Julie Wijckmans is the girl with an eye for soft beauty in everyday life. She works at a PR agency, but is also co-founder of Sir Magazine and a freelance graphic designer, front-end developer. It is a mystery where she finds time to capture all the delights in life: from market flowers to Barcelona trips and coffee dates. There is only one possible answer: aesthetics are simply part of her life. We had a talk with this girl who does so much more than graphic design alone.
Which shop would you shop empty when it comes to homeware and design attributes for a cosy desk and living environment?
That would definitely be Espoo, a design shop in Antwerp where they sell the best Scandinavian design. My favourite brands are Studio Snowpuppe, Hay and Snug. For more budget friendly homeware, I go to Ikea and I mix and match it with vintage pieces I find at flea markets, thrift shops and at Ivonne in the Vlasmarkt.
If there is any city/state in the US you could go for for a dream job, which would you pick?
Then I would go to San Francisco, the city where there are a lot of tech companies.
Which European city inspires you most?
Barcelona, it’s my weak spot. I lived in Barcelona for a year, when I studied Spanish, and I fell deeply in love with the city. The architecture in the artistic quarter Gràcia, the design shops in Eixample, the art galleries in Born, the hidden lunch spots in Raval. Every six months I have this restless feeling in me, and I know it’s time to book a flight ticket. Landing in El Prat is coming home; I never had that sense when I touched down in Belgium.
What is the most favourite hotel you have stayed at so far?
Story Hotel Signalfabriken! My boyfriend surprised me with a weekend Stockholm for my 25th birthday last year and we stayed at Signalfabriken. The building of the hotel is an old fire station and the former City Hall of Sundbyberg – 10 minutes away by train from the city centre of Stockholm. Every room is different, but they all breathe Scandinavian design. Downstairs there is a bar area where there are a lot of DJ sessions at night
What is your favourite thing to wear on a day of working?
A big sweater, jeans and Nikes.
What’s your favourite workspot?
When I work for myself and not at my daily job, I go to breakfast & lunch places where the interior is inspiring, because that helps a lot when I’m not finding my focus. I also can have lunch at the same time so that counts. A few of my favourites are Tinsel, Copper, Tartine and Barnini. When I don’t have a lot of time, I go to Caffènation, Kolonel Koffie or Buchbar.
Do you incorporate aesthetics and design in your entire living?
Yes! When I still lived with my dad, I went to kringloopwinkels and Vossenplein in Brussels to find homeware and furniture from the oldies. I have been collecting them for years in the garage. My working desk is a vintage school desk I bought for ten euros. That’s what pleasures me the most: finding design pieces for a bargain.
How far do you go away when daydreaming?
A big dream is to have my own kind of concept store where I sell clothing, design pieces and magazines, where people can drink a coffee and when there’s no one in the shop, it becomes my studio and I can design logos and make websites. It’s still blurry in my mind, but it’s an idea that has been there for a while.
Do you know you are a Pinterest star? Which social medium do you love most?
Instagram, it’s my personal diary. When I’m on the bus or on the train, I like to go through my pictures and pick up memories.
What is your favourite thing to design for?
Definitely people who want a website that fits their personality, that’s always a nice challenge.
Check out Julie’s lovely work and photography. She is the best graphic designer and developer you could wish for. Thank you, Julie!
First picture by Sien Josephine Teijssen