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Ever since I was little, next to drawing non-stop, I have been telling stories to my younger siblings, my parents, my friends, and to anybody else who did or didn’t want to listen. Growing up I’ve come to focus my stories on mental health awareness, environmentalism, and emotional expression, wrapping these themes in a blanket of the fantastic and the surreal.

Because of this, as an artist, to me story comes first. Thus, my projects are meticulously crafted and carefully considered, enabling me to express what has been on my mind.

As a writer, I have a need to delve deeper into these thoughts. I believe good writing comes with experience and can become great when it stays passionate and personal.

As a director, I learned to combine the two. Now, I want to share my vision and collaborate with others. I am capable of utilizing the strengths of my colleagues and to listen to their creative voice. Maintaining the big picture, allows me to combine these voices into a final product that surpasses the sum of its parts.

And, last… as a person, I have a deep-rooted need for self-improvement. Studying 2D Animation at the University of the Arts in Utrecht (HKU), was a continuation of the creative journey I started as a child. A journey I abandoned as a high school graduate, disillusioned with my own potential, and finally rediscovered at 27. Trying to still my thirst for knowledge, during my course at HKU, I followed online art courses, screenwriting lectures (resulting in the inevitable pile of awful screenplays), and a creative writing minor at the Fontys Academy of Journalism (resulting in a not-quite-awful novella).

Now on the cusp of graduating and life as a professional, I’m excited for the challenges that lay ahead and the opportunities to obtain more knowledge about my craft.

Tidy Town is a 2D animated short film conceived by Thirza van der Zee and myself. It’s a fable about the woolly and whiskered residents of Tidy Town, and their plan to get rid of the plastic trash that’s flooded Pastry Island. The film illustrates our vision about the collective problematic behavior of humans, as we continue to mass consume plastics, against our better judgment.

Within the team, I have focused my attention on directing, writing, and producing. My biggest obstacle was juggling my role as director and producer, especially as production was complicated by the rapid expansion of our team and the sudden change to our work environment due to COVID-19. In spite of these challenges, we’re capable of finishing our film mostly the way we envisioned it making Tidy Town our dream project.

As we’re nearing completion, I’m reminded of Michael Dudok de Wit’s master class (personal communication, September 10, 2018) in which he said if something moves you very deeply, that’s the moment you should embark on your project. This has been the case for us, and we hope for Tidy Town to have a healthy film festival life, sparking debate among viewers.

Media Animation Animatie Artwork Film, video, foto Film: Fictie Regie Scenario Vormgeving