I, Vera Bertens, am the creative heart and brains behind my label ‘franje design’ (‘franje’ being the Dutch word for ‘fringe’), which I founded in 2009. It wasn’t until 2011 that I actually started working really hard to get my label up and running, while I was still in art school.
I graduated as a bachelor of design (illustration to be exact) in spring 2013, prior to which I got a degree as a graphic designer (in 2008).
It all started with a pillowcase.
When I was moving house in 2011, I searched the whole of the planet for a pillowcase that had jukeboxes on it (I kind of have a ‘thing’ for the American fifties, which sometimes makes me think I was born on the wrong continent, in the wrong era), but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Really. Nowhere.
At that moment, I decided I would make it myself and that is where the design-frenzy started.
Along the way of illustrating and designing really anything you can think of, I developed a passion (or maybe even an obsession) for llama’s. To be honest; I have no idea where exactly that came from, but it definitely is here now and I’m guessing it’s here to stay, which is fine by me.
Llama’s (and the occasional alpaca) are a subject I use a lot in my illustrations, but I get my inspiration from really anywhere. I think the most beautiful thing about inspiration is not knowing where exaclty you get it from; that’s why it keeps surprising me and I think that is what makes it inspirational; all of a sudden, it’s just there.
Besides designing and illustrating from my own point of view (which gives me a kind of freedom I am now addicted to), I also do commissioned work from my studio in Tilburg, The Netherlands.
If, after reading this story, you have any questions you can always contact me.
If you want to find out more about how I work, you should really read this.