Design is a means to connect people, to touch them, and to get your message across.
To me, it is a merging of the heart and the mind, with the creative concept as the foundation. The soul of the project or product. It is reflected in my work, and in the companies I have worked for.
I have always known that I wanted to be a designer. I ‘decided’ to become one when I was eight. Perhaps I was not too clear on what it entailed, but I knew that I wanted to be one. When the time came, it was an easy decision to make. I chose my university in the same way. After an open day in Enschede, I knew that I belonged there. Without so much as a glance at another university or study programme, I picked Industrial Design at the University of Twente.
In the course of my studies there, I discovered that I was not that interested in the mass production of consumer products. My first visit to the Salone del Mobile in 2003 was a life-changing event. Recharged and inspired by the conceptual approach of Droog Design and others, my focus shifted. In 2007, while working on my final project, I fought my way into the Design Academy in Eindhoven.
The transfer to Man & Living was a shock to the system, and I went through a period of highs and lows. Everything I thought I knew, was on the table again. I had to reinvent myself and felt pushed to the extreme. At the same time, my designs were shown internationally, with the Salone del Mobile 2008 as the highlight. After the Academy, I started working at G-Star RAW. I designed everything you can think of: from display hooks to denim walls, from travelling art installations to fair stands. Then I went on to work for the Akoestiekfabriek and MMEK’ experience.
I am a passionate 3D designer with a wide range of interests. And that is what I love about designing, too: the versatility. I have trained as an engineer and as a creative conceptual thinker. There is no specific slot that I fit in, and I like it that way. On any given day, I may be working on mood boards and storytelling, and switching to nuts and bolts the next. Tinker is an agency that fits nicely around any slot. It is a creative forest that allows me to run loose and to keep discovering and building.
In addition to my work for Tinker, I run Poetic Justice: a knowledge platform for wordcraft, focusing on hip-hop and the spoken word. My parents are both specialists in the Dutch language. Their passion for language was passed on in my love of hip-hop. Poetic Justice is the ideal form of justice, in which both good and evil are ‘rewarded’ in an ironic twist of fate. Poetic Justice is energy/karma, in a sense, and for me, it is a laboratory to develop my creativity in. As luck would have it, my initials are V.P.J., so you could say that Poetic Justice is literally my middle name.