Rop van Mierlo.

“My office is situated in the north of Amsterdam across the water that separates the north with the rest of the city. In Amsterdam they say ‘Noord gestoord’ (North is nuts) because there live a lot of crazy people over here. Don’t know why, but it’s true. I live in the east.

I share the space of approximately 60 sqm with three girls. When I look out of the window I see on the left a toxic factory and on the right I see the water that cuts us off from the inner city. I love the view because it’s very calm and you see boats coming by all day.

I tend to think I’m really organized and clean but my work space is always a kind of messy. Because I just have a lot of stuff, need a lot of room and always think I’m going to clean it the other day.

I drink tea all day. Every day.”

Rop van Mierlo is a graphic designer / illustrator living and working in the Netherlands. He recently self-published his own book Wild Animals.

FROM YOUR DESKS: Did a dog really bite the tip of your ear? How did that happen?

ROP van MIERLO: There’s truly a bit of my ear missing but it wasn’t a dog that bit it off. I chopped it off myself in a snowboard accident.

FYD: You self-published Wild Animals, can you take us through the process. Was it difficult to transform into the book?

RVM: The hardest thing for me was; when you self-publish a book you have to stand for every decision that is made. If I had worked with a publisher I can imagine that if someone told me that he or she didn’t like the choice of paper I had the chance to say, “Oh I hate it too, but that’s something my publisher really wanted.” Every decision had to be well-made and well-thought through so it took me ages to get the book to the printer.

I remembered this wet-on-wet painting technique I had at primary school…

FYD: Does the watercolour bleed naturally or must you control it?

RVM: While graduating at Design Academy Eindhoven (NL) I was working on this project I called Bonsai & Poodles, a project about the urge of people to control the world. I made several things and one of them were the wild animals. I was fascinated by the idea to create real wild animals, animals I couldn’t control while painting. I remembered this wet-on-wet painting technique I had at primary school and was guessing that I would end up with some pretty messed up ink spots. I never thought they would bleed so lovely and become that nice.

FYD: What you are working on next?

RVM: At present I’m working on a small animation project and when I find time I try to work on a second book.

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