Sue Doeksen

Visual adventurer Sue Doeksen caught up with us to chat about how working in shared creative spaces has influenced her style, finding inspiration in the library and in physical spaces, and she links us to some places to check out design inspiration in Amsterdam.

Any hilarious stories about you as a kid being creative?

Even on holidays, I would build huts and dive into them with my paper, scissors and glue.

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?

I studied at Utrecht School of the Arts, first a year of graphic design and then illustration.

Design work by Sue Doeksen The Design Kids interviews Sue Doeksen work-2

Did you have a plan for graduation and what actually happened?

I had no plans — I was finished and then all of a sudden it's 11 years later! Everything happened in quite a natural way, but I do feel that having worked from shared spaces in creative buildings has influenced me positively. I am always surrounded by all sorts of other artisans/designers working on their own creations, ranging from metal and wood to painting, photography, jewellery, etc. Currently my studio is in the NDSM, a very inspiring place in Amsterdam Noord, where I go by bike and ferry. I enjoy working from there a lot; not one day is the same.

What’s your take on internships?

I see interns as collaborators. I really like the feeling of joining forces, credit them in collaborations, and continue to collaborate with them after their internship where possible.

Design work by Sue Doeksen The Design Kids interviews Sue Doeksen work-4
Design work by Sue Doeksen The Design Kids interviews Sue Doeksen work-4

Develop your own style and don’t worry too much about who and what is already out there.

How did you develop your style as an illustrator and what tips would you have for others?

I like diving into stories and backgrounds through the library. There is a whole treasure of input hidden there: old dusty books, beautiful images and interesting information. Therefore I also have a lot of books, from an encyclopaedia of flags to a DIY kite book. I like finding and discovering inspiration in other media or in the past — not online.

I used to paper cut a lot as a kid or draw abstract shapes and things. I have continued to use this method but then sometimes (unfortunately) the paper cut shapes are replaced by sketched shapes that I then digitally trace.

What advice would you give students graduating in 2019?

Be yourself! Develop your own style and don’t worry too much about who and what is already out there. I notice my students look at instagram a lot, but sometimes this can also feel discouraging.

Design work by Sue Doeksen The Design Kids interviews Sue Doeksen work-6

If people wanted to know more about design in your city, what are the top blogs, organisations or events they can read up on?

What's on the cards professionally and personally in the next 12 months?

Making more personal projects: 3d objects and more made from a-z by hand.

2019 for you in a sentence.

'You can Netflix and chill another time.'

Design work by Sue Doeksen The Design Kids interviews Sue Doeksen work-9
Design work by Sue Doeksen The Design Kids interviews Sue Doeksen work-9

Where to find Sue Doeksen online.

Website: suedoeksen.nl

Instagram: @suedoeksen

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