How did you become an art director?
I was destined to be a politician by my parents and started political sciences at Uni at 16. But when I got of age… I decided to live on my own terms.
Art school seemed so much more fun.
What are key characteristics an art director needs to succeed?
Endless Curiosity. Endless Creativity. Endless ideas.
Do you think the “male gaze" is a myth?
No it’s a ( normal ) fact.
You can't expect a man to see things in a woman like a woman.
What was the first shoot you ever art directed?
Hmm, I think it was for a Hermes perfume… a toptoptop model completely wrapped in red Hermes ribbon… fun to do.
What do you love most about this Industry?
Meeting extraordinary people, travelling to awesome places, shooting crazy stuff sometimes. Laughing a lot. And creation of course.
What do you hate most about this Industry?
All those creatives and advertisers who think they are God.
We are just little hands of God…. Let’s keep humble. Nice. Polite.
So many of us are really insufferable …
If you would start out now what would you be doing, how would you go about it// who would you work with and where would you be aiming?
If I started all over again now, I would go to med school.
I am really a Dr House freak. Or archeology school. Or interior decoration school. Or write novels. Or direct commercials…
There are so many things I would love to do.
Statistics show that less than 1 in 12 of the big money jobs i.e. Womenswear-, Beauty-and Perfume Campaigns (aiming at women)are shot by women. For example, in the last 10years (2009-2019)
100 covers in 10 years
0 shot by a female photographer alone
33 shot by the duo including a woman -- Inez & Vinoodh
77 shot by men
120 covers in 10 years
1 shot by a female photographer
3 shot by a duo including a woman – Inez & Vinoodh
119 shot by men
120 covers in 10 years
3 shot by female photographers
5 shot by a duo including a woman – Inez&Vinoodh
112 shot by men (83 were shot by Steven Meisel alone)
TheTop5 photography agencies in the world only represent 5 women out of 37photographers represented. Is there just no qualified female image makers out there?
There are so many women in this industry !
I think women are rising now.
They are respected film-makers ( like Kathryn Bigelow who treated war subjects who are usually given to men ) … Celebrated photographers ( Bettina Rheims, or Annie Leibovitz )… And in the day to day less famous female photography, a lot of young women work : Ana Iram, Betina du Toit, Camilla Akrans, Catherine Louis, Cecy Young… but yes, probably not enough.
What would need to change in your opinion to get more women shooting the big money jobs?
Probably more confidence in our capabilities. We women are very drawn to judge ourselves too harshly, we need to convince ourselves we CAN do it.
We have more BALLS than men often.
What do you think about the claim that creative authority on set is more often found in men?
Blabla. Our authority is just more natural than men’s.
One says it takes 10’000 hours to become a master of a craft, how long inhours/days/years did it take you to make a living?
It depends what kind of living… but from the first day I would say ?
Who is your female fashion image maker icon and who is your the one to watch?
I don’t have icons. I admire some image makers but not because they are female. I think some famous couple fashion photographers are interesting like Inez & Vinoodh because they balance each other.
I like Bettina Reims also in the sexualized way she sees women.
Who is your female fashion designer icon and who is your the one to watch?
Stella McCartney for commitment with beautiful style.
What do you look for in an image maker?
An open mind on top of his or her talent.
A beautiful image is always the result of team work with the art direction.
How important is it how an image maker behaves towards their team?
Crucial. Who wants to team up with an impolite bully !
Since #metoo has there been a noticeable shift of behavior on sets? If so how?
Personally, I never had any problems with men on set or in work.
I suppose men are more careful now? But I think it makes relationships more artificial now.. people are scared to stay natural.
What do you say about the charge that all fashion imagery is predominantly sexist?
I think its a feminist point of view. I don’t agree.
There is a big surge of feminism at the moment - do you think that will affect Fashion and Beauty Imagery?
There was enormous sexism before the sixties in advertising and imagery. Since then, feminism has been going on and off. It’s a trendy topic today, so yes it will probably affect fashion and Beauty imagery.
What was your relation to fashion & beauty prior to working in this industry? Has it changed?
I was reading my mom’s Vogue at 8 and loved every image. I am a huge fashion and beauty addict. The only thing that changed really, is that I went into beauty advertising only in 2010. Before that, I did everything but beauty.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you were ever given and what advice would you have wished for earlier on in your career?
Stay yourself.Its your view of things that’s important, your talent. Don’t copy anyone else. No one detains the truth, because there is no truth.
What is your next big project or goal for your career?
Direct my commercials.
Is there anything in particular you'd like to accomplish?
Live healthy and beautiful to a 100.