Ninainvorm
a blog about art, craft, design and beautiful everyday life
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Maybe you can also find my stuff in your neighbourhood! Click here to see an up-to-date list of where you can buy my products.

Wholesale

Interested in selling Ninainvorm postcards, posters, art prints or ceramics in your own shop? You can send me an email at ik_ben_nina@hotmail.com to hear about the possibilities!

A little while ago I was at my sister Olga's perfectly tidy and carefully decorated home. Oh, the joys of not having kids (yet)... Well no, of course I could only wish that all the mess at our place could be blamed on those poor girls ;-).

Anyway, it was time to take some pictures of my new Night swans posters, and all of a sudden I thought: I could spend hours tidying up my own living room so that I can show you the poster  on my by now slightly too familiar little library cupboard once again, or I could profit a bit from having a tidy younger sister who recently moved into her first apartment (and who enthusiastically spends her income at Ferm living and Hay each month ;-)).

I brought my sweet assistant...

... and then we took lots of photos!

The night swans poster is a pretty large poster (50 x 70 cm or 20" by 28"), that's available for purchase here.

Meanwhile I hope you've also enjoyed this little peek into my sister's apartment!

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Almost a year ago, after our moving house adventure had slowed down a little, all of a sudden I found myself working on posters instead of (mainly) ceramics... From one came the other, and posters also became postcards.

Right now I love working on paper designs, there's something kind of attractive about doing some (okay: usually a lot of) work on a few sheets of paper and on your computer and then receiving large boxes of your 'finished product'. It's so different from ceramics, where you put quite some time into just one piece without even being sure if it survives the firing in the kiln properly.

But in a way what attracts me sometimes also feels like the downside of it. To produce or to make?

It's hard to describe and it might sound a bit whiny, but for a while I've been feeling that the art/craft community that I've felt part of for such a long time has started to change, or maybe it has already been changing for a long time. It's kind of difficult to put this into words because in a way it's just a vague feeling, and maybe it's just a natural evolution or the coming of age of a movement. But when I look at places like etsy, but also at blogs and other media and art/craft shops, it seems like the focus is changing from original, handmade and one of a kind pieces towards 'production' and making more of the same. Also I often feel that the independent art/craft movement and the big brands/shops are growing closer towards each other, which I think is a mix of mutual inspiration on the one hand but sometimes also blatant copying on the other hand.

I guess the independent art/craft/design movement grew big and popular because there was a real demand for new original, creative and handmade items, that weren't mainstream and easy to find for a long time. Then a whole subculture with blogs, shops, magazines and books grew around it. Artists and bloggers started to collaborate with big media, big shops and big brands, and some of the artists and indie designers also became real brands themselves. Handmade became quite a hype, the supply of 'unique, original handmade items' became larger (including the DIY copying) and maybe that hype has just more or less reached it's end, like all hypes sooner or later do. I think this interesting article by Design Sponge's Grace Bonney describes some of these developments very accurately, but then more focused on the specific (but related) world of the (interior) design blogs.

When I look back at all these years of online art/craft/design, I think for a large part it has sort of 'grown up'.  Almost everyone seems to be able to take the most beautiful pictures these days, the styling of pictures has become much more important and probably the items people make have also improved and become more professional. Maybe in a way the artists and crafters have become a bit more mainstream and less 'cutesy-crafty', while the big brands and shops have become a bit more inspired to try new things that are a bit more daring and artistic.

So is it a win-win situation? Sometimes I think yes, when I'm able to buy some really nice, well-designed stuff for little money at the department stores that used to sell only boring, basic stuff a few years ago. Sometimes I think no, when I see that those department stores are simply copying beautiful designs by small/independent designers and selling them for much less money.

For myself, I really want to keep finding the balance between enjoying a bit of production and enjoying the experiment and inspiration of one of a kind, handmade pieces. Though of course I sometimes also have ambitions to take certain things to a higer (efficiency/productivity/sales) level, somehow I still feel very comfortable just making small amounts of things with my own hands.

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I've been working on a seriously big version of my bear asleep print. It may not be visible on these images, but the result is going to be big. The bears are on their way to the printing office now, and I'm pretty curious to see what they'll look like at size 50 x 70 cm...

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Oh A4, I must admit it: my love for your bigger, more impressive brother A3 took over a bit lately... But when I discovered the option to have A4-sized prints printed on the same beautiful heavy recycled paper that my postcards are made of, I didn't hesitate to give it a try. You can find the Bear asleep print here, and the Patches #1 print here.

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In general I tend to avoid showing my crappy phone pictures here (there's a good reason why I'm not on Instagram, besides the fact that I have an internet-free phone ;)), but in this case I had to abandon that rule because I just had to show you a glimpse of how amazing the Fiep Westendorp exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum in Helmond is.

Months ago I read about the exhibition on Octavie's blog, and though we made plans to go visit straight away, in the end it took us a few more months before we finally paid the museum a visit. And so glad we did! First of all because this is an absolutely amazing exhibition for young kids, something you don't see very often. There was so much room for fantasy, play and discovery that our girls got slightly manic (though in a good way) the first few minutes they saw everything. Then they just started to play and enjoyed everything they saw around them. So many of Fiep Westendorp's famous illustrations really came to life in larger than life decors, and everywhere there were little corners where kids could join their favorite book scenes and play along.

I was also quite impressed myself. Here in the Netherlands we are so very used to seeing Fiep Westendorp's illustrations everywhere (not in the least on so many shelves filled with HEMA Jip & Janneke merchandise) and her style has become so familiar that we hardly notice the beauty, art and craftmanship of her work anymore. It was mainly the art aspect that struck me when I saw so many of Fiep Westendorp's original drawings. When you looked close, almost every piece was a masterpiece, and so much more than 'just a children's book illustration'.

So if you're anywhere near Helmond in the next two weeks (yes, unfortunately there are only two more weeks to go) you should definitely allow yourself and your kids the joy and inspiration to spend a few hours in Fiep Westendorp's illustrative world. I promise you won't be disappointed! (And probably you'll end up taking millions of crappy phone pictures just like me, so if you want to avoid that, do bring a proper camera! ;))

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You may have noticed that my postcard and poster collection keeps growing and growing. In fact having postcards and posters printed seems to have turned into some kind of addiction lately, along with another one: baking healthy cookies and cakes almost daily (but more about that later). However the good news is that I'm sort of rid of my sugar addiction ;).

More good news is that all those boxes with postcards and posters aren't just piling up in my studio, but that they're actually being sold in more and more nice shops, both brick and mortar shops and online ones. I thought I'd let you know where you can find them!

Brick and mortar shops

All the luck in the world, Amsterdam

Bos & Heij, Arnhem

Huiszwaluw, Ghent (Belgium)

Woonwinkel Nova, Breda

Online shops

Een nieuw avontuur

Kleine Sam

Liefs van Maantje

Mooi kamertje

Of course all the postcards will also be available in my etsy shop.

Do you have a shop and are you interested in wholesale of my postcards, posters, prints or ceramics? You can always send me an email at ik_ben_nina@hotmail.com to hear about the possibilities!

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There's a new set of six postcards available in my shop! The postcards are printed on beautiful heavy recycled cardstock, which makes them not only suitable to send as postcards, but also perfect to use as small (framed) prints on your wall.

Most of these designs are also available as large posters, you can find them here.

 

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The black swans poster that I showed you a little while ago is now, in a slightly altered version, available as a poster in my shop. You can find it here.

I thought I'd show you both the 'clean' images and the picture with the toy animal battleground just outside the cropped image. In fact it's quite a beautiful mess, isn't it? ;)

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Lots of new work in the pipeline... The first boxes of postcards arrived yesterday, and I expect some more real soon... I keep you posted! ;)

Oh and this is a new A3 sized polar bear poster, it's available here!

 

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Some lyrics of favorite songs leave such a strong impression that they seem to nestle in your head and stay there forever. I for example just can't ever climb on a table without hearing Cat Power's Lived in bars (We've lived in bars and danced on the tables...) in the back of my mind. Not that I ever dance on our table, but I do take pictures there ;).

Someone who does like to dance on our tables is Rosa, that is: when she's feeling well. But both girls have been sick on and off these last three or four weeks and all these nights of being awake and upset (Rosa and Julie) and comforting and changing beds (us) are starting to weigh upon all of us a bit. So Rosa stayed home from daycare today and we pottered around the house a bit together.

I've been working on many new things lately, including a whole new series of postcards, some posters and I hope I can get started on some new ceramics real soon too.

While a sick but relaxed Rosa watched Pippi Longstocking on tv I could even finish some orders...

So far one sick daughter has meant another healthy one...

... and then one or two days later it's been the other way around!

The next one who's going to climb on our tables is Julie, who enthusiastically started to climb and walk lately. A kid who's starting to walk, I still think it's one of the most beautiful things to witness! And often she's even singing while she walks... The sweetest thing!

(oh, and did I already mention that I've developed a card rack addiction lately...? They're everywhere around the house, even in the bathroom! ;))

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About Ninainvorm

My name is Nina, I'm a ceramics and paperwares designer and mom of Rosa and Julie. This blog is about making, living, liking, loving and so much more!

Want to get in touch? You can always send me an email through ik_ben_nina@hotmail.com.

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