Nataša Lops has been supporting us from the start and we are more than thrilled that she took the time to answer a few of our questions. Check it out.
Can you tell us who you are and what you do for a living?
My name is Nataša, I am from the Hague, the Netherlands. People often ask me what the thingy on the s is; it’s a háček, inherited from my Bosnian side of the family. I work as a graphic designer for a small advertising agency in Amsterdam. Besides pushing pixels, I really enjoy making illustrations, the sea is my favourite subject. So I spend most nights drawing on paper, wood, sea shells...on anything I can get my hands on really!
Why do you support The Bamboo Brush Society?
Because they are radical! You might think “aaah just a toothbrush... what difference can that possibly make?” But every single year billions of plastic toothbrushes are added to the plastic soup in our oceans. I believe in TBBS ability to inspire people to make more eco friendly consumer choices and by this hopefully change a whole industry and make our oceans a bit cleaner!
As I started surfing, I got confronted with the scope of this plastic problem, on the beaches, in the oceans, whatever part of the world I travelled to. Last year I had the chance to work on the O’Neill Blue For Our Oceans campaign, this also made me painfully aware of the tremendous amounts of unnecessary plastic waste made and used by companies, consumers and especially myself.
You created these amazing drawings of our brushes without us asking it? What made you create them?
I want to do more than only banning unnecessary plastics from my daily routine. When my colleague at O’Neill showed me the TBBS website, the bamboo brush tickled my imagination and illustrations ideas popped up. After work I rushed home to finish them, so excited that I could use my creativity to help these kind of great initiatives.
What do you think of the Bamboo toothbrush?
Nice to chew on, one happy panda over here!
What is the best spot you have brushed your teeth?
I love ocean views and nothing beats waking up at a new spot, while brushing your teeth. This place we accidentally found on our travels through Australia. After a long exhausting day of driving, we parked our car at a random parking area at night and the next day when we woke up and brushed our teeth, we saw this!
What’s your tip for our followers which can cut down your eco waste?
To start with, recycle your plastic waste ... not only at home. Try to replace every day plastic objects to eco friendly ones, like shopping bags, water bottles, toothbrushes etc. Another interesting one to think about are kids toys; most of them are made out of plastic and they are only used a few times. Choose alternatives like second hand, wood, metal or cardboard toys.
Furthermore I think a major step in cutting down unnecessary plastic waste would be shifting our priorities, live a little less fast and stop using polluting easy quick x solutions. These days, society always seems to be in a hurry and we don’t allow ourselves time anymore for a lot of our daily routines. For instance, take your time to go shopping at a weekend market instead of going to a supermarket everyday. Because Dutch supermarkets are filled with unnecessary single wrapped veggies. Or just wake up early to make yourself a coffee or breakfast, instead of getting that wrapped sandwich or take away coffee at the train station.
What’s your best travel story?
I think it’s the sum of all travels. I cherish each country I have been to, persons I have met, stories I have been told, things I have seen. It taught me to see things in different perspectives, fuelling my imagination and creativity.
What is the last movie you watched?
‘Given’, made by Jess Bianchi. A beautiful movie about the legendary Goodwin family, told through the perspective of their 6 year old son. They take him around the world chasing waves and tracing their family history, which is deeply intertwined with nature and crafts. Really one to watch!
Share your best photo on your phone ! Make us laugh
I will make you laugh when you see my phone! I can’t take recognisable pictures, it has a one megapixel camera. If I want to make a picture, I have to ask my friends or I carry my big old camera around. This picture is after one of our surf sessions in Oyambre. I looked like a sea monster, my hair completely covered in Seaweed. The locals said I should start helping them harvesting seaweed every year, very effective.
How do you get inspired for your creative work ?
Through ocean surroundings and creative people around me, like Wouter Struijf and Jelle Mul. You’ll also see me a lot in little book and magazine stores, I practically live in those places! I browse Instagram as well, it’s a rich source of inspiration with talented people with fresh unconventional views. I also get a lot of inspiration from travelling, every two years I travel to a far away destination with my friend for a month, to reset the brain and get inspired by new surroundings, people, local handcrafts and design.
If you can go on a trip tomorrow to any place in the world, where would you go?
Ahhh that’s tough, I have a never ending list! Can I go for a long time?
I would love to walk the Pacific Crest Trail in America or go snowboarding in Iran. That are the 2 trips that intrigue me the most.
Nataša will have an exposition together with Jelle Mul on the 21st of July at Haven Surf, Antwerp. Check the event here. Nataša will be finishing some drawings live at the 21st. All money from sold pictures // drawings will be donated to the Sea first foundation, an organization that fights for clean seawater in the Benelux.
And don't forget to follow Nataša on Instagram.