Gabrielle Vermeij Customer Spotlight 2017-01-24T21:35:47+00:00

Gabriëlle Vermeij

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Gabriëlle Vermeij is an art director and photographer based in the Netherlands. She helps her clients capture creative visions and translate them into tangible objects, such as brochures and websites.

Gabriëlle chose Avada as the theme to help communicate her creative edge to her potential clients. She’s taken the time out of her busy creative schedule to answer a few questions about her life, business, and Avada portfolio.

Let’s meet Gabriëlle!

Introducing Gabriëlle Vermeij

Q: What inspired you to pursue design and photography as a career?

I’ve been creative for as long as I can remember. As a child, I was always drawing and painting.

When it came time to choose a career, I actually started out to become an architect! I was also curious about buildings, and how cities were created. But now, design and photography have captured my heart.

Q: What is your biggest challenge as a solo designer and photographer?

As a discipline, design never stands still. As an art director, I am constantly developing. There is always something new – trends, tools, technologies, theories, inspiration!

The biggest challenge for me is to maintain a healthy balance between my work and my private life, because I really love my work. I get wrapped up in my assignments and personal projects, and all those new concepts that are constantly changing.

I spend all my free time trying to improve my skills – design and photography. Even when I’m travelling, I focus on photography. It’s also important for me to focus on taking more time to let myself breath, meet up with friends, do power-yoga, or take a walk in nature to unwind and find a different kind of inspiration.

Recently I listened to an inspiring TED Talk by Stefan Sagmeister about the power of time off. He discusses the overlooked value of time off. Every seven years he closes his New York studio for a year sabbatical to refresh his creative outlook. I want to find my version of that.

Q: What is your favorite part of the job?

Working in the creative industry comes with real passion and gives you a real sense of satisfaction. You are creating something, going through a process to produce something tangible.

As an art director my favorite part of the job is creating a vision, which defines the tone, style, mood, and emotion that should be conveyed. I love the feeling that comes when I can inspire my clients to see things from a different perspective they hadn’t thought of before.

Inspiration is important to me. I always want to be inspired by the content of an assignment. I love to get lost in design problems and discover a surprising solution.

Vermeij Design

Q: Who are your usual clients for design and photography?

My clients vary from architects, consultancy for education, shipping companies, and galleries, to name a few.

Q: What is the most common way that you find clients, and how does your website help you to acquire new clients?

Most of my clientele comes from word of mouth and existing relationships. My website helps me show (rather than have to tell) my skills when building these new relationships.

Q: When working on a new project, what keeps you inspired with fresh ideas and perspective?

Over the years, I’ve learned that every time I start a new creative project I must allow it time to take form.

When I get stuck, I have to accept moments of non-productivity and take a break to go for a walk to clear my mind. Sometimes, I call a friend and talk about it. I am often tackling multiple projects at once, so I can switch from one to the other to help keep my mind fresh.

I seek inspiration from all sorts of sources: the internet, reading art history books, listening to music, daydreaming. It’s important to observe other people, I am always inspired by their stories.

Q: What is the most interesting client project you’ve ever had to work on?

Every project changes, so you must be open minded and become curious about the content for the assignment. It’s always a new experience that helps you to learn and grow.

That said, I can’t hide my interest in architecture, so when you ask for my favorite project, it has to be the design for a corporate brochure for an architectural firm. The collaboration was an stimulating process. We developed this concept about how people within the firm think differently – dreamers, thinkers, and doers. Each came with their own perspective, so we identified how they work together when developing projects.

I translated this development process into their brochure by using lines from poetry combined with striking photography on each page. This provided an intriguing image, while leaving space open for the curiosity and imagination of the reader.

Q: Where is the most outlandish place your work has taken you?

It wasn’t directly related to work, but a journey for inspiration. I took an adventure to Nepal and Tibet; especially enjoying the trip back from Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour via the Everest Base Camp.

Getting lost in overwhelmingly beautiful nature without my computer – exploring totally different cultures and meeting new people – really freed me from feeling cooped up by sitting at a desk to do my work.

Delving Into the Portfolio

Q: When you chose Avada as your theme, what was the biggest selling point for you?

I chose Avada because I wanted to learn to build my own websites instead of only designing them. Today, design and technology are merging more closely with prototyping and development, often during the design phase.

I loved the minimal design and all the design options and features. The combination of the visual page builder with the possibility to incorporate custom CSS is something that I really liked. For me that was the moment to start learning more about CSS3 and HTML5.

I also spend a lot of time on the Avada Support Forum to learn from all the questions and answers from the Avada support team, which is really helpful.

Q: When considering which pieces to feature, what elements are you looking to highlight from your talents and skills, and how do you ensure these show through in your online portfolio?

My portfolio is meant to put an emphasis on my photography and web design.

I wanted it to build a mood and atmosphere that sets the creative tone when showing a potential client my work, while of course highlighting my talent and skill.

Q: Your Avada website has a very clean, uncluttered feel while being rich with eye-catching photographs and clean typography. When building your website, what design properties are most important to you?

The hardest person to design for is yourself!

In this case, I wanted to show off my personal tastes while sticking to my branding and implementing the type of attention I give to my client’s projects.

For my portfolio I wanted to define a strong and clear concept, with a stylish and elegant aesthetic.

Looking Forward

Q: Going into 2017, where do you hope to take your design and photography business?

I believe that creativity is stimulated by collaboration with other creatives. I’d like to do more of that this year, with people from all over the globe. Hopefully I’ll be able to inspire them with my own design and photography in return.

Beyond that, I’d really like to start working with magazines and brands regarding visual concepts with photography.

Q: How do you expect your Avada portfolio will help you achieve these goals?

I expect that my portfolio will help establish me as a creative worth collaborating with!

Conclusion

Putting together a strong online portfolio helps sell you and your work to potential customers. It is particularly important when your work relies on your ability to create strong visuals! The way Gabriëlle has handled her web design with Avada is elegant and graceful, putting a brilliant spotlight on her strengths as an art director and photographer. We are excited to continue to work with Gabriëlle as she builds the perfect portfolio in order to work towards her collaborative goals this year.

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