Artist Feature: Fleur Moerenhout

by Nisha Btesh July 25, 2019

Artist Feature:  Fleur Moerenhout

Tell us about how you became the woman you are today. Where did you grow up? What moments in life have influenced your character most?

Well, first of all, I am actually quite young. I just turned 20 years old and I am just starting to sell prints and illustrations on a more regular basis. I am from the Netherlands, from a smaller town called Breda. When I was 18 I moved out to Rotterdam and I studied for 2 years fine arts in the Willem de Kooning academy. This year I am having a gap year because I was not that happy with my study anymore. I found it too concept focused and too free and vague. I wanted to have more structure, to learn more techniques and really have the feeling I am learning something. (A feeling I had not in the last 2 years, or not as much as should be in a study I think). In this gap year, I went to Mexico for 6 months. A really special and cool experience. I learned a lot about myself and also about selling art. For two months-long I was selling my art every Saturday in a park with a lot of local artists. This was super fun to do because you have really direct contact with people about your art. This also opened the door for me to sell on a more regular basis. 

Now I am back in the Netherlands and I am going back to the same academy but in a different direction: Arts & Crafts. Like the name already tells, it's more focused on art craft and techniques. I think I get more fulfillment out of this study and I am really excited to start. Also in Mexico, I learned that I found art crafts and artisanal works may be more interesting than really avant-garde art that is going on right now. So I guess this study suits me well.

Tell us about the exact moment or period in time when you realized you were born to create.

When I was searching for what study to do. So I looked 2 times for a study and both times I also had a look to university studies for example in history, but in the end, the only thing that I really want to keep myself busy with for 4 years is art. Nothing triggers me as much.

Name 3 of your guilty pleasures.

 Watching Disney and animation movies, reading my child books over and over again, snacking chocolate before going to sleep.

Tell us a little bit about what drew you to your medium. Did you choose to work with this medium or did it choose you?

I am still really searching for and trying out a lot of materials. On my Instagram, you see mostly illustrations and paintings. Drawing I can always do because I love that the material is so small and accessible. It's an amazing feeling to create something with just a simple fine-liner and a piece of paper. Especially while traveling you can still always bring and do this and I love that. I also love to paint but I have to be in the mood for that. Especially when I am having a lot of emotions and thoughts, I like to make expressive big paintings.

What do you know for sure?

That we are all going to die.

A lot of women believe they need formal training in order to succeed as a female Artist. What’s your take? Did you have formal education or are you self taught?

No, I don't think it's necessary. I met more people in my life that were full-time artists that didn't study art at all. Most people I met with an education in the art are still having side jobs. Which is, of course totally fine but just to explain that I think it's not necessary. 

Finish this sentence. I find myself most inspired to create when I am…

 Back from holiday or an interesting day trip. Also in the morning when I had a nice morning routine and a good sleep.

What do you want the younger female artists coming up behind you to know about you, your journey, and the art industry in general?

Listen to yourself and don't be too harsh to yourself. Make what makes you happy, not what is cool or what a lot of people like. Have the courage to be different. 

Let's talk about vulnerability. What role has being vulnerable played in your work, success or failures?

It's still in process. It can be scary when people ask were a drawing or painting is about because most of the time it's super personal. But people like to have some background information about your work and what is means to you. Now I often write a little story with a work or I just try to say it all in the title. In this way I can open up a little more about what it means but it doesn't feel too vulnerable to me. 

What is the message you're sending into the universe with your work? Why do you feel so strongly about this message?

To slow down in this fast-moving world. Everything changes so fast and with our mobiles and all the digital developments, there is not that much focus anymore. People are so used to fast-moving information that watching a long movie, reading a book, or having a conversation without phones on the table is more and more difficult. I think that is a shame and it is dangerous to lose that focus and mindfulness. That is why I like to make work that is really focused on the physical and aesthetic aspect. Making a lot of details that need the focus. I slow down when I make work and I hope people have the same kind of experience while looking at my work. Too lose their self a little bit into it and forget about their phone or other distractions. That is also why I like more is more in my work. A lot to look at and I lot of new things to discover.  

What is the biggest challenge you've faced as a female artist?

The fact that I make female-looking art. I feel like I was taken less seriously sometimes than my male classmates. Because I already look girly and I was young and than I was also making really female looking art. I tried to make more raw and minimalist male looking art but that is just not me. I am a female and I am making female art. But that is not less good than male looking art. Although often people associate it with naive or childish, maybe even kitsch. So sometimes its still hard to embrace that but I am working on it.

What is your biggest focus and/or goal in your career right now? What plans do you have for yourself 1,3,5 years from now?

My biggest goal is to really have my own art company/atelier and that I can sell my work online but also in a physical store. I would love to have a store and decorate it all in my style and sell my work there and have cool conversations with people when they visit. When it's calm, It's also not a problem, I will be working on something in the back of the store were I would have a worktable. I totally have the image in mind haha.

What's the best advice you've ever been given?

That changes so often but recently: Nothing is good, nothing is bad, It's all perspective.

Big or small, what’s the single best money making tip or piece of advice you can share with up and coming artists?

Make a price list and stick to it. I read this on Instagram and it is so true. Asking money for your work is so scary, especially because often the first buyers are people you know. But it's so dangerous to under-price yourself or always giving friend-prices. I think if you start that, it's a really hard circle to get out from. Just take yourself seriously. See it as a business, every business has real prices, so you can also ask for real prices if you want your art to be a business.

What tools, apps, websites, blogs, books, or podcasts help you the most when it comes to financials?

Till now I have sold somethings with Instagram but besides that only in real life. Instagram is so booming now and It's harder and harder to stand out it in that. So I am also still searching for this.

Give us three of your favorite/ most inspiring things right now. Could be a book, a food, a destination, a song, a person, etc.

1-A song/album: A sky of honey from Kate Bush. If I could just listen to one song for the rest of my life it would be this. I love the layers, I love the flow, it's just so beautiful and I always get inspiration from it.

2- The artcrafts in Mexico. I fell in love with those. If you are in Mexico-city please go the museo artes populares. Its amazing!

3- Some people I follow on instagram @cafeinacoli @neeltjegeurtsen @franki_e and so much moreee. These are people that have achieved the goal I am looking for and I found it so cool to see how they work.

 Finish this sentence. I never leave home without my…

headphones!




Nisha Btesh
Nisha Btesh

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