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Beauty in Disguise

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This blog entry is my official debut in the world of blog-writing, and to be debuting on the ZOXBLOG, about my very own design, is a great honor. Ever since I was a kid, I've been fascinated with animals. I used to run around in the garden, looking for ladybugs, snails, and even spiders. I collected them in a little box to ‘study’ them. ‘’Nina come see this, we found this little insect, check it out!’’ The kids at school used to call me whenever they found a strange-looking insect in the schoolyard because they knew I was so interested in them. And at birthday parties, the friends of my parents used to ask me whether I had found a cool animal recently. It probably didn’t come as a great surprise to them that I went off to university to study Biology when I graduated from high school.

Nature and animals are what inspire me, and it is where I got my inspiration from for the strap that is releasing today: Beauty in Disguise. When I started with designing, I wondered: “Should I design a strap starting from the message behind it, or should I design something and give a meaning to it later?’’ I know many great straps started with a message, but I couldn’t figure out what message I wanted to convey to the community. Before this dilemma got a hold of me, I decided to just start drawing. I grabbed my pencil and sketchbook and drew a species of butterfly which has always fascinated me: a death’s-head hawkmoth. The name of this moth is as scary as the appearance of the animal if not scarier. No, the name is definitely scarier, because when you take a good look at it, you can see a beautiful yellow-brown creature with a camouflage pattern on its forewings to hide it from predators. The white spot on its thorax is why this creature has been burdened by this scary (yet awesome) name because it looks like a skull. This little creature has a grim reputation and is even considered an evil creature or bad omen because of this spot. But the opposite is true, it is a harmless moth. It even feeds on honey, like Winnie the Pooh! So much for being evil, huh?

I let that sink in while I was drawing, and little by little, the perfect meaning for this strap came into my mind. Hidden under the white skull-like spot and camouflage colors, a beautiful animal resides. You just have to look a bit harder to see it, because a sole glance does not do its beauty justice.

I think this idea can be very relatable. I am sure that many people can sometimes forget about our beauty or qualities because they can be hidden from others. You might think that you don’t have it in you because others don’t notice it. But remember that everyone has some kind of beauty. Sometimes it is a little hard to see at first glance, but when you take a closer look and pay more attention, it is there to see.

I also wanted this idea to be reflected in the design itself. The inside of the strap is all green and the words are almost one with the background. They are camouflaged like the moth is when its forewings are closed and outsiders cannot see its beauty. They are in disguise.

Now you know the backstory of how this strap came to be and everything that went on in my mind during the design process.

To me, this strap is a reminder that I also have good qualities and some kind of beauty, despite the fact that I tend to hide them, and therefore sometimes forget that I possess them. It is still there. What you do, matters. I hope it will remind others of that as well.

-Nina

Artist

Nina van Oordt

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