fresh faces

Together with KONKAV we seek new and emerging talents in the series Fresh Faces. This month we present to you animator Marjan van der Heijden. Her work is in contact with the themes of animals, nature and nostalgia. In developing these themes she uses of different techniques and materials.  In addition to her freelance work as an animator and my webshop MissMantisMakes, she works part-time at AKV | St. Joost in Breda and Den Bosch as producer for Illustration | Animation.

In these series we ask artists to react to a bunch of quotes so we get to know them better.

“I never made art to make money, it was never the main idea. [The main idea was] to put something into the world that was positive. The most positive thing that we’ve done is the art that we’ve made, that we leave from one age to another, one generation to another. If we didn’t have our culture, what would we have? It would be a George Orwellian world. It’s an act of resistance as much as an act of creation.” – (Sean Scully)

I can very much relate to this quote, even though I always try to find a way to create an income by doing what I like to do. I am very ambitious and entrepreneurial. Obviously I have done work because I simply needed the money, but this destroyed my creativity. I was constantly dreading to work on it, I was uninspired and lost a lot of time I could have spent way better. That’s why I try to only do the things I want to do and that suit me most. These days I feel way better in my skin, the work makes me happy and it shows.

Because I work more and more within the theme of ‘nostalgia’, I enjoy learning from previous generations. Especially when it comes to techniques and crafts. I strive to conserve these skills, by learning them myself and by teaching them to others through workshops. I tend to look away from the digital era we live in and prefer to reflect back.

“Of course I have always been fascinated by our human condition [in my films], and I think that literature and painting does the same, if you are seriously into any of that it always has to do with our human condition.” – Wim Wenders

To me, this quote is a little superficial and outdated. I don’t think that all works that are being created reflect on the human condition. These days, you see so many works inspired by a large variety of subjects. I am mostly inspired by animals and nature, but recently I found out that nostalgia is also a recurrent theme. But it could very well be that I am not fully grasping the meaning of this quote.

“I can only speak for myself, but I wasn’t raised to believe I was really entitled to voice in the room as a girl. I don’t know about the other women out there. But I feel like I did enter a relationship kind of wanting to please and make it right and only later going, “Wait a minute, you never asked what I wanted, but I never said what I wanted either because I didn’t know I was allowed to.”” – Laura Dern

I have always rebelled against the concept of womanhood and all that comes with it. I am me and I am not the gender. I start to find my place more and more in this matter, as today there is more openness about different genders. I start to realize I am not the only one who is thinking this way, which has opened up an entire new world to me. I also start to get to know and understand myself more and more. Because I often wear dresses, people tend to see me as someone very feminine. But clothes don’t determine your true gender. When someone asks me “What do you think of this, being a woman?” or calls me a ‘power woman’, I don’t feel addressed at all. I don’t ask anyone to address me any differently, but just call me Marjan.