Nancy has been a children’s illustrator since leaving art school in The Netherlands some twenty years ago, enjoying working on lovely projects with great people. She tells us “it never stops being exciting to receive something with my illustrations in or on it.” We are so glad she reached out to us and started a conversation about stamps, sewing, and life.
Have you designed a stamp before?
Yes, I have designed make-believe stamps before.
How was this different?
These are actually printed!!! Very cool.
What was the most interesting or fun aspect of designing a poster stamp? What unique challenges did it present?
I sort of had an earlier version of the stamp designs ready and I was looking for a way to have them printed. After some searching I came across The Portland Stamp Company who actually produce ART stamps the old-fashioned way. I am from the Netherlands and am so grateful for the Internet, how else would I have found The Portland Stamp Company? Together in conversations with Josh and Niko I made the final designs and we made the sheets better using Josh’s suggestion of adding real thread. Each sheet is hand sewn by me, and every one is slightly different. I am most thankful for this collaboration!
Tell us about the art. Did you create something new for this stamp?
The art is very personal, I know it could sound strange, but I feel sentimental about sewing. I leaned from my mother as a little girl and have never stopped. My weekly sewing class feels like therapy. Over the years it has always been a constant in my life. When you sew, you don’t have to think much about your worries, you are just focused on fabric and thread … in the end you have made something you can actually wear … off to ‘sewing-land’ for some peace of mind!
Recently I went through the worst period of my life. Our eleven month old son passed away and still … there was sewing. I made more than ever, stitch by stitch, sewing my way back into some sanity. And started to draw sewing inspired things, combining my two artistic loves.
Of course I talk to myself when I sew. Sometimes I need expert advice.