Could you introduce yourself?
I am Marielle, 38 years old working as a writer and more and more as a graphic designer. or both. I have three kids and a husband. I run, do yoga and like homemade pizza. and dancing.
How is the whole graduation experience doing it for you?
At first I really liked the space to experiment and I really made a lot of stuff ‘oh it can be this!’ ‘oh wait it can be that!’– but now I think I have never done such a stressful thing in my entire life… I think it’s difficult to ‘do your own thing’ and doing what you think teachers like.
Could you tell a little bit about your research project?
My research project is called Possible Object. I was – and still am – fascinated by visualizing things that are not really there. For example, I tried to make my digital traces visual, or tactile. What are the possibilities I have as a graphic designer? That’s the question I circled around. Possible Object is a book about the missing plane from Malaysia airlines. The book is made from google images, news from papers, internet and tv, photographs of ‘possible objects’ floating somewhere and of selfmade drawings. Is it true? Could it be something? Or is it nothing? I like a kind of poetry but I should not force it in the pages. It’s there, or not.
What was the urgency for you to start this project? Why did you take Malaysia Airlines as an example?
All the research I did before (starting visual stories, making things visible that are not physically there, experimenting with screen printing and materializing things) seemed without a goal. I felt the urge to work with material, stories, facts and imagination, but it was hard to concentrate on one subject. Then this plane disappeared and I started – while I was still working on my digital traces–project – to collect all the images and scenarios I could find. I decided to make this plane the subject of my graduation project. The urge? I just really want to make things in material. So you can touch it with your hands.
What were some important influences for the creation of your project the way it’s constructed currently? Did you take any inspiration out of certain designers or artworks?
I really like what Irma Boom does with books. Raw Color did some projects on making ‘non–physical’ things visual and material. Rachel Whiteread and Bruce Nauman also Inspired me, as they worked with ‘negative space’ or things that are not really there because you tend to look at the things you can see and touch.
Does this project, to you, feel as like it’s your Mona Lisa of your work so far?
I don’t like the Mona Lisa so much… I really like projects that are short and when I have to be quick and fast. When I have to work so long, I feel slow and insecure. But ok, I tried to make a book that is really mine. I hope I succeeded.
Could you briefly inform us on the subject of your thesis?
My thesis is called ‘Dat je het aan kunt raken. Tactiliteit in grafisch ontwerp’ (‘That you can touch it. Tactility in Graphic Design). It’s about tactility, using material and about the value of the ‘index’, compared to symbols and icons. In semiotics, the index is a sign which refers to a physical cause, whereas a symbol refers to cultural meaning and an icon refers to visual similiraity. I did some research on theories about signs, and collected artists and graphic designers who use the index in their work. So my research project is very much connected to my thesis.
Haha, that was going be my next question. but ok, next then.
To what sense would you like your research project, and it’s methodology, to correspond to your practice after graduation?
I would be happy to be a designer who is able to visualize more than only what you see. To touch the world of imagination. I think it’s important to use material in a meaningful way in our busy and screeny world.
Could you inform us on your client and type of assignment for the practical assignment?
My client is a professional musician. He started Ludwig, a collective of creative musicians. They like to play in weird locations and work with fresh and renewing musicians. I made posters and a light projection to announce three concerts in non–public buildings. I searched for a way to play with space and music in the images.
Could you perhaps tell me a little about your ‘GDA Experience’ as to how you’ve experienced over all in the last years?
I did the parttime GDA and I’m very happy with it. It was inspiring, really hard working and at the end it is really enough. Back to work again!
Five years from now, you’ll be doing what?
I’ll be working as a graphic designer and illustrator in my own That’s A Studio, together with my friend and colleague designer Dieneke. Working on projects for big companies and making nice and small work and drawings we like ourselves. I have a lot of evenings and weekends to spend with my kids, dance with my love and stare out of the window.
And about the gap between academy and working life: I find it challenging to stay critical, when clients are totally not critical and like everything you put on the table.
Any tips for upcoming graduate students? or maybe for new students?
Don’t think to much, trust what you love to do and reanimate your darlings when you killed them. or at least some of them.