Studio Carlijn – Interview

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Hey Carlijn, we are loving the new mural in our HQ! What’s the inspiration behind the design?

Playful, bold and a little bit quirky! Those were the core ingredients for the design of this mural. But I also had to consider that people would be working there as it’s an office space after all. I needed it to feel tranquil which is why the colours are balanced and why I used larger shapes.

Where did you learn how to screen print?

I first learned it at AKV St. Joost in Breda when I was studying there. But I completely fell in love with the technique during my semester at Cambridge University. There, my enthusiasm turned into somewhat of an obsession, because I was completely free to discover and experiment with the screen print technique.

I saw you have a collection of screen-printed garments on your website. Do you have plans to expand this collection?

How nice of you to have noticed the stuff on my website! Yes, I do have plans to expand my collection. For instance: I would love to design Limited Edition apparel with my shapes and colour-style. I haven’t completely figured out how I want to do it yet, but it will definitely happen in the (near) future!

Can you give us a glimpse into your creative process? And where do you start with a new project?

Sure! For customers it usually starts with some sort of intake. What kind of item are they looking for, what space in their home would it be ending up? But also, what kind of feeling do you want it to emit and if there is a story behind why they want this specific item designed. I take all these things into account while working on a project. During the intake I already start getting creative and after the intake I start cutting paper into shapes until I find a composition that reflects the desired product. After that I digitalize everything and decide on a combination of colours. When I design for my own collection it’s a slightly different process. I need my head to be as empty as possible and I do that with cutting in paper and making compositions. After this I start screen printing, completely on intuition. I’m almost never set on a specific design when I start out. Which means what I eventually end up with is always a surprise, even for me.

Where is your studio based? And do you teach workshops? And if so, tell us a little bit about them!

My studio is based in my hometown, Breda. I’m based in the old post office downtown. It’s such a cool place to be in, because there are still a lot of repurposed older properties, looking just like they used to.

I also do screen printing workshops in my studio. In those workshops I teach people the basics of the technique, but I also teach them a little bit of how to do it in a typical Carlijn way. There are so many rules to applying the technique but by pushing boundaries we always get remarkable results in the workshops. I also try to teach people not to strive for perfection while screen printing, but to let the technique guide you. This way, at the end of the day, everyone takes home a truly special and unique item!

What is the thing you love the most about being an artist?

Bringing joy to others through my designs and products! Because I work with bright colours a lot, it really stands out in people’s homes or coffeeshops and stores where my work is on display. I truly enjoy it when my designs bring some extra joy into your day.

You can see Carlijn screen printing in-store this summer! Dates TBC.