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Martine JansenPrint & stationery

I started SOMAJ in September 2018 and make cards, posters and stationery such as booklets, handmade notebooks, laptop cases ... Anything that you can use in your office. 

The common thread in my work is transforming functional objects into beautiful pieces, usually balancing soft and edgy, and favouring a minimalistic aesthetic. Shapes, colours and compositions from my surroundings are daily inspirations for me. I live in a quiet and rural area but visits to the city, museums or exhibitions can give me new thoughts and ideas. 

My mind is usually full of ideas so I need to focus in order to make the best ones a reality. For my stationery line, the first step is the thinking process, after which I start sketching my ideas into viable prototypes. Once a couple of prototypes have been made, they are tested to determine the one that will be developed into the final product in different colour variations. For my greeting cards and posters, my technique includes a mix of painting and digital drawing. 

My ambition as a designer is to reach a wider audience for whom I can keep designing and creating new products, growing my brand in the process. 

Through my creations I want to build a brand that reflects who I am. Having ones own unique identity is important in everyone's life.

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Which (creative) Belgian do you admire?

There are a few, however if I have to make a choice I would say Luc Tuymans for his graphic design and Maarten van Severen for his functional minimalism.

What is your big dream?

My dream is more about the simple things in life. To just be happy, healthy and appreciative of what I am doing. Then the realisation of that big dream is so much easier. 

What did you want to be growing up?

I always wanted to make animated films, just like my father.

If you were not doing what you are doing now, what would you be doing?

I would love to dive into handicraft such as embroidery and quilting.

Tell us something that typifies you but that we do not already know…

I have a certain optimism and sense of humour that relentlessly drives me forward. On the other hand, I can pour so much dedication and energy to a project that upon completion I need some time to recover. Finding and maintaining balance in life is key. 

"Creativity is our story. Surrounding yourself with beauty and creativity makes life even more beautiful."

Posted at 27/03/2019
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