Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am Maurice and I was born in 1964. I have studied in the Academy,here in Maastricht (Maastricht Academy of Fine arts) Product Design and Jewellery Design. I have also studied in Eindhoven and what I consider a distinctive moment in my progress was the period that I underwent a summer session in Milan Domus Academy. Milan back in the 90s was the capital of fashion and design and the inspiration that this place gave me was incredible. Designers in Holland were not at a similar level with the Italians back then, all the same, nowadays there is a swift and I could name a lot of celebrated Dutch designers. I also met many self-producing designers when I first started, you know the kind of designers who go all the way and are responsible for the whole process from design to production of the piece of furniture or jewellery for instance. This is my way of working as well. Ah look at my watch for instance! Do you like it? It’s my design and won the second prize in Design plus Design contest, International fair, Frankfurt in 1989. Anyway I have designed and produced lots of artistic products for galleries and for production as well. I reckon the right way for someone to proceed in this field is to constantly produce. You need this element in order to survive and evolve. Interior Design came to my life by chance to be honest. I got a proposal to design the interior of a smart-shop in Maastricht by my cousins who started the Sirius smart shop brand. They loved my work and I felt so creative when working for interior design. This was my first interior design contract and after that my network expanded and I worked as an interior designer from that moment on. Of course, I still work on diverse projects of design for companies and my own interest.
What do you consider your distinctive element?
Well this is a difficult question. I mean I never thought so much about it. The answer would be preparation. When I take on an interior design project, I take my time and do research. I examine every detail and go behind them. I look at the history of the area and the design tendencies. I like my results to be coherent and concrete. When it comes to shops, it is also necessary to think well the services that the current shop provides and how can you cooperate with the owners to increase not only the image and beauty of the space but also the marketing efficiency. I mean how interior design and business are combined to increase customers along with the general beauty of the place. I could say that I learned a lot my self from clients who are really good at their jobs as entrepreneurs.
What are you looking forward to?
I never liked working for big companies and undertaking projects which require constant meetings and debate rather than actually creatively working on a project of your own. I have worked in Paris, London, Milan and I have seen how working for big design brands and companies is. I love working as product and interior designer and I am looking forward to more and intriguing projects. I like working with shops and I think the region has a lot of potential for financial progress and entrepreneurship so I would like to be the designer of its image. In addition, I would love to work with different spaces and do innovative projects.
Which advice would you give to other professionals?
It is difficult to make it into the design business. It needs a lot of hard work. I don’t know what is the best advice but if you work hard you will not be lost. In my life I followed the three-rule of talent, hard work and persistence. If one of three is missing then the recipe will not work out. Moreover, you need to move forward constantly and build a good network. My advice is constant progress and do not stay steady. It is difficult but achievable once you set your passion on it.
What are the challenges that we need to overcome in order to make cultural entrepreneurship more accessible?
The important factor that determines cultural entrepreneurship in the region is the public. Pavlos, people do not invest in Arts in Limburg. They do not buy artistic products either so often, even if they visit museums and galleries. The industry and the market work much slower than in Amsterdam or in big cities in Germany or Belgium. I am a positive person and I foresee that things will change in the region because also of the contact with other European countries. What we need to do is to raise awareness and interest in the potential that creativity can offer for the region and its habitants.
Do you consider yourself a European artist and designer?
Well, I am a classic Limburger. On the other hand, I do not feel subject to any kind of strong national feelings. I can also feel my German blood whichoriginates from both my parents’ side. As far as my general identity is concerned, yes, I feel European and this is the result of the international nature of my job. I collaborated with professionalsaround Europe and I studied abroad and I want to feel European.