February 20, 2014
“I love to travel the world to visit cities and nature, but also love to return to Amsterdam where I feel at home”, says illustrator and designer Sanne Dikken. For her, Amsterdam is that small big city where there is always something coming up, only a short bike ride away.
How I came to live in Amsterdam? I was born and raised in Amsterdam. And so were my parents. Many of my friends came to live in Amsterdam when they started their studies here, but I never had the need to move out of this great city. Why is Amsterdam a great city? It has everything you could ask for, ranging from shops to museums and from entertainment to enlightenment. It has beautiful buildings, canals, parks, a river and even a forest. Compared to many other capitals, it is relatively small and flat, which makes it ideal for bike riding.
I love to travel the world to visit cities and nature, but also love to return to Amsterdam where I feel at home. On my bike I can easily find everything I need. However, when the weather is bad, I prefer to use the public transport system.
Because I lived here all my life I know Amsterdam inside out, but it never gets boring. There are always new initiatives that make the city dynamic. I am happy to see the emergence of new (little) original designer shops, which sell products of local creative people. I like to discover cozy spots for coffee and lunch all over Amsterdam who use fair trade and biological products as much as possible.
When my father was a student, he lived around the corner from a traditional whole-wheat bakery called Hartog. He liked their bread for its taste, but since he started to row, he got really fond of their nutritious and healthy bread. Afterwards, he and my mother became regular customers. They raised me with this bread. Sometimes I begged them for a change in bread (white rolls for instance). Nowadays it is among my favorite types of bread. I like the traditional way the bread is made. A few years ago, the bakery opened a shop around its corner, where you can buy a sandwich, have a cup of fresh coffee or a piece of pastry. Chairs and tables are available for anyone (not only customers) to consume their lunch. While enjoying your fresh products, you can see the baking process. I am happy to see that this bakery respects tradition, remains ‘small’ and personal in this world of mass consumption. I prefer to use traditional methods in my work too.
In my daily live, I am an illustrator. In my designs, animals and nature are my favorite subjects. My preferred techniques for my designs are drawing, painting and screen printing. One thing I love about illustration are the different techniques and the wide range of products. My products are not limited to postcards, birth announcement cards and new year cards, but already extend to pillows and porcelain brooches.