Meet The Artist: 7 personal questions for Iris Esther

Let’s start with a small introduction, shall we?

Hello lovely! My name is Iris Esther Woering. It’s pronounced wu-ring, as in Wu-Tang. You can probably tell why I ditched my last name for my company. I am the forever fiancé of my biggest supporter Robin. Together with our children Joshua (4) and Ophelia (2) and two cats Billy (8) and Bob (8), we live in a ‘50s corner house. It has an old vintage fireplace. We are located in Bussum, in the center of the Netherlands. We live right next to the woods. I make all my watercolor artwork in my little attic space.

I absolutely love…

Pinterest! I adore collecting beautiful pictures to inspire other mothers and myself to stay creative.

Also, thrift store treasure hunts. You can find me there just about every week. Almost every piece of furniture in our home is either vintage or second hand. I feel they have more soul and character than newly bought items.

And I love: London, watching my children play in the woods. Long conversations about life, motherhood and creativity with a good glass of wine with other mothers.

 

I can’t start my day without…

Two strong coffees wih Oatley oat drink, I simply don’t function without. But hey, which mom doesn’t take her coffee very seriously?

The quote you live by?

Create things you wish existed. This quote is pinned onto my moodboard above my desk. Nothing is more satisfying to me than seeing a creative idea being brought to life. The power of imagination is so magical.

Why did you become an illustrator?

When I was four years old I decared I wanted to be an artist. There was nothing I loved more than painting and drawing. My granddad had an attic where he used to paint. I’d wonder around looking at all the canvasses, tubes and brushes. During my childhood I’d spend my Wednesday afternoons with two artist who’d teach arts to children. It was my favorite place in the whole world. Sculpting with clay, carving wood, pottery baking and painting on huge sheets of paper. They tought me about the power of imagination. They encouraged me to finish the artwork I’d started. If I wanted to give up, they would sit me down in front of the fireplace that was burning all year round. They’d let me stare into the  flames untill the inspiration would come up. Pure magic.

Making art was something I grew up with. It always felt like second nature to me. ‘Art doesn’t pay the bills’ was something I’ve heard throughout my youth. So, I made the smart choice when I went to college. I went to the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. I thought that would land me a respectable job in fashion. And it did. Throughout my career I’ve always done illustration work for magazines like CosmoGIRL!, Cosmopolitan and Elle magazine. But my main job was being a fashion stylist. I had even made it up the ladder and became fashion director at a well-known magazine.

When I was pregnant with our first born, I was lucky to put my career on hold. So I was able to fully focus on the baby. Motherhood had made such an impact on me, I was completely overwhelmed by all the new challenges and changes. It took me over a year to feel back on track again. And then I just couldn’t go back to the fashion industry. It didn’t suit me anymore. To make a living, we restructured a part of our home into an Airbnb studio. This has made it possible for me to make an income, (re)develop my skills and grow a small business.

Becoming a mother was exactly what I needed to start doing what I truly love; making watercolor artworks for children and their parents.

What inspires you?

Childhood! I imagine what I want my children to learn about life. My drawings are made to support them. I sometimes get my own children involved in the process as well. I ask them about colors and characters they like. The feedback is always brutally honest. It’s all supporting their imagination and giving them opportunities to wonder and explore. Giving children the feeling that anything is possible drives my inspiration. Did I mention I am a massive Pinterest fan?  You can find me there on a daily basis. I love pinning new inspiration for my upcoming collections.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

My wish is to sprinkle fairydust into nurseries where new babies are welcomed. I want to continue making watercolor images infused with motherly magic.  This way parent and child can connect and share a smile. My collection will keep on expanding.

At the end of this year I am finishing my degree in Holistic art coaching. (As if running a business wasn’t enough) This will allow me to start a series of workshops and classes. I can’t wait to extend my ambition to support mothers to develop their art skills and enjoy their creative talents.

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