Sunday, October 16, 2011

Interview with Luzelle van der Westhuizen of Mengsel Design


I’m from Cape Town, South Africa. Moved to London 5 years ago and live with my husband near Wimbledon in South West London. I have a degree in Jewelry Design and after working for various other designers, I decided to venture out on my own. My jewelry has always been very graphic and two dimensional, so printmaking and illustration was a natural step for me. Looking back, I now realize how much I as drawn to print from a very early age.

Why do you like to print?

It is addictive! I love playing around with colours. The thing with silkscreen printing is that the quality of the ink on the paper is something that is hard to replicate with digital and every piece is unique. I really enjoy the physicality and the technique behind it. Coming from a jewelry background, it was easy for me to find my groove in another type of workshop/studio environment.

What is your favorite print medium and why?

Definitely silkscreen printing. I love the graphic effect and the bright , bold colours and shapes that can be achieved with this technique.

How long have you been printing and how has your work evolved?

I’ve only been printing for less than 2 years. I completed a short course of 3 evening classes in silkscreen printing a year and a half ago at the East London Printmakers Studio and after that I was hooked. After finding a printing studio closer to my home, I joined and started printing and experimenting. I would say that most of my printmaking progress has been trial and error and I feel that I’m now at the stage where I’m getting very comfortable and that I get the results that I want. I still have more to learn though! There’s ALWAYS more to learn.

What inspires you?

I’m mostly inspired by geometric and hand-drawn patterns, as well as African and Scandinavian design. Beautiful vintage objects and graphic typography are also very inspiring. I find a lot of inspiration by going to old, specialist bookstores that sell rare books and prints, like Sotheran’s of Sackville Street. It is really great to live in a city like London and just go out exploring with my sketchbook.

How do your promote your work?

I have my own blog, where I enjoy sharing my work process and I always include promotions like discounts and giveaways, which I also post on Twitter and Facebook. My Etsy shop is also advertised on leading design blogs, such as Bloesem, Pikaland and Print and Pattern. So far, I’ve been lucky with others bloggers writing about my work frequently.

Are you working on any particular projects now?

[Last spring I participated in a] pop-up shop with Curate 40 at the Notting Hill store of Pedlars. Also more work for Heal’s and a few new print designs for my Etsy shop.

Tell us one random fact about yourself

Afrikaans is my first language.

Check out Luzelle's Etsy Shop and Website


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Anonymous said...

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Peter Batchelor said...

I am trying to find a former student of mine from Capetown. He is an architect and his name is Diaan VanDerWesthuizen. Are you related?
Peter Batchelor
Emeritus Professor of Arcitecture and Urban Design