The Artists' Home of Fanny Olsthoorn

Paper. Words. Typography. Common things we daily surround ourselves with, like reading books and magazines, browsing through a menu at a restaurant or looking at the signing in a beautiful concept store. For graphic designer Fanny Olsthoorn they mean so much more than just a booklet, garment label, printed item or letter of the alphabet. In this episode of ‘The Artists’ Home’ series Fanny explains to us where the magic lies in these ― seemingly simple ― elements.

Visiting The Artists’ Home of Fanny Olsthoorn
Fanny’s artistry: all-round freelance creative (graphic design, art direction, conceptual design)
Living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands 

1. You live and work in Amsterdam, tell us a bit more?
‘Together with Lennart and Ise (our 1-year-old daughter) I live in the center of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I graduated from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute in Concept & Branding and worked as in-house designer at various fashion brands, as well as at a London-based design consultancy and a design studio in New York. Since 2016 I’ve been working as an all-round freelance creative. At the same time I initiated personal projects including pop-up events Café Spontane. Currently I’m working for Studio Henk as Senior Creative. As part of the creative team I work on the stores, campaigns and I advise the graphic design team a long the way too.’

2. Art direction, graphic design, interior styling, culinary gatherings; you have multiple talents, how come?

‘Although I started as a graphic designer, I’ve always loved to work across different disciplines. Over the years I came to do various projects where I was challenged to take on different roles and I gained experience in styling, concept development, art direction and photography. Today I’m involved in projects mostly as an all-round creative.‘

3. How does your ideal day look like when working from home? (include your favorite snacks :))
‘My ideal working day at home definitely includes good coffees (I’m working on my brewing skills) and a sourdough toast with butter and jam. Other than that I love to create ― to play with samples and colours, to work with beautiful imagery and to find balanced compositions. Generally my mornings are most productive.’

4. Where does your love for paper goods come from?
‘This love has been there since I was young. I remember collecting booklets, cards and special pieces of paper. When I started working as a designer, I was intimidated by the huge variety of paper that the industry offers. This actually encouraged me to learn more about the collections and I discovered some favorites that I still work with. I love the tactility and tangibility of paper goods.’

5. What is your connection with bright colours? And with muted tones?
‘I like bright colours ― although to the outside world it might not seem that way. I come from a family of creatives that work with a rich palette of colours and I also worked for the most colourful Dutch brand Oilily. But in general, I do favor soft, muted and usually warmer tones, like beiges and warm whites. The natural palette provides a sense of calm that works well for me, it helps me to focus on the essential.

6. Which materials do you prefer to work with?
‘Natural materials like wood, stone, paper, wool or linen. When it comes to paper, I love to work with uncoated, fine papers.’

7. What project that you've worked on (recently or a few years ago) makes you proud?
‘My most recent project is ‘The Home of Studio Henk’. In collaboration with my colleagues I worked on the concept, materialisation and styling of Studio Henk’s new store in Amsterdam. It’s been a very inspiring journey and I’m proud of the beautiful result.’

8. Favorite songs while working?
‘Most of the time I work in silence or with some neutral background tunes.’

9. Art, music, film, writing, poetry, fashion, photography; who's creations inspire you and why?

‘I take inspiration from different disciplines and era’s. From ancient Greek sculptures, Morandi’s still lives, fashion brand Lemaire, photographer Annemarieke van Drimmelen to Japanese architecture. The common thread probably is a sense of simplicity and harmony.’

10. If you could choose anything, what would be your dream project or with who would you like to create with?
‘Good question! I have to think about that one. Why don’t we work on your photography book together, one day? This week I thought it could be fun to do more editorial shoots, as the majority of campaigns and shoots I do is commercial. In terms of people, I’m actually surrounded by people I love to collaborate with!’

11. How does your home reflect creativity?
‘Our house is clean, timeless and decluttered and it provides space for creativity. I guess it’s my perfect canvas to play around with objects, colours, materials, furniture pieces etc.’

Find more about Fanny’s work and projects via Instagram or have a look at one of her recent projects here: The Home of Studio Henk.

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