Manon de Beer
ILLUSTRATOR & CERAMICIST
All products made by Studio de Beer are made with a lot of love and attention. From postcards based on original illustrations, made with analogue techniques, to ceramic items which are modelled by hand, created in a mold and multiplied by casting. Scroll down to read all about my creative journey and get to know me, Manon de Beer.
My creative journey
From product design to graphic design, then onto illustration and all the way back: I have been on this creative journey all my life. It started when I was very little – my mom was a costume maker for television, and we were always doing arts and crafts at home. We’ve probably tried every creative hobby out there! This made creativity a huge part of my childhood. And I loved it! I could spend every minute of the day doing it.
When the time came to get an education, I went to Enschede to study Industrial Design Engineering. I accomplished my master’s degree in 2012, specializing in Design. With this master’s degree in my pocket, I worked as an industrial designer in bicycle lightning for a few years – I’m sure you know how important bikes and their lights are to us Dutch folk ;). However, I felt like there was something missing in my life. I quit my job and travelled through South America for about a year, hoping to find what I was looking for. Little did I know, I had it in me all along: the creativity I was brought up with was lost working in mass production.
I missed working from my creative intuition and wanted to explore it more. So, I started a freelance designer business and focused on developing my craft as a multi-talented designer. I worked on many total branding concepts, including website design, graphic design, illustrations and animations.
In 2019 I shifted from making digital illustrations to analogue ones, because I wanted to get my hands dirty again. At this point I felt like I could trust my artistic feeling again, as I saw myself improving every week. I still love using materials like gouache, colored pencils and crayons. I decided to digitalize the analogue illustrations and sell them as postcards and prints in my webshop.
I take inspiration from funny or intimate daily situations. As I am also fascinated by birds, I like to humanize them and other animal characters. These two ingredients together – the daily situations and the humanized animal characters, make for slightly surrealistic but fun and recognizable scenes on the prints.
Recently, I started on a new journey I dreamed of for a long time: making products from porcelain. I combine my experience as a product designer and illustrator to make fun, functional and interesting products. My birth tiles are the very first porcelain products to make you happy. Follow the developments on Instagram: @studiodebeer or check out the Tegelschatjes landingspage.
Fun things you don’t need to – but kinda want to – know about me:
- I was born on the 4th of July in 1987, in Amersfoort (NL) where I lived until my 18th birthday
- Since then I have lived in Enschede, Utrecht, Nijmegen and Leeuwarden
- I am back in Amersfoort since 5 years for the love of my life Tom, my biggest inspiration and motivator
- We renovated our house together (he’s a carpenter and contractor, and really creative!)
- We have a studio at a 5-minute walk from home and a workshop for wood and ceramics half an hour away by bike
- I have one sister, Nanda, who is also very creative. She works as a visual content creator. I love experimenting and cooking together!
- I love travelling backpack-style without a plan! I have travelled to most countries in Asia and South-America, Senegal, Morocco, Europe. Our latest trip (just before Corona) was to India, which we absolutely loved.
- I love the fresh Asian kitchen! From Tom Ka Kai to an Indonesian jack fruit stew, Chinese dumplings or hotpot, Fresh Vietnamese spring rolls to ALL (vegetarian) Indian dishes… NOM.
- The perfect evening for me would be to have a small group of friends over for dinner. Eating is such a big part of life, so I think you better get good at it. Luckily Tom also loves cooking and considers himself to be the next Jamie Oliver.
- I love learning new skills and challenging myself. I have done a lot of creative courses and/or tried creative hobbies throughout my life. Currently, I am into macramé and making felt animals.
- My mom has a 12 square meter walk in closet with creative stuff – you can probably imagine where my urge to try different creative things comes from.
- “I’ve never done it, so I think I can” has been my motto in life these last few years. I am a firm believer in my own capabilities!