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Interview with Wies - founder of @sowiesowies

· female entrepreneur,Linoprint,Illustration

Can you find our #heroine_of_the_week in this picture? 😍
Wies from @sowiesowies is a remarkably talented illustrator and printmaker from the Netherlands. Her art is unique, creative and just adorable! Her passion lies in linography and her work is so fresh and gorgeous. @ichselbstaendig girls are fans of clay lamps and mugs created by Wies! Is the dog lamp not the cutest and funktional object for a home with or without kids?
Read our interview with Wies below!

Dear Wies, your art is so unique, creative and just adorable! Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?

thank you so much! I get my inspiration from everyday life. Everything mundane around me that moves me in the slightest way inspires me. Especially animals, these are such amazing metaphors for life. Such as dogs; they are such kind and loyal friends to men and they know no other way then to be like that. And that is the same feeling I want my work to exude. I hope it will brighten people their day, even for a brief moment

Was your life’s journey always straight leading towards becoming an art entrepreneur, or did you have any unexpected turns in your career?

When I was younger I had absolutely no idea that I would be doing what I am doing now. (When I was five I wanted to be a panda when I grew up) I was always drawing and painting as a kid. I would get the craziest ideas and start drawing. It was until later I realized not everybody around me was doing the same. That’s when I started considering going to an art academy. My parents were always very supportive when it came to their children and following their dreams, so I always felt free to do what I’m good at and made me happy.

What do you find the most exciting about your job?

The most exciting about my job is the freedom, don’t get me wrong I work all day, every day. But I feel every time that is by choice. It’s a lot of work and its hard, but so fulfilling when I get to do what I love every day. And I love the fact I get to choose my own hours, nobody tells me where to be at what time (which means there is nobody telling me to stop at 3 am also)

Can you share with us how your average working day look like?

My average day consists out of starting the day with answering and writing e-mails, checking my Instagram and answering messages and comments and making a plan for the day. From that moment on every day is different. Some days I do not make an illustration at all and some days I don’t get out of my PJ’s and work on my ceramics all day while binge-watching some series in the background. (those are my favourite)

You work a lot with linography. Do you sketch your ideas prior to bringing them to life on a piece of linoleum or is it more that material inspires your images? How long does it take to create a print from scratch (incl. Preparation, carving, individual adjustments etc.)

I hardly ever sketch out the whole print I will be making. I will have a clear idea of the composition and the concept and that is it. I have come to learn; the more control I have over my illustration the less quality my work has. there is always an element of surprise with linography. That moment when I reveal the last layer of my print it is always a surprise to me how it will look. Because you can try to plan and control all you want, but working backwards and considering black and white etc makes the medium too hard to completely control. And I wouldn’t want to either. So, my sketches aren’t exact, they are there to guide me while carving, but no more than that.

I think over average one print takes me a day to draw, sketch, carve and print. When I want to make an edition of 30 of one print, it takes me another day.

You have such a successful Instagram account, how long ago did you start building it up?

My Instagram account started as a tip by one of my good friends who told me when I started my own business that Instagram was a good way to show the world a bit of my work. I started it and loved it right away. The community of artists and printmakers on Instagram is big and by now I feel like I have digital printmaker friends whom I can talk to when I have questions or doubt about my work. I was working with a lot of mediums in the beginning of my career and showed all of those experiments on Instagram, but after a year or so I fell in love (again) with linography and these become consistent on my Instagram. And my account sort of took off from there and hasn’t stopped growing ever since, which I absolutely love.

I must admit, we are huge fans of your pottery (I love your dog lamps), what is your favourite clay product and why?

Since I started the ceramics workshop it was such a huge relief to make something so 3D and really work with my hands and the material felt so good! I started with wheel throwing and made a lot of wobbly pots and bowls. Then the next year (this year) I wanted to start hand building in my ceramics class. I loved the handmade feel the final product gave. As if you really can still see my hands that were working on it. The wobbliness and the imperfection is what I look for in my work and with clay it comes naturally. My favourite products are my ceramic lamps. I’ve noticed that all my ceramic work is functional and must have a purpose around the home one way or another. So these lamps embody pretty much everything I am and what my work stands for.

Do you have any specific plans for future development of your project, or do you prefer to just go with the flow?

Right now, I am more focused on growing my web shop and my ceramic sales. I love the idea of my lamps shining in other people’s living rooms. I want to see how far I can take it. I want to stay motivated to keep exploring different mediums and see what else I can make with my ceramics. I also want to furthermore explore the business woman inside of me which has grown exponentially since I started my own business. I have shown the strong woman in myself so many times at moments were I least expected it, so I hope this will grow even more!

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