What To Do... Irene Hoofs {Bloesem}

Our What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do series continues today with a peek into the life of a fellow blogger, Irene Hoofs who runs both Bloesem and Bloesom Kids. Let's see what the lovely Irene has to say about how she found her calling through blogging...

Irene when I first met you, you were a graphic designer and Bloseom was more of an extra project of yours. But things have changed. What is your current career?

Actually that is a very difficult question? but I like to think of myself as a professional blogger. I write about crafts, design, art and all other beautiful things in life. Previously I worked as a graphic and web designer. And in a ?former life? I was a banker.

How do you think someone can find their spot in the world of design -- you know, their true calling?

Follow your heart. Just do what you like to do. That is easier said than done but don?t be afraid of what others might say or think. If you don?t know exactly what it is that you like or want to do perhaps start by looking at other people?s work, and discover the things that make you happy, smile or just give you a positive feeling. A notebook might help with that. Soon you will discover a pattern of things and or activities you are drawn to most. Chances are that this is what you should do yourself as well. If you have to follow a course to learn how to ?create? then go for it, if you just want to start practicing yourself then that is also fine. Trial and error worked for me and is great fun, although it can be frustrating at times. As long as you experience joy in what you do or create that?s the most important step, and people will notice. And they will start appreciating you and your work just because they will see you are doing something with passion.

Pro blogging can sometimes feel very alone, just you and your computer. Most of your readers you will never meet. What about those out there who do not want to work alone everyday?

Don?t be afraid to work ?alone?, I think that is what you have to do at first, it is difficult to create something together if it has to come from your own heart, your inner person and expresses your feelings. Once your ?creation? is finished you can start collaborating with somebody, perhaps sharing the business side of things, selling, marketing etc. But start by being just you and by yourself, put on some music, watch your favorite show or enjoy the silence. This worked for me.

Do you feel that you found your calling and if so, how did you get there?

I definitely feel that I found mine, finally. I started while living in NY with my husband. With no work permit I spent my days by exploring the city and discovering shops in NY (not much budget so only window-shopping). Initially I was so overwhelmed by all the inspiration that NYC had to offer I was not quite sure what to do, although I had in the back of my mind the idea of starting something for myself. So I bought a camera, took a huge amount of pictures of everything I found interesting, made a journal and after doing this for a couple of weeks I knew what I wanted to do (or at least thought I knew), I decided to create my own line of stationery.

Why wasn't stationery design your calling?

It proved quite a struggle and the whole production process was very intense and time consuming. I just wanted to create things. The whole production side of things was just not me. So gradually I moved from stationery design to graphic design and learned how to design and build websites. I just wanted to become completely ?self-sustainable? I guess. Doing something with crafts and design was always on my mind, and I realized I was not quite there where I wanted to be .so the search continued. During the following years I did all sorts of freelance projects, even got a part-time job at a photography agency in Amsterdam.

How did you get into blogging?

After discovering some beautiful design blogs (including yours, Holly), it all seemed to come together. My love for design and crafts as well as my interest in graphic and web design, so I thought this could be it. I think blogging is what I was supposed to do all along, surrounded by art and design all day and with a window to the world to write about my passions and ideas. Doing the web design for my two blogs, and last but not least, some do-it-yourself projects once in a while.

Do you have any extra thoughts that may benefit decor8 readers today?
I believe someone once said, very appropriately actually, ?Go confidently in the direction of your dreams? live the life you?ve imagined?. Looking back, perhaps unconsciously, I took the plunge in NY and although it took a few years to find my direction, I can certainly recommend it!

(image top: altered by me, original photo by Ez at Creature Comforts.)