Alina – Visual artist
“Art should be accessible: everybody should be able to understand it and have a piece of it.”
Alina creates a nice, safe place for women with her art, design and illustration studio Pansy. We spoke to her about the importance of this.
If you could be a colour, what colour would it be and why?
“I don’t know if it’s obvious, but I think I would be pink. I used to really shy away from liking pink when I was a child. I always loved green and blue, and I think maybe because it was associated with being very feminine or very girly that it wasn’t until going through art school that I felt like it was okay to like pink.”
Were you born this creative?
“I think the answer is yes. I’ve always loved being creative and I was lucky enough to continue loving it. I think we often get squashed out of our creativity when we’re young. And so I feel like I was able to pursue it and learn more about creativity and making art through a higher education in art school. I think creativity is how you live your life and not necessarily in the things that you do.”
What inspires you to create a place for female-identifying artists?
“I think it’s important in any industry to have a space or a safe space for women or female-identifying persons. Especially when the art is colourful and playful and a bit naive, I think it often isn’t taken that seriously. And so I felt really inspired to create a place that was playful and loving and cheerful and sweet, but that was also a real business.”
What do you like the most about being the real pansy behind Pansy?
“Oh, the creative control! I guess the thing that I like the most is really feeling like I can be myself, and that I have the creative freedom to express who I am and what I really love.”
What do you like more: creating things or doing workshops about creating?
“I really love both in equal amounts. I think naturally, as an artist, my answer would be creating things for myself, but there’s something really rewarding about doing workshops.”
When you dream about the future of Pansy, what do you see?
“I think what I really envision for Pansy in the coming years is for it to be well-loved and known in Amsterdam. I think building a creative community around Pansy is really important for me.”
What would you say to all the future female-identifying makers or artists?
“I would say: Go you! Keep making art and make art that feels true to who you are.”
How did you and Kees de Boekhouder meet?
“We met through a mutual friend’s recommendation. I was really struggling with my bookkeeping, and when my friend recommended Kees de Boekhouder she said it focussed on creative people and freelancers, and I felt like: Yes, that’s what I need!”
One more question! What does Kees de Boekhouder mean to you?
“For me it’s like a sigh of relief. What I was really looking for in a bookkeeper was being able to ask any question that I wanted to, no matter how silly it was. I also think that as a foreigner or someone who isn’t from the Netherlands, it’s really scary to learn about all of this from scratch, and to learn a new tax system. So having Kees de Boekhouder walk everything through with me and answer all of my questions, felt really safe and less scary.”