The collaboration between the two of us started many years ago. The first contact was made at the Utrecht School of the Arts. By chance our easels were standing side by side at a painting seminar, and we soon discovered that we had more in common than our fairly outspoken opinion about clothing and music. Behind the tough appearance we were both quite shy and in terms of art and design still extraordinarily green. Puppies we were, freshly out of the province, the both of us.
After we survived the academy, we moved into a classroom in an old school from 1897 in the centre of Utrecht. This is where our collaboration became official. Omniafausta, our graphic design studio, was born and raised here and VrijFormaat (FreeFormat) also saw the light of day here many years later.
And we still have our studio in this building. We have moved internally, but we are certainly not planning to move to other places in the near future. We like it in our former gym with its high ceiling and large windows.
At both VrijFormaat and Omniafausta we still mainly work with just the two of us. But other partnerships and collaborations have emerged over the years.
For example, around the turn of the century, we started Blender, a network of graphic designers, printers, furniture makers, painters and other artists. Throw all that anyone can or wants to do into a Blender and make something completely new. That was the starting point. We collaborated with different disciplines and for a large group exhibition we reacted to what others had created by contrasting it with something completely different. An interesting and educational challenge. Unfortunately, Blender did not have the longe life we hoped for. But it was fun while it lasted.
Another collaboration came in the form of Truttenware parties (yes, it is derived from tupperware parties). With a group of other women we adopted the nickname Trutten, a pun that is difficult to translate into English. And for years we went from place to place with postcards, screen-printed T-shirts, hand-painted covers, bizarre exhibitions and hilarious slideshows. Everything homemade and in small editions or single copies. The unique handbags from Barkin’bags also originate from the Trutten era. Esther has designed and produced bags with this company until many years after, but unfortunately, the bags no longer bark…
After years of little contact, theater and spatial designer Balthasar Prinsen visited our studio with an assignment for his design studio BP design. The renewed contact quickly grew into plans for more collaboration. From both sides there appeared to be a need for cross-pollination and mutual inspiration. And during the difficult times with all the Corona regulations, it was not only inspiring but also fun and supportive to talk to each other regularly. Contact is essential in such crazy times.
Balthasar already had plans for a product line that included pillows and wall hangings. And this fitted in well with our desire to further develope our graphic patterns for interior use.
We have named the currently small platform Because. And the first product lines or brand names are Becush for the pillows and Belong for wallpaper and pattern designs.
What the future will hold? No idea. We don’t have a clearly defined itinerary. What we do know, is that we don’t want to go along with the fads or fast production methods of the disposable society. We want to make products in the most sustainable way we can. We explore all kinds of possibilities and interests step by step.
You can follow Because on instagram.
Have you got a plan, a project proposal or a nice suggestion?
Most of the time there are not enough hours in the day to actually research and/or carry out everything we want to. But that doesn’t mean we’re not open to new fun plans, crazy ideas or special trips out of our daily work. So if you have a plan which you think will fit us, or that we can contribute to, do not hesitate to contact us. Also if you have seen something in one of our collections that fits perfectly with an idea you want to implement. Let us know. Together we will explore the possibilities.