Rebecca Verstraete Interior
How do you feel after graduation?
It’s a very weird moment. It’s a mix of feelings, being happy, proud of myself and reliving that this journey got a conclusion, which is beautiful but also a big question mark.
After graduation we are in some state of ‘in-between’ right now, so what do you consider home at this moment?
Personally, I always wondered if a place I would consider home and being here in Antwerp for the past five years, made me realize that in a way I will never have this geographical home. But I will have people that I will feel at home with. Right now, I feel that my atelier is my home, it’s a safe place, but at the same time my atelier is a black hole in space, it can be moved anywhere. I learned that my atelier has to be in another space than my house. It became very complicated to combine living habits and the mess of being creative. Now I’m doing ceramics, and I go to the studio, even when there are no lessons. It has something healing, keeping me connected to the school and the people there. But my home now has a few people in my life and my atelier.
You said you have to divide living and working space, do you feel less creative at home?
In the past two years with Covid, I realized that I was working most of the time from home, it was the same space all the time. My creative mess was all over my apartment, on my cookies and my dog. It limited my imagination, because I need to move, I need to travel, see now places, meet different people, eat different food. So, I started constantly to rearrange my living space so it would look differently, I know it sound stupide but mentally it helped me a lot.
If you could give advice to students who are just now starting an art education, what would you tell them?
I honestly don’t know, now when the journey is over, I only now feel actually ready to start it. When I started, I wasn’t ready, I was 19, all my classmates were older, and they already did another university. I feel like I should have done the same, but if I think further, it was the right decision, I think I had to make my mistakes. In my first two years I didn’t know where I wanted to go, and I’m still looking for this answer. So, I don’t know what advice I could give. Maybe own your mistakes, don’t regret them and don’t think that you’re there or you found the answers after graduation, because that is actually the beginning.
Since you are a designer and To Be is more an art event, do you feel there should be a division between art and design?
I would like to achieve the merge of those two. There are a lot of brands that focus on that, but I think it can merge and not merge in a very dynamic way. There are things that need to be functional. For example, when you want to feel comfortable, I don’t want an artistic piece, I want a simple hoody. I think art and design are not always connected and they don’t need to be. Sometimes I compare it to architecture or interior design, because it needs to function but it’s also art. What I like about it is that you give function to an art piece. It makes the whole process more challenging, because of the functional element, it needs to move, it needs to be comfortable and that challenge fascinates me.