53 minutes w/ ruby bouwmeester


Could you briefly introduce yourself?

Hi I’m Ruby, 23 and I live in Arnhem with my two cats and boyfriend.

How is the whole graduation experience doing it for you?

I graduated this January, so it’s a bit different for me. But I’m glad all the chaos is over now and I can go to this exhibition stress–free. But the last year was definitely the best of all, you have developed a sense of style that works for you as a graphic designer and you know better in which direction you want to work.

Could you tell us about your research project?

My research project is about The Language of Flowers, also sometimes called Floriography. It is a means of cryptological communication through the use or arrangement of flowers. At it’s highest point in 19th century Victorian England it was used to send a coded or secret message allowing the sender to express feeling that could not be spoken aloud. Every emotion or feeling could be translated back to a plant or flower. For example oak leaves means bravery, or a yellow rose means jealousy. To translate this subject into graphic design I looked at a technique where only natural elements are used, and where the plants themselves are part of the printing technique. That is why I decided to experiment with eco dyeing. Eco dyeing is a very old printing technique where the dyes or colorants are derived from plants or flowers. These plants leave an imprint of their outlines and / or colors on a surface.

In Floriography every emotion is related to a certain flower. So with that in mind I designed silk scarves and created my own ink that could literally carry out the heaviness of the sentiments in percentage (momentary/long–lasting).

What were some important influences for the creation of your project the way it’s constructed currently?

My interest in Dead Media, communication forms and print design.

Does your graduation, to you, feel as like it’s your Mona Lisa of work so far?

I think with the graduation project you really get the chance to show who you are as a graphic designer because you have been given a long time to work on one project with a subject that you came up with yourself.

Could you briefly inform us on the subject of your thesis?

It’s about social–political mapping.

Has your thesis had a certain influence on deciding on the research assignment?If yes, in what way?

No not really, but I’ve described a lot of 19th century maps in my thesis so I must really like things from the past.

To what sense would you like this project, and its methodology, to correspond to your practice after graduation?

I would like to work as a print designer, to combine graphic design with textile and fashion.

Where did you do your internship?

Mainstudio, Amsterdam

In what way has the experience of doing an internship changed you of your (design)beliefs or (work)habits?

I liked working in a nice environment. It was sort of a confirmation for yourself to see that you had chosen the right study.

Did they serve avocado during lunch?

Haha yes.

Could you inform us on your partner, client and type of assigment for the practical assignment?

Together with Lynn van Gijzel I’ve made a publication for 1001 publishers, called Meesterwerken en Meesterzetten by Frank Reijnders.

Five years from now, you’ll be doing what?

Work some place nice hopefully and maybe I’ll be living in Belgium.

Any tips for upcoming graduate students?

Don’t hesitate to long with the subject you want to choose for your graduation project. Find something that you really can relate to in all aspects and make sure you have enough time for sketches and tests.