F&T: Name something you love, and why?
I love making collages. It helps me to relax and put my mind at ease. I empty my drawers filled with scraps of paper in all shapes and colours on the floor, sit down with a cup of tea, and start to combine, cut, and paste. I love how you never know what you will end up with. I'm always surprised by the results and get a lot of new energy to start my other work.
F&T: One staple thing in your workspace?
I always have scrapbooks on my desk for inspiration. They are filled with all the things I love. Old photographs of my mom in London, pink notes from an old friend who lives in Sweden, flyers from parties, pictures of Berlin, and postcards that I bought in museums.
F&T: What themes do you pursue?
I think most of my illustrations are about situations or feelings from my everyday life. Somehow these situations or feelings stay on my mind and then I try to capture them in my work.
F&T: Any memorable responses you have had to your work?
For my graduation project two years ago I made some 3D installations in a public space, with handmade life-size puppets, to change people's perspective on their everyday surroundings. During a photoshoot of the installations, children intuitively reacted to my work and started to play with it; that was more than I could have hoped for.
F&T: A real-life situation that has inspired you?
The arrival of my little boy almost five months ago really changed the way I view the world. It's almost as if I'm looking through his eyes at the everyday things. Because for him, everything is new, and the simplest things are so interesting; it makes me see the beauty in the simple things again.
F&T: Favourite motivational phrase?
Flapping your arms can be flying.
I read this phrase in 'Even Cowgirls Get The Blues' by Tom Robbins, and I loved it immediately.
F&T: Last thing you doodled?
F&T: Where do you see illustration going, in the future?
I think illustration will develop more and more in different medias which I think is very exciting! A lot of illustration today is done digitally, but I hope that the handmade aspect will also stay important in future.
F&T: Any tips for newbies on how to develop their own style?
Keep on making work, be surprised by the results, try different media once in a while, and keep developing. Don't compare yourself too much to others and enjoy the process!
F&T: Whose work do you admire, past or present?
Wes Anderson, Caitlin Shearer, Tavi Gevinson, Viginia Woolf, Camilla Engman, Jean-Luc Godard, Patrick Wolf and many more.
All images belong to Manon de Jong.