The intricate world of Rosa de Jong
The beauty of Amsterdam-based artist and designer Rosa de Jong’s work lies not only in her infinite creativity but also in her intricate, creative, and perfect execution.
Art and design come in a variety of shapes and forms, some big, some small, and some confined in a miniature glass container. Hand-crafted to perfection, the miniature and intricate worlds of artist and designer Rosa de Jong include natural elements, vertical houses, and skyscrapers fitted in small test tubes ready to be admired and ready to leave you wondering how on earth does she do it. But miniature worlds are not all this Amsterdam-based creative does, Rosa’s breadth of work spans from visual design and illustrations, to product design, animation and art direction.
Having studied for commercial art direction and working for a few agencies, Rosa decided to go freelance and enjoy the amazing experience of working with her own clients. The beauty of Rosa’s work lies not only in her infinite creativity but also in her execution. Most of her projects usually involve a lot of making and working with hands which not only gives a sense of authenticity to everything she does but truly makes her happy.
Rosa brings a fresh take to everything she does. For her, each project needs to tell a real story not only to set it apart from the crowd but to make every piece of work completely personal and authentic. DesignWanted interviewed Rosa de Jong and learned more about her incredible work, her miniature worlds, and what lies ahead.
Who is Rosa de Jong? How did the journey for byRosa begin?
Rosa de Jong: “I am Rosa de Jong, born and raised in Amsterdam on a sailing ship. When I was 16 I left school early to start a study in art direction. After this, I started working in the advertising industry where I soon became aware that unfortunately there is always a lack of money and therefore time, in advertising.
So after a year of trying it in the advertising industry, I started working for my own clients. First together with Clien Wintzen (good friend and brainstorm partner I met at the academy for art direction), later on my own.”
Why byRosa, why focusing on design, art direction and animation?
Rosa de Jong: “Ultimately I feel like I’ve found the job everyone dreams of. I do what I love to do, and I am able to manage my own time, which is such a luxury really (and a burden sometimes..). I enjoy the challenge that comes with a commercial brief, trying to create something perfectly fitting to the client’s needs, something we both think works. Everything that is left besides this, I put into my own projects.
I enjoy constantly developing myself. I might be able to make more money if I worked at a company, but that definitely would not make my life any better than it is now. I once read a quote by Annie Dillard: “How you spend your days is how you spend your life”, so with this in mind the ultimate goal is to just enjoy my days I guess.”
Your creations approach a wide range of clients from a chocolate bar design to a cosmetic brand identity and a music video concept, design, and animation. Which designers are you inspired or influenced by? What other fields and inputs outside of the design world provide you inspiration?
Rosa de Jong: “Ha, thanks for noticing the wide range of work, I am especially proud of that. I can’t say I am inspired by anyone specific. I have multiple good friends that work in the same field (sort of) and inspire me, and my partner is also creative so I think those are most important.
Outside of these friends, inspiration can be found everywhere. I like to collect as much information as possible about everything.“
The ‘Chocography’ project comes from the idea of imagining how an alphabet could taste. What is the message you want to convey through your works?
Rosa de Jong: “That depends on the work. I always strive for a certain level of quality, preciousness. I guess what I want for all of my work is to get people’s attention. But who doesn’t?
Although I have a strong opinion on anything most of the time, I don’t want to ‘lecture’ people (not that sending a message is lecturing perse).”
If you are interested in visual narrative, check The captivating visual narrative of Atelier Avéus.
If you had unlimited budget and resources: what is a project you would develop? What would it look like?
Rosa de Jong: “Aaah such a hard question! I’m afraid I do not really have an exciting answer. So far all things I have made where made in a small studio or at home, I would love to go bigger. But I am not sure what that would mean.
I have a project on the shelf for a while and I am not sure how to continue for now, how to take it to the next level.”
Rosa de Jong: “I have more but this is all I have online. I love how it’s sort of…uncomfortable? But as I said, not sure how to make it a finished work.”
For the ‘On The Day’ music video you collaborated with Clien Wintzen and Frank Leeman. If you had the chance to collaborate with any designer or creative, who would it be? And what would you work on together?
Rosa de Jong: “Hm I must admit, although I don’t think I am a bad team player, I enjoy working on my own the best. Sometimes I do miss another opinion that’s as involved as mine, but most of the time I rather just do what I think is best. I’ve found that discussing work costs a lot of time. Also, I really enjoy closing off from everything and getting into my head and workflow.”
byRosa has an ongoing project with the ‘Micro Matter’ series, what is the next step for the studio?
Rosa de Jong: “Well we just had a daughter 5 months ago, so at the moment I am too busy focussing on her and how to combine work and our little family. Still haven’t figured that out yet, so I am not ready for a new big project yet. I do feel like it’s time to surprise myself again, so hopefully, I will figure out how to make the most of all my time in a few months.”
For a visual designer sketches are fundamental, check our article on the topic The meaning of sketches in today’s design world.