Sterre Verbokkem, aka Studio Brun, is a Dutch illustrator and hand-letterer. Her work can be found in books, magazines, apps and on websites. A collaboration between Sterre and her boyfriend Mark Hendriks, their second app ‘Wildfulness’ was just released. Time to find out more.
“I believe it’s incredibly important to do what you love. When I’m not working I love spending time outdoors with my horses and feeling the wind in my hair.” – Sterre.
‘Wildfulness’ combines beautiful landscapes with (timed) sounds for a calming nature experience.
So now of course we all want to know: what was it like, collaborating with your boyfriend? How did it all start and will you be collaborating more in future?
When making Wild Weather last year we realized that by making apps we had found a great way to combine our skills and experience! Working together turned out to be a lot of fun and we both loved the result! When Wild Weather was picked up by Apple and other media sites like Lifehacker and Uncrate we knew we were onto something.
Our new app Wildfulness is now being featured by Apple as one the best new apps in all major countries, and is doing even better than Wild Weather, and making it was even more fun! We love coming up with concepts together and are already working on new plans, so yes, there will definitely be more in the future!
‘Wild Weather’, the first app they collaborated on, combines hand drawn illustrations with accurate forecasts. Dozens of landscapes, from cold winter scenes to sunny hills and dark nights match your location, time of day and current weather condition.
Your work is so diverse, varying from editorial work, window lettering to apps and self-published books, but one thing ties it all together: your love of nature. Did you always know that you wanted to focus on that professionally as well?
Not necessarily. When I just started making illustrations I worked for very different clients and had very different projects to work on. But eventually illustration really is a personal thing and when time went by gradually my love for nature found its way into my work.
Nature and my outdoor experiences always show in my work; sometimes literally, like when I draw a deer or bird I have seen. Sometimes more subtle, like when I use a color palette, structure or pattern I saw on the trails and use it as background for my illustrations. When you do what you love it always shows in your work!
Set of four illustrated cards.
Illustrated map of Hoge Veluwe.
And how has it affected your personal life?
Nature influences my work in such a way that I cannot think about working without spending time outdoors anymore. Last year we bought a house close to National Park Hoge Veluwe, where I spend a lot of time each week, horse riding or hiking. I need to spend time outdoors every day! My personal life and my work become more and more entwined and I love the way my life looks now.
Pages from Sterre’s nature journal.
You also make Nature Journals. Could you tell us a little more about that?
A nature journal is like a personal journal or diary, but focuses on your connection with nature. A place to record your observations in and thought on nature, and to reflect on them.
For me journaling is a way to clear my mind. A moment for me and my thoughts and a way to experiment with new techniques. By journaling I become more aware of everything that I experience and I love looking back in old journals and remember all the beautiful nature moments I experienced!
No matter where you live, in the city or in a cabin in the woods, you can always observe nature and fill the pages of your nature journal with your observations! This is the nature journal I kept in April and May 2015:
I’ve tried Wildfulness myself and it’s so nice! The lake is my personal favorite, and not just because of the beautiful illustration ;) Wildfulness is available on iTunes: here.
And visit Sterre’s website here: studiobrun.nl
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