Speaking Tumblr in Dutch: 6 Stories from the Netherlands
Last month, we celebrated the launch of Dutch as an officially supported language on Tumblr with a series of videos, interviews, and events. While we were in Amsterdam, we met many, many enthusiastic Dutch users and heard their tales of how they got into Tumblr and what keeps them creatively excited. Here they are — photographers and illustrators to animators and meme-makers — in their own words.
Hyshil Sander, hyshil.tumblr.com
I work for Vogue as senior editorial designer. I’m also a freelance illustrator. Tumblr has been incredibly helpful professionally … a very special way to display my work. I’ve been really surprised with how many people found my work and told me they’d seen it on Tumblr. Not even a huge number of people really, but it’s the right people.
I started a Tumblr because I wanted to have a more personal portfolio, where I could have a conversation about my work and show little bits of my life that are relevant. I haven’t been freelancing much since I started working full-time, so lately it’s more about inspiration — pictures I take, little pictures I’ve drawn, works in progress. Things I’ve drawn by hand. Sometimes I reblog fashion stuff, mostly original work.
“M” & “H”, dutchproblems.tumblr.com
H: I studied in Sweden for a year. There, I found out about the Tumblr Swedish Problems.
M: Which we decided to rip off.
H: But better! And Dutch.
M: That’s what we keep telling ourselves, anyway. … As for fame, the most famous Dutch person I know of who has their own Tumblr is the person sitting right next to me.
H: We should watch more RTL Boulevard to answer this question. What’s our Tumblr about? Observational humour sold through lowbrow jokes, slapped on a cheap meme-generator template.
M: I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Joost Bastmeijer, thedutchables.tumblr.com
There are actually 17 people actively involved in The Dutchables. It covers anything to do with the Netherlands, Dutch people, or the Dutch language. Back when we started, Tumblr was mostly American … very few people in the Netherlands were using Tumblr. We wanted to get them together somehow.
A lot of Dutch blogs are about design, style, and architecture. Though of course just as many young Dutch girls like Twilight or Harry Potter as anywhere else. Even though we highlight the Dutch language, it’s a really Dutch thing to always want to speak the language of the other person. If we’re in Spain we’re trying to speak Spanish, German in Germany, French in France. And when tourists visit Amsterdam, they just ask a question in their language, and we try to answer them in their language. This may originate come from the Dutch trader mindset, thinking internationally. As for me, I learned a lot of English from video games, Tumblr, and of course school.
Lois van Baarle, loish.tumblr.com
I’m a freelance animator and illustrator, and I started making digital illustrations in high school and posting them on deviantART. Another artist there had started a Tumblr, and I was really impressed. I had a Wordpress blog at the time, but this was the first time I’d seen the concept of reblogging.
A lot of people I know prefer Tumblr for works in progress, or in rougher stages. Sites like deviantART are more for your finished portfolio. I started my own Tumblr because I wanted to give an overall impression of who I am — my finished work but also work in progress and work that inspires me. I do some curation but I get a much bigger response to posting original work, so I focus more on that.
My Dashboard is a mix of news, art, politics — some practicing artists, some feminist blogs, some total nonsense. I want it to broaden my universe.
Carmen Felix, loldutchpeople.tumblr.com
I’m a part-time editor for Vice.com and Gay.nl, and I do some other cool freelance stuff once in a while. I had this personal archive of horrible pictures of Dutchies, and I kept sending them around and sharing. I guess people were either fed up with my obsession or really liked the pictures because several friends begged me to put them up on a website. And Tumblr seemed like the most easy option for a noob like me. I guess that actually worked out pretty good … I love it that my Tumblr makes people laugh.
I love that people have a strong opinion about LOL Dutch People. My main goal is that it needs to be fun. I get a lot of positive comments, which I love! But I also get private messages of people that feel harassed because they’re Dutch also. I’ll just ignore them or tell them the truth: pucker up, this is all just fun and jokes. It’s not a politically fueled racist website. And I’ve never stated anywhere that all dutch people look dumb, cheap, or horrible. It’s just a gallery full of people you see on the streets. No judgement. Besides, people who are super-negative towards me and overreacting about LDP are really just showing their true colours. The thing I love the most about the people I’m portraying is the fact that they (most of the time) dont care about what others think about them. My dream is that someday I get to curate something big like a cute book or expo about typical Dutchies.
Stijn Out, stateofkind.tumblr.com
I heard of Tumblr through a link on Flickr, but I didn’t start my own blog until I needed an easy way to run a fantasy league for the 2008 European football championship. After that, I started using Tumblr for my photography portfolio. I didn’t even know about the community aspect.
But then I decided I wanted a different portfolio site, and I started coding my own Tumblr theme as a place to both post photos as well as interact with the community. I didn’t know much about coding then, but I’ve taught myself how to make Tumblr themes; mine have about 32,000 installs so far.
I’m a student of human geography, which is about the way people interact spatially — the economic and political elements among different nations and state and people in general. I hope I end up doing something creative after I graduate, maybe something to do with photography. Tumblr really helps get the creativity out of you — it inspires you to create stuff because it makes it so easy. You can create things that aren’t traditional art but are still special in a way, that without Tumblr would be very hard to achieve.
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