaos that comes with it…
Whom would you recommend your services to?
Anouk: I can recommend my services to anyone and all businesses who require a positive/colourful illustration, small handmade objects, image(s) or logo.
You can check out Anouk’s creations on her website: http://studio-nouka-d.jimdo.com/