The workspace, a second home. Where ideas are born and brought to life. Where experimentation unfolds amidst discomfort and excitement. A place where connections are made, collaborations blossom and successes are celebrated. Are you curious about the magic of a creative workspace? In this column, I invite you into to the place where beautiful things emerge through the hands of talented creators.
I feel the crunch beneath my shoes. Sliding, I take cautious steps to avoid slipping on the icy remnants of snow. I'm wearing sneakers clearly intended for another season, my mind already in summer while my cold toes bring me back to January. I arrive at number 108: 'De Achtertuin'. The place where Eveline Schram's workspace resides. It looks like a hidden gem. Approaching the entrance, I glance around and can imagine spending (creative) time here.
About 6 years ago, I met Eveline for the first time. I was perched in the window frame of my new home in Rotterdam, a corner house on the ground floor, the window wide open to let in the summer sun. My hands were covered in paint from painting the walls in the living room. Eveline just stepped out of her house, on her bike, and introduced herself. She turned out to be my new neighbor. From that moment on, we gradually had more regular contact. From neighbors to colleagues and friends. From the sidelines, I got to witness how she started and began her journey as an artist. Definitely someone to keep an eye on.
Name: Eveline Schram
Creates: Illustration, Visual Art, and Murals
Years as an artist: 6 years
Studio Location: 'De Achtertuin' in Rotterdam
Tenant Since: 1.5 years
Monthly Rent: €230 incl
Number of studios so far: Total 4
Key Elements: Light, space, and the social aspect
Favorite Aspect: The atmosphere
Wishlist: Better organization of my materials.
A few years ago, Eveline stumbled upon a hidden gem during Art-week: 'De Achtertuin' (The Backyard). A blocky white building concealed behind historic structures along Oostzeedijk in Kralingen. The greenery of the garden, the cozy lights, and an inviting illuminated logo immediately caught her eye. It felt like a place where she could envision herself.
Over time, she outgrew her original workspace and took to social media to make a call for a new creative haven. Fate smiled upon her when a acquaintance associated with 'De Achtertuin' brought this location back into her awareness. With a friend by her side, they swiftly became the new tenants of a spacious shared studio with an industrial character. High white walls, a light green concrete floor, and additional daylight streaming in from the skylight set the tone. Various makers have transformed the space, creating cozy nooks. Curtains provide a touch of privacy, yet the overall ambiance remains open and welcoming.
"The fact that a spot opened up at that exact moment felt like 'meant to be' for me. I'm just where I need to be. Everyone is doing their own thing, there's no social pressure, but we do seek each other out occasionally. Spending five days a week in each other's energy, I've become more intentional in my choices based on past experiences. For me, striking a balance between social and practical aspects is crucial."
An Ideal Workday
10:00 Arrival, coffee, and dive into creative/challenging tasks.
12:00 Lunch, alone or with anyone who wants to join.
12:30 Tasks requiring mental focus.
14:30 Other tasks involving hands-on work.
17:00 Wrap up, and head home.
While scrolling through her portfolio, you undoubtedly won't miss the bold colors and playful shapes. It's noteworthy that in an earlier stage, activism and feminism played a significant role in her work. This seems to have taken a back seat in her recent projects, including her new series: 'True Colors.' For Eveline, experimentation is an indispensable element in her creative journey. She strongly believes that once you feel too comfortable, it's high time to try something new. Otherwise, what you do simply just becomes a trick.
"My work consists of graphic and colorful shapes. It can be so much more than just paint and pixels. I went on an exploration of different mediums, such as epoxy and stained glass. This eventually led me to plexiglass. The use of this material excited me so much that I've even purchased my own laser cutter now!"
A valuable aspect of her workspace is the inspiration she draws from other creators sharing the space with her. Take, for instance, her friend Amara van der Ree, a talented interior designer whose use of color and innovative materials Eveline admires. Additionally, Eveline finds inspiration in visiting exhibitions, museums, and meditation, providing her with peace and room for new ideas.
"The conviction I would like to dispel among fellow creators is the notion that you have to wait for inspiration to begin creating. Inspiration can also be generated by your own actions."
Passion projects often arise spontaneously, taking shape in her thoughts and then quickly coming to life. During the design process, Eveline immerses herself in her creative bubble for several days. In between creating, she consciously takes a day off at times, allowing herself to return to her work with a fresh perspective. During this process, she transitions from the digital realm to working with materials. The reality often differs from the screen, prompting her to make adjustments to bring her vision to life.
Mural in collaboration with Blind Walls Gallery
Guiding her career path, Eveline carries with her the words of her father: "The most important thing is that you go to work with joy in the morning." At various moments, she noticed that joy was slipping away, mostly by working exclusively on commission.
"It felt like a limitation. Feedback and adjustments drained the joy. I decided to focus partly on autonomous work, an uncertain path. Meditation and tuning into my intuition proved crucial. Now, I look back with pride, knowing I made the right choice."
Eveline doesn't shy away from the unknown, transitioning from graphic work to illustration and venturing into her first mural painting. Her advice to her younger self and fellow artists is clear: "Stay connected to yourself and your intuition. Adjust when enthusiasm wanes. Fear is not a good guide in this, embrace the risks."