- from interview 'Hutspot' (conceptstore Amsterdam) -
Meet Martijn Smulders, an Amsterdam based artist who is transfering photos to wood. He is also father of Tommie who is 4 years old. He prefers to use his skateboard as transport instead of a bike. He worked in the skateshop Independent Outlet for a long time, when he wasn’t working he was creating his own work. Martijn loves photography and many other art forms. Also music is really important to him, you can find Martijn in his studio with music on all the time.
When and how was Stiger Woods born?
In 2010 I travelled for 7,5 months to different places all over the world. In the last fase I arrived in Bangkok Thailand and stayed in a beautiful hostel, where they sold all sorts of awesome handmade products. I came across a piece of wood with an image printed on it. I took a photo of it, not knowing that this piece of wood would change my whole future. In Amsterdam I went back to work, in a skateshop where I worked for years and started experimenting with printing machines and different techniques. After a while I got hold of the technique and added the coating of the photo with gloss epoxy. This is how I started creating.
That sounds awesome. And when was the moment you figured that your product should be on the market?
This moment occurred because I started to get a lot of positive and enthusiastic reactions to my work and because I was looking for a way to make some extra money next to my former job. I started selling my first series on the Sunday Market in Amsterdam. The reactions I got on that day were so positive and pretty quickly I got requests from people to make custom work.
Where is your workplace located? Do you like it?
My workspace is located in a big warehouse in Amsterdam West, I got a hold of the place through a friend of mine. There are many other entrepreneurs having their workspace/office there and this results in a very nice and dynamic atmosphere. My studio isn’t very big but I have the possibility to do certain activities somewhere else in the warehouse.
What inspires you?
I got inspired a lot during my world trip but I realized that the images I shot there were maybe a little to personal to sell to a bigger audience. While visiting a friend of mine who is a photographer (Studio Aico) I came across the idea to make a serie of all sorts of edible exotic fishes at Groothandel Jan van As in Amsterdam West. Another inspiration source is the collection of the Rijksmuseum, called Rijksstudio, their online digital collection. I used some of these images and adjusted them so I could create works of my own.
How did the collaboration between you and Hutspot started?
At a certain moment I walked in Hutspot with some of my works and there I ran into both Store -Managers, who were enthusiastic right away. We agreed that I would hang some works for a month or so, but meanwhile that’s already 1,5 year ago and I’m still there. I got a beautiful wall downstairs in the Van Woustraat store and the sales and reactions have been great! Since not so long there is also a serie at Hutspot Rozengracht. What I really like about Hutspot is the combination of art/interior design/clothing etc. so there is a lovely mix of everything. What I like about the collaboration is that they give me the freedom to decide which works I want to hang and how I want to hang them.
What do you like the most about being your own boss?
The nicest part but also the most difficult part is that I have to make all the decisions myself. Most of the time I enjoy doing this but every now and then I miss a partner. The exciting part is the question whether I sold enough at the end of month, so I’m able to live from it.
What has been your biggest succes so far?
I find my collaboration with Hutspot pretty successful and the fact that the Bijenkorf has reached out to me to open a pop-up-shop during Sinterklaas and Christmas is also pretty awesome!
What would you advice anyone who wants to start their own business?
Work hard, but don’t over do it. Always start with the things you really want and you completely trust in yourself. Take a look at what you can do at once and take all possible barriers one by one.
Source: HUTSPOT INTERVIEWS http://www.hutspotamsterdam.com/
To see more of Martijn his work: https://instagram.com/stigerwoods/
Photography: Studio Aico (Aico Lind)