Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with artist Wendy Buiter. She shares with us her insights as an artist and business woman and how she continues to create unique and inspired pieces of art.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a Dutch artist living in Rotterdam, a metropolitan city in the Netherlands. I am a single mother with two children, four and six years old. Twelve years ago, I founded a company in a niche market in cosmetics and fashion; a booking/staffing agency with an extensive academy. After successfully managing this company for years, it was time to pursue another dream; as a businesswoman/entrepreneur developing a profitable brand making and selling custom art pieces!
2. What prompted you to create a collection of illustrations?
I have been drawing and painting ever since I was a little girl. When I began as a full time artist, I created many works on stretched linen canvas with acrylic and oil paints. I ultimately wanted to create fashionable art and discovered that using a wide range of mediums on a large, heavy paper gave me the look of which I was searching. This resulted in the creation of my signature style. I think my illustrations are an extension of myself, playful and inspired by contemporary haute couture and fashion photography, depicting elegant, yet powerful women who exude confidence.
3. What is the process like creating an illustration? How long does one painting usually take?
My head is filled with ideas for new works and series of works. I always start by making a selection of the images I feel like creating. If I am inspired by a particular photograph then I allow the image to resonate in my mind, giving my creativity some space to interpret this image. The art that I create, is really a reflection of ‘me’ and how I see the world in a fabulous way!
I work with many different mediums such as crayons, watercolors, acrylic paint, and markers. Working with all these different mediums together makes a really nice and interesting structure.
Usually I work for 1-3 hours on a large 70x100cm painting. Sometimes I put the piece away for some time to finish it later. Working longer does not necessarily mean the work is better, sometimes my best work is created in just 45 minutes!
4. What kind of places did you travel to internationally to get your biggest inspirations for your art?
I used to work as a flight attendant in my early and mid-twenties for some years so I travelled internationally often and was fortunate enough to see many different places in the world, other cultures and meet so many people. Paris will always be my favorite city. I just love the sophisticated atmosphere. I am drawn to and inspired by the art and fashion of the city of lights.
5. Why is fashion and beauty the center of your focus? What makes it so interesting to you?
I am innately drawn to beauty, partly from my background as a make-up artist. I am attracted to cosmetics, make-up and beauty images. I just love to create a gorgeous face with the features that we all are so drawn to and always linked to fashion with a touch of luxury. I think this is what my fans are just as attracted to also, they love the images I create because it’s what they desire, want to have, want to be like! I also have a lot of men in my fanbase that love my creations, so although my art depicts women it also appeals to men.
I show my students at the Make-Up Academy a movie titled The Miracle of Face | What’s Beauty?. It is about the golden ratio and about eyes and lips etc. everything that makes us attractive to others.
6. How would you describe your own style and how is it incorporated into your work?
I would describe my style as playful, bold, vibrant, feminine, charming with a touch of luxury. My beauties reflect confidence, independence and razor sharp style. They embody the power of global femininity and their versatility to transform from basic beauty to bombshell.
7. What is your biggest challenge as an artist and creator of your own business?
Growing a profitable business making and selling art! Also, I want to fascinate people with my art and trigger their own creative side. I want to pass on my knowledge to others so they can do what they love and I can guide them on their path of being a successful artist. To do so I have begun to share my experiences, my business acumen, and my knowledge through downloadable guides, books, and online courses. Aspiring artists can learn from my mistakes and find inspiration from my personal journey. Most artists are very creative, but business wise there is room for growth. I want to offer insights on how to be a commercially, driven, goal-oriented, savvy business women.
8. If you could make a painting to hang in any celebrity’s home, who would it be and what would the painting look like?
Leonardo DiCaprio, definitely! I know he is a huge art lover and keen collector of fine art, but he is also a very active environmentalist. In addition to being a successful actor, he is an advocate for animal rights and environmental issues. As a vegan for years myself I support his active role in this world endeavor and I believe he is an important role model. I would love to see my painting “eye for Fashion” in Leo’s home. I hope he reads this and will call me soon to come and get it! 😉
9. What message are you trying to portray through your paintings? How do you do so?
I want people to ‘feel’ and experience fashion, beauty, and sophistication through my paintings. I want my artworks to bring joy every time the owner gazes at it hanging in their home.
10. Where do you want the Wendy Buiter brand to be in 5 years? 10 years?
I want my brand to be internationally recognized, a household name. Ultimately, I would love for respected galleries to showcase my work. I would also love to collaborate with high-end interior designers including Eric Kuster, Phillip Stark or Piet Boon. I want my art displayed as decoration in private residences, fine restaurants, and boutique style hotels. In terms of fashion, I would welcome the opportunity to partner with brands such as Dior, Chanel, Prada, Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta, Giambattista Valli and others!
I’m dreaming of a white city-style mansion/villa where I can have my atelier to work on my art, my gallery and where I can live with my children.
I also want to inspire and coach other artist so that they can pursue their dreams just like I have done.
I have a goal, I have a plan and I’m working on it every single day!