Maurits Rozema . nl
- Information Designer
at Applied, London UK
from Dec. 2015 until 2020 ( 5 yrs )
Updated: 20 . 5 . 2022
Note: It has been a long time since my last update. My time has been spent on lots of things other than my creative endeavours (of which my personal website maintenance is one). My camera has only joined me on the larger trips, my sewing machine and film-scanner have been boxed up and stored away, even my small bag of embroidery tools has been floating around without being used much.
Life can sometimes get in the way of creativity. When all the time you have for these endeavours is spare time outside of your day-to-day work, and you're trying to find a home or start a family as well, this is particularly true. Sometimes creativity has to be put on the back-burner to progress in life so that your living environment can grow bigger, which in turn will provide you with more space to grow creatively as well. But that'd assume that life admin, settling or a day-job couldn't or wouldn't be a creative outlet for me. To some extend this is true, as my hobbies are my most challenging creative pursuits and exercises. On the other hand; my work at de Belastingdienst challenges me in completely new and unfamiliar ways (professionally and creatively) and finding/renovating a home has made me thinking and working more in three-dimensional space.
Now that I'm about to become a father, I'm sure that I will have similarly less time to myself as I have had during the last 2 years. However, I'm also excited as these years has made me more experienced in figuring out a way to combine both personal and familial growth. I'm looking forward to exploring how our child will inspire me and to which new ways of working and creating it will push me.
Serendipitously have I been asked to participate in an exhibition right at this time while i'm going through a re-start of sorts. De Verdieping is an exhibition by current graphic design students of the University of the Arts Utrecht. They were asked to approach an alumnus of the same course, of which they will exhibit a work, together with a work made in response to that, made by the student (Floor van den Bergh). I have used this opportunity to summarise a certain period in my work/life, accumulated in the Bugao Li jacket. Below is the to be exhibited diptych and accompanying wall description:
After designing the annual 2nd-years graphic design course's exhibition 'HQ' in 2012, I was invited to travel to China. It fascinated me tremendously, to the extent that I returned and eventually would spend most of my graduating year over there. Graphic design is my professional expertise, but in my personal time do I like to work with photography and clothing design. Working with concepts (something my degree has thought me) also comes to the fore in my hobby's. This work is an accumulation of all these interests; inspired by the history of Shanghai, I made this jacket as if it were that of a gatekeeper in one of the Lilong alleyway estates 'Cité Bourgogne' (1930) in the old French Concession.
2 . 12 . 2020 update
Although there was much ambition to be read in the previous updates I wrote here, not much has come to fruition. After all, what a chaotic year it has been, to make any ambitions come true.
But that is not to say you can't do a thing during a pandemic. Somehow we (the well-off global middle-class) have become used to the idea that everything gets better, grows larger, and generates ever more returns. And when it didn't this year, that was a shock to the expectations we had become used to. Suddenly we are not able to fly everywhere, go out to drink expensive coffee's in cafй's or beers in pubs, and aren't able to just do whatever we'd like. Because the pandemic limits our lifestyle, you'd almost think that life in based solely on the things we are currently limited to do. Which isn't the case.
This all to say that during this year I have tried to set some goals or aims as a substitute to all the supposed other things that would have filled my time if there wasn't a pandemic to live through. This to give myself a sense of purpose it seemed. But I didn't do any of it. Which is fine. Because something isn't only important or worthwhile your time when it has a seeming sense of purpose, like reading, or relaxing on the couch, watching a film for the second time.
This year has brought a big change in my lifestyle; not only did I get married (unofficially as-in; in absence of family and friends, officially as-in; legally, on paper, by the Kent County) to Bec Worth. We there-after moved countries (from The United Kingdom to The Netherlands) while keeping my job at Applied. These were all unforeseen life events that we had planned to do in the future, but did not think possible in a pandemic year. And after all that I even managed to get a new job (starting January 2021) to top it off. So there you go; ambitions are good after all, just don't be too strict with planning them. It'll come when it comes to you most naturally.
17 . 5 . 2020 update
It has been a long time since I was a 'local', a 'usual', in the scanning room at the BKV building of my University (HKU in Utrecht, The Netherlands). They are days to reminisce about as it felt a bit like a club-house for like minded analog photographers. I have sat there many hours (until late on Thursdays if I remember correctly) with my best friend Nathan, listening to some music, joking around, while waiting for this slowed down process to finish. Such is the nature of analog photography these days; although we shoot on film, usually we want to end up with a digital image, because, you know... Instagram.
Finally the day has come that I can sit behind this machine again, waiting for those emulsified memories to appear as fresh and clean pixels on my screen. Not at the BKV this time, but at my own desk in my own house. I'm a proud owner of an Epson V800, finally. And I have indulged myself by getting SilverFast 8 AI Studio along with it, giving me even sharper scans and better colours. Purchasing it from Scandig, a decent Germany transparency scanner expert, made it feel even more legitimate somehow.
We are still house-bound during 2020 Covid-19 Lockdown. Scanning negatives seems like the perfect quarantine activity you'd almost wish upon anyone who doesn't know what to do with themselves after prolonged days of boredom. Not that I'm one of those people. I'm so busy with other projects (embroidery, sewing, drawing etc.) that, as a matter of fact, I find the task of scanning my ever expanding archive of negatives slightly daunting. There are currently still about 40 rolls awaiting to be processed and probably more then 60 to be scanned (let alone re-scanning those done on lower-resolution machines in the past while I was waiting for my future purchase).
You know what I'll be doing!
28 . 3 . 2020 update
As the world and I are trying to confine ourselves as much as we can, to and in our homes, I have also found that this creates a large amount of time in the week that has to be filled with 'something'. Normally I like going outside, on any day really, but mostly during the weekend. Going outside, either to the city or countryside, makes my mind tick. It gives me inspiration. It helps me think, because (particularly in the bustling city) there are things happening around me, movements and appearances to pay attention to but simultaneously not needing any of it, as this is just how the city works, it bustles. Within all this 'happening' I find my mind can settle. I don't have to wonder what I should do, I just do, move myself through the chaos. It frees up my mind to think about other things, stimulated by all this spontaneousness that is found in this chaos.
Anyway... This I now can't do, as the inside of my house does not resemble anything of the city centre. Although there are plentiful of ideas at the ready for me to entertain myself, to keep myself busy, it sometimes does not come easy to me to actually get started. Because not much is happening inside my home or out on the streets, it can feel hard to get my engine running. But I have found something that can perhaps add fuel to my fire; working on my website. Finally I have time to spare that can be used toward something that I don't usually dedicate sufficient time to. Although I'd really like to spend more time outside and less time in front of my screens, I really should try to make the most of it.
26 . 11 . 2019 update
It has been a long time since this web address has gotten a design or content update, but it had to be done at some point. Although it could have been done more thoroughly, it was mostly important to get out with the old and prepare for getting the new in. That being said, this should therefore be something temporary. But a website that proclaims to be 'coming soon' has never appealed to me either, as by saying something is coming, you are somehow saying nothing at all. Thus this update tries to give at least a bit of information that was not covered by the previous instalment of this website. Simultaneously, the current version should be considered unfinished as is the nature of the thing (a website). It is either in a perpetual state of being unfinished, or if considered finished it gets outdated by the world it tries to incapsulate and therefor is incomplete.