Thursday, June 29, 2006
Dear iDEALS, recently while I was surfing on the net, I came across some illustrations that I really liked. The 22 year old Mijn Schatje (Real name Marie Blanco Hendrickx), expresses the beauty of her youth through her drawings, which make a real impact to the modern society that demands everything to be well made and beautiful with it's own signature. Mijn is swimming into the deep already. She has illustrated many album covers and CD's, flyers and posters for Popnotpop and Electroshock events. She loves electro music and wide eyed dolls, something you can obviously see ...
FilepMotwary: Marie, you are one of the few people who at a very young age have reached a level that most people find difficult. How did it all start?
Mijn Schatie: Well, my father is a communication/artistic director and we've always had a few computers with the first design software at home when I was a little girl... I wasn't meant to be a part of the internet generation because during the 80's it was the really beginning of personal computers and all but by chance my father was fond of computer... Since my parents never bought any TV I started making little drawings by computer as a hobby, I designed my birthday party flyers and other things and learned it all by myself and with my father... I took some drawing lessons at the same time but I always preferred using my computer.
Then I went to the fine art school at the same time as my college during my free time for three years, and then studied in a graphic design school during four years... But I never felt comfortable with the design school, teachers were asking me to make some magazine ads and thinks like that and this is why I decided to start working at 21 and moved to Paris...
FilepMotwary: Why do you have two entirely different names? Was it your choice to be called Mijn Schatje?
Mijn Schatie: My "official" name is Marie Blanco Hendrickx, Blanco is the name of my father who's Spanish and Hendrickx is my mother's name, she's Dutch... And I was born in France... I really like the fact of having this "nice melting pot" in my family (nearly each member of my family comes from a different country and most of them live in other countries). The funny thing is that I finally feel a little "frenchy" because French is my only very fluent language! I chose the name "Mijn Schatje" as an illustrator because my grandmother used to call me so when I was a child when it was time to sleep (mijn schatje means my little darling, my little treasure... it's a sweet name for a beloved one). I love it because nobody apart my family can pronounce it here (or even write it) and it's a little strange, like a magical word...
I've always felt a little different here since I'm a child because of my culture and this is what I wanted to express by using this Dutch name instead of a French one...
FilepMotwary: What is your relationship with Fashion? How did your Dutch/Spanish origins help you to evolve your personal style?
Mijn Schatie : I must admit that I'm not particularly interested into Fashion, I'm interested in Arts generally speaking, I love action, happening, creation... I love the dynamism and energy which are emerging from the meeting between different people.
Beyond my origins my parents always loved traveling and I visited a lot of different countries as a child with my brother and sister, I visited all the museums I wanted to see and discovered the wide world very quickly. My family taught me the passion of reading too, an other way to travel... And my grandparent’s home walls were covered by dutch paintings made by old uncles...
FilepMotwary:You are quite involved in the Parisian electro scene. What is so amusing in electro music?
Mijn Schatie: As a teenager I went through all the different styles like rock, hxc, hip hop & more... but in Paris I discovered a big electro scene which is very young and interesting, I appreciate the wave of creativity bring by people like Paraone, Voin de Voin, Khima France... These people don't hesitate to mix their sounds together with other arts and they allow us to see fashion shows or visual arts with electronica live shows. Electro music and design are using the same tools; it's quite democratic since you just need a computer to start creating!
FilepMotwary: How was Paris when you first moved in? Have you ever imagined your self standing where you are now?
Mijn Schatie:When I moved in they were just a few people I know here in Paris, they're part from the well known electro /hip hop band TTC and other music projects and they always kept encouraging me, then through the nightlife (and myspace too!) I start meeting a few people and began with designing party flyers but then a few months later I met my agent and it all started... The people who decided to wrote reviews about me helped me a lot, it was a huge chance to manage having some articles so quickly. I'm convinced that dreams may come true with a little help (and lot of work)..
FilepMotwary:Your illustrations are very clean in all the ways. Yet, your characters have a naive but charming look. Is this a reflection of your personal youth as a spectator in a world of older people?
Mijn Schatie: My childhood is probably my main inspiration, I was a shy little girl with a deafness problem, always reading tons of books and mostly fairy tales and this is how I began building my own imaginary world... This imaginary world is made of all my life experiments; I'm drawing my characters line after line with a lot of patience, like a little girl brushing her doll's hair.
My grandparents used to live in a castle, it was built in the 18th century near from Paris, we also had a private park with a wood on the other side with lots of animals and a farmyard, and a wide garden with flowers plus another one for fruits and vegetables and a few other houses. I used to stay here with my Dutch grandparents during holidays or weekends, mornings were spent doing some scholar work (because I was a modern princess though) and afternoons were dedicated to reading fairy tales hidden in a dark place in the park, creating precious jewelery with garden flowers and then looking at myself in the wide mirrors of the castle or playing "Princess and Knights" with my cousins and brother (and with an old pony too) and sometimes fishing in the fountains. Every family should have his own castle, I often think that this castle changed my life (or at least enlarged my imagination). I lived a fairytale for real, with every nice details much more realistic than my first visit to EuroDisney (which was such a disappointment). But as a lot of people seems to appreciate my pictures I understood that they recognize themselves in these stories too, probably because I'm telling about loneliness, pain, beauty and other emotions and because my pictures do not have no age.
FilepMotwary: What are your future plans?
MijnSchatie:I'm currently working on a jewelery project but it's a secret... And I'm illustrating a children book, it's something very important to me and I think that I'll do some more for years to come. I'll have a big collective exhibition during next winter in Paris too.
FilepMotwary: Do you like "Un nouVeau iDEAL" .
MijnSchatie:I recently discovered it and I like it ! Blogs and internet generally speaking are so useful when you imagination is down, it's the best way to stay informed about the world and I love the fact that now anybody can decide to create is own website like an opened window on its world. It's the best and the most democratic tool ever created.
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