Amy van Luijk (4/5)

Voor de Flow Illustratiespecial tekende Amy van Luijk de openingspagina’s ‘Dit boek is van…’ en illustreerde ze een notebook die als extra bij de special zit. De hele maand september vertelt ze meer over haar werk, haar inspiratiebronnen en haar leven als illustrator.

amyvanluijk_inspiration1I find inspiration for my creative work in many different places. I like to visit museums, second hand shops, libraries, walk around my neighbourhood streets, and of course scouring the internet. For me the best inspiration is found almost by accident, when I’m not looking for something specific. I just keep my eyes open. At the moment I’m into looking at old National Geographics, interior design books from the 60s and 70s and pictures of isolated cabins and houses. When I’m inspired by something I try to capture a feeling, energy or mood in my work.

amyvanluijk_inspiration2When I walk around the streets near my house I like to take photos of interesting colour combinations and compositions. For example how the furniture is packed in a moving truck or a wrapped car protected against the winter. At dusk I love seeing lit up windows, every one with different coloured curtains and lights against the darkening sky. I love seeing plants growing out of cracks in the pavement and overgrown gardens. Nature breaking out of man made boundaries.

amyvanluijk_inspiration3I often go to secondhand shops to get inspiration. It’s a bit like a museum but you can touch everything. In Berlin I used to head to my local secondhand shop to draw pictures. It wasn’t a fancy shop but it sold everything from secondhand shoelaces, used diaries, buttons to old computer keyboards. Everything was neatly bundled together and displayed in baskets.

amyvanluijk_inspiration4At the moment I’m fascinated by pictures of small isolated cabins in the middle of nowhere, nature as far as the eye can see. I love the romantic notion of being alone in the wilderness. This is inspired by my time growing up in New Zealand where there are so many remote places and huts.

amyvanluijk_inspiration5I have long been a fan of Japanese prints, ceramics and textiles. The bold use of shapes and composition while keeping things simple and pared back has influenced my work a lot.

amyvanluijk_inspiration6Traditional hand made textile techniques have also always inspired me. Techniques such as batik, block printing, weaving and patchwork. My favourites are pojagi (Korean wrapping cloths), Japanese furoshiki and needle work samplers. I love the slow process of these techniques and how often scraps and left over fabrics were worked into the projects. The handmade element of these techniques gives a naive look and often exquisite yet unexpected colour palettes are used.

amyvanluijk_museumdrawing7In this blog post I have included some images of things that have been inspiring me recently. The numbers correlate to the list of links below.

1 – The Snow Village at Lakeside, Hide Kawanishi, 1942
2 – Houses in Lofoten Norway (
3 – My own photos in Berlin
4 – Meisen kimono. 1930s – 1950s. Haruko Watanabe
5 – Makoto Kagoshima
6 – Pages from my own sketch book
7 – My own photographs in England and New Zealand
8 – Pojagi – Source unknown
9 – Braided rugs – Source unknown
10 – Pages from my own sketch book

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