Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Regarding education, which says a lot about my interest, passions, and my current activities: I studied here at the art school, I got a degree in arts and education. Before I started it I didn’t want to be a teacher. I was interested in education and I wanted to do something with arts but I didn’t see myself as a high school teacher, standing in front of a class… I wanted to develop my skills in drawing and painting, and to learn more about art and its theory. I did my final internship at the Kröller-Müller Museum where I learned that doing research and writing was something that I liked a lot. So I decided to go more in depth with art history; and did a bachelor with a focus on modern and contemporary art in Utrecht.
Now I’m working as a freelancer, combining all the studies and experiences. I do a lot with education, mostly for museums, I write texts about art, mostly for artists, I organize events, do communications, make collection inventories, and much more. I think that art, and especially contemporary art is really awesome, because it’s both socially and personally embedded in our world and in our culture. It’s a great starting point for a conversation, a way to teach and to learn. I know there are many young artists with a lot of talent. One of the focuses in my work is to help those talents to be more visible, but also to express their thoughts and findings (by translating their ideas into writing), and to connect them to funds, institutions and others.
What would you consider your distinctive achievement?
For me it’s mostly the position that I’m in now; the fact that I can work in the field that I’m educated in and work with passion. I work in quite a broad field – education, research, working with young artists, exhibitions… I wouldn’t like to just pick one of those and I’m really happy that I can combine them. I am also happy that I can plan my work the way I want. The best part of that is that I can also invest in my personal interests. For example I decided to go to Japan this summer, for almost two months, which had been a big dream for a long time. I think the achievement that I’m most proud of is that I have created the freedom and space to go with my gut and do whatever feels right.
What are you looking forward to?
Well, I have a couple of really cool projects in my perspective. I’m super excited about that. One of those projects is going to be a collaboration with a cultural institution from Heerlen that focuses on young talent in music. They are happy to expand their horizon and we’re going to develop events and exhibitions to add visual arts to their program and create interchange and inspiration between both disciplines in one location. It will be for arts students, graduates and maybe even some high school talents.
What I’m in general looking forward to is to develop my position into something even more meaningful.
Which advice will you give to other professionals?
Because of a couple of reasons I think the pressure in the cultural field, especially in contemporary art, is very high. There are many people who want to achieve things, but there are only few jobs, there’s even less money, and the competition is so high that it sometimes makes people unfriendly. I think they often forget about themselves, because they make a decision about their career, feeling they have to take “all or nothing”. So my advice to all: be more aware about what it is that makes you happy. Try not to focus only on your career and what you (or others) think you should achieve but focus on enjoyment. Be honest to yourself and you will find the right answers.
What are the challenges that we need to overcome to make cultural entrepreneurship more accessible?
I think the challenges are mostly in the education. Because within studies like art history, for example, no one ever talks about what you could to do when you finish. I feel in art school it was more about collaboration, doing internships, we even started a company. But at Universities those things are often missing. Many students don’t know how their education could function in real life. There are more and more programs fostering entrepreneurship outside school or university, which I think is great, but I feel it’s even more important that these things become part of any curriculum.