Esther Horchner is a Dutch illustrator. A few months back she designed and illustrated her “Naked Girl Tea Set” which became an overnight success, thanx to immense sharing and following in social media and gave her inspiration boost to create more fascinating work of art combining pottery and illustration. She illustrated a very delicate nude female figures inside each cup and cattle in such a way that they appear bathing or swimmmingh in tea. Esther along with Els ten Klooster and Maaike Burgers founded ‘Het Paradijs’ (‘The Paradise’), a shop and design studio in Arnhem, the Netherlands where they design their products with main focus on illustration. Here we showcase images of their much acclaimed tea set and some of their latest work with inputs from Esther:
I live in Arnhem, the Netherlands, it’s a 5 minutes walk from my home to the studio ‘Het Paradijs’, where I work together with my two colleagues Maaike and Els. We met at art school and almost directly discovered we shared the same interests in our work as well as our private lives and therefore found out the ability to work together. After graduating we set up our studio. After work we like to walk our dog ‘Fien’ (an Italian greyhound) in the park or nearby forest and have home-cooked dinners together.
For my graduation I designed illustrations on tea porcelain, the ‘Undressed Tea Set’. It was an immediate success, and had a great lift off from the moment we started our studio and the Tea Set went in production. It was a great way for us to get our work and studio known on an international scale. Social media was a great advantage for getting attention for our work, it was picked up so quickly and shared so often. We really benefit from it. It’s also a very direct way of getting feedback on your work.
With our illustrations we try to give everyday utensils a bit of extra flair. We usually design things we would like to have in our own homes, and apparently that works for our customers as well We tend to make illustrations with theme’s very close to our own lives, we are often surprised by funny daily situations that inspire us. We strive to give our illustrations a playful character, as we are optimistic and playful ourselves 😀
Style is not ‘creating’ a way of working, it’s a natural cause of working in a way that’s true to yourself. Often when you ‘try too hard’ the drawing will ends up ‘stiff’ and therefor boring. When we draw without expectations or even thinking, it turns out to be the best illustration. That’s probably the best way to develop ‘style’. A drawing is only finished when we are unanimously satisfied with it.
What equipment / supplies etc. do you mostly use and why?
We love craftsmanship, therefor we always draw with pen and ink or fine liner. Our favorite tool is a 0.05 mm(!) fine liner, made in Japan. It gives us the ability to work very precise and detailed. We are known for the delicate lines in our work.
That’s again our ‘Undressed Tea Set’, because of it’s great success. That’s also a great example of ‘effortless and natural drawing’; I just designed it because I wanted to create my own perfect porcelain, to drink tea with friends. It ended up being picked up by many international websites and blogs, what I could have never foreseen.
What would you call your biggest achievements, your future works, and inspirations etc.:
We always set up new goals for ourselves, to stay motivated, and until now, we always succeeded 😀 You can achieve anything, when you do it step by step. We haven’t published any books (yet), but who knows what the future will bring.
We are currently working on expanding our collection and our worldwide network of customers. To get inspiration for our new products, we visit flee markets on a weekly base. We love the colors and prints on old porcelain, old toys and book etc. And since we’re a team of 3, we can inspire each other, it’s great to work in a team with people ‘on the same level’!
Say something inspirational to young artists:
For anyone who draws themselves; aim to stay true to the way you would draw for yourself. That’s something we try to keep in mind as well.
With special thanx to ‘Masha Bakker’, the photographer of these images.
Note: All images used with permission. Please do not copy or distribute without the approval of the artist.