Next week I’m turning 23. Already 3 years in my twenties… I will never wine about 'getting old' whatsoever and it might sound silly but these last years I feel like mountains have shifted. Still, nothing is very clear in my life but I’m getting there, I guess. At least I can see the blueprint vaguely.
When I was 16, I had it all figured out and I assumed myself to be a full-grown woman. That idea alone puts a smile on my face right now. But on the other hand, it sort of makes sense as well. I got caught by love and I’m talking about the real mambo jambo. Not some artificial fling. The kind of blissful psychosis where everything just makes sense. It even made me loose my grip over my own actions sometimes. Intense, passionate but at the same time a destructive inferno. Somewhere along the way, we lost our core. Something that flourished so beautifully just faded. Until it was non-existing. Hardest thing I ever had to do so far. Letting go and breaking out. That was a serious game changer. First time in my life I felt totally alone. I was on my own. What was my plan again? That was the beginning of my quest. My big quest for identity.
I must admit, it was a rocky road from time to time, that you can say. At least. Maybe I’m not proud of every decision I made but I convince myself, no, actually I truly believe, that they were all necessary steps to find where I was looking for...
I was fed up with thinking, I wanted to do. So I started experimenting with all kinds of occupations. That brought me back to something I have always loved doing but that I had to put on the sideline for several years (due to all kind of circumstances): expressing myself in front of a camera. Looking back at my childhood pictures I always had the urge to act out when a camera was around. Maybe I’ll share some of the highlights with you later on :). Not totally planned out, things started to push me back in this direction. It has never been my goal to become a ‘model’. I love to satellite different emotions as clear as possible and to do it in my own way. But the best part of it all is creating a symbiotic bound with people sharing this same passion.
These series were shot in Amsterdam by the great Simon Cornils. In my opinion I think he did a terrific job capturing me in a way I recognize myself. It’s so easy to put on a mask and to be somebody else, as well in life as in front of a camera. The hardest part is opening up. For the moment that’s my goal. Nothing more, nothing less.
In our first story 'Magical Morocco' we left the continent to give you a sneakpeak of what we're trying to accomplish. What you've already seen, is actually a fragment of our concept 'Mush'. Through producing an example in a breathtaking atmosphere, we thought it’d be the best way of showing you what we're trying to achieve with the Mush-label. With each story we'll reveal another piece until the puzzle is complete.
That being said, I think it's time to brief you on our founding partner, our inspiration for the label and truly the soul of the family.
Without further introduction, MEET MUSH!!
She is Marisa's cat, 4 years old and with her ever since. Marisa brought her up as if she were her own baby, teaching her to be a proper Lady. Mush is by far the smartest, most distinguished animal I've ever seen. With a mind of her own. Enchanting in every movement. Majestic almost. She brings natural balance everywhere her paws take her.`
Because Marisa took it upon her to raise her so closely, they've forged an unique connection. Like a mother with her child. I myself had the privilege of witnessing this rare, almost unreal connection. Strongest bound I’ve ever seen between human and animal. And there is this truly remarkable thing about it: Mush picked up all kinds of human features. Both in her expression as in her behavior. But at the same time, Marisa as well implemented pieces of Mushes natural 'instinctive' grace just by living so close with her. You can see it in her pictures, in her movement and exceptional talent of expressing. Their characters melted symbiotically into eachother and formed 'something' new. Something else. Something better. Something beautiful. Something... Mush.
Beauty created in the shells of pure, bold perfection, flawless like an Icemountain. Drawn to it, as if you want to get hit with that same sledgehammer of pureness over and over again.
But as sudden as the perfect storm can grab the sea by its throat and turn it into a brewy boiling whirlpool, She let clouds evaporate instantly, as if Her mood controls the weather itself. As if She tamed the sun herself on her leash.
It is those simple things where She manifests herself differently in a fundamental way. The Natural grace that literally drips off her when she sees Mush and her motherinstinct kicks in.
In a way she lives more than other creatures on the rythem of her own heartbeat. One beat at a time, aware of all surroundings. Present in the now. Another form of life.
So what did we do? We took Mush back to her roots, back to the source, Le Massif de la Chartreuse (Grenoble). She drove with us in the car for one thousand kilometers and she did it in style. From the first minute you could tell she felt home in this incredible nature. With these series we want to give you a glimpse of our short but intense stay. Whether it was the endurance of running up a hill in the early morning, or the playful spectrum of exploring this wonderful city… We tried to capture those moments that express the Mush-values as close as possible. To top it off, we took her with us on a hike to the Mountain peak.
Now we've introduced ourselves properly, this adventure is about to begin with a bang!
Hope you enjoy the images as much as we enjoyed being high above the sky!
Last month I received an impulsive message from Wouter, if I had some time to mash up a little shoot. Since we had been meaning to collaborate for a long long time, I accepted his invite instantly. He told me he had this supercool location: A caravan somewhere in the middle of the city, hiding in a plain site (got me curious of course).
Sun was out, the stage was set and our mood was superb. Time flew by and before we knew, it was already a wrap.
Little did we know we would both be so pleased with the results. Today it even got picked up by one of my personal favorite magazines; C-heads Magazine. So you can imagine I'm pretty thrilled to show you guys our full series. To read it on C-heads: CLICK HERE - "To keep it fresh, you need to get away from what you're used to do. So feeling Spring and seeing flowers sprouting everywhere, I felt the time was right to invite Marisa on a beautiful Thursday afternoon and get away from shooting boys on boards." - Wouter Struyf, photographer
As you guys might have noticed, last month I went on a trip to Morocco. For 10 days I was traveling through the country with my best friend and partner-in-crime, Piet. Both of us knew before setting foot on the plane that if you put us 2 together there could happen quiet a lot. And a lot is a bold understatement. Everything was planned out very smoothly (my job) but only after 5 minutes on Moroccan soil, every ounce of planning was flushed down the drain. You can compare it with a Tajine actually: stacked-steamed-spiced, you never know what's underneath the hood... But in the end that certain combination bangs, no matter what.
So, here's my story. First official and independent Mush-production. Hope you all get carried away, just as we did.