Awesome graphic designs, Harry Potter & Comic Cons

Meet Marieke, a starting graphic designer and self-proclaimed “Potter Head”.

Marieke Laanen in KREW Community of Creative Entrepreneurs Spotlight Graphic Designer Grafisch Ontwerp Roosendaal The Hague Den Haag


 Posted: 26 January 2021

Every Tuesday, we put one KREW Member in the Spotlight. This week it’s the woman behind the logo and visual identity of KREW (and many other awesome designs of course)!

Full name: Marieke Laanen
Business name: Mary Lane Designs
Grew up and currently lives in: Roosendaal (NL)
Entrepreneur since: Early 2020

Who is Marieke? I’m 26 years old, I studied pedagogy for 6 years and then I decided I wanted to do something entirely different with my career. I’ve always had an interest for graphic design, so I decided to do that instead. I taught myself all the necessary programs and started slowly taking up projects. Now I’m freelancing for the most part and currently looking for new, ideally long-term projects.

Besides what I do for work, I have a very big love for Japan, food and photography. I also like drawing and reading. Another fun fact about me is that Harry Potter is actually a big part of my life. I’m definitely a big Potter head. My knowledge into the Potter universe goes very far. That’s not what most people know about me. So yeah, a bit of nerdyness there. 

I also like to go to Comic Cons, but I don’t dress up. Not just for Harry Potter, but also for Avengers, Star Wars… et cetera. There’s a big one in Belgium where I go every year when it’s not closed due to covid. It’s a lot of fun. Not just for the people that dress up, but also for the things they sell and the food they serve. 

What is your biggest superpower? Well, the cheesy one of course is creativity, but I won’t go for that. I think my biggest super power is  kindness. A lot of people have told me that I’m kind to everyone. I think that’s very useful. It’s just easier to connect with people if you’re kind and don’t necessarily expect something in return. You almost always find that people return the kindness to you, even if you don’t expect it. It can lead to unexpected surprises. Not only in business, but in life in general.

What can be your kryptonite? I’m not great at persistence. And determination. Sometimes I lack the ability to manage my time properly or I just keep postponing stuff that I need to do. I really need to work on that.

Just so we can refer them to you: who are your typical clients? Well, I had KREW as a client, so… haha (you can see a bit of the result below). My typical clients are entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Marieke Laanen Product Packaging Design KREW Community for Creative Entrepreneurs Roosendaal The Hague Den Haag

^ An example of product packaging design by Marieke

Which products and/or services do you offer? I offer graphic designs in all shapes and forms. That includes content creation for social media. Templates as well. Other than that, I like logo design, brand identities and I’m very much interested in UX design as well. I like a lot of stuff. Right now, I’m willing to just design a lot of different things until I sort of naturally find out what my specialisation will be.

What does success look like to you? My dream would be to work remotely and travel at the same time. I really have the urge to travel and see the world while earning some type of passive income. Of course I would still want to work because I love graphic design, but I don’t want to feel like I have to. That would be my idea of a successful life.

What is your favourite way to celebrate achievements? Probably with some Baileys. Or with a beer, either way. Brugse Zot is one of my favourites. And then just hang out and chill with Netflix. A quiet night. Yeah, that’s my kind of celebration.

What is a major challenge you have faced as an entrepreneur and how have you overcome it? The fight inside of me. There are so many questions I have in my head all the time about being a graphic designer or an entrepreneur. A big one of them has been “am I good enough?”, you know? Because whether someone likes my graphic designs is very much based on personal taste. Sometimes it can be really hard to please people. 

What has really helped me with this question is asking feedback on my work from my family or from my partner, who is also a graphic designer. To hear what they think — what they like and what they think I should change — has been really nice. It’s always a good reminder that I often am good enough and that people really like what I make. It’s mainly that I’m just really hard on myself sometimes. 

What do you love to do when you’re not working? Watch some series on Netflix, like Suits and Orange is the New Black. The Queen’s Gambit I also really liked. Other than that, I like to hang out with friends or just to go for a walk outside. I like to play games on my X-Box as well, like Fallout, Assassin’s Creed… I really like adventure games.

Just be kind to people and you will be living a happy life.

Who is your superhero (fictional or real)? I am a Harry Potter fan, but Harry is not really my superhero. I really like Doctor Who though. He’s always looking out to help people. He is a good character with many sides. He regenerates into new lives and new bodies, so you can see his different personalities and things he struggles with. Even though it’s still the same person. It’s very well done. I you haven’t seen the show it might be a little bit difficult to understand what I’m saying though, haha.

What I take from him is that you always need to go out of your way to help people, because like I said: kindness will always return to you. It doesn’t matter if it’s in business or in life in general. Just be kind to people and you will be living a happy life. That’s what I take away from him.

Which book has made a major impact on you? Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It provides a very different perspective on financials and investing. It made me really think about the importance of investing, in the property market for example. I also liked the writer’s vision of having two dads — one rich and one poor — and the way he spoke about them really had an impact on me. It always stayed in my mind. 

Which tools do you love to use for your business? I’m a big fan of Adobe Illustrator. That’s my game, haha. I really like it. It’s the most useful tool I’ve ever used. Why? I’m not sure, really. I hate using InDesign for some reason, it just doesn’t work for me. Illustrator is also less complicated to use for me than PhotoShop. Coming to think of it, I probably like it so much because it was the first tool I ever learned to use when I got started with graphic design.

Marieke Laanen Graphic Design LEUK KREW Community for Creative Entrepreneurs Roosendaal The Hague Den Haag

^ Another example of Marieke’s graphic designs for a brand called ‘LEUK’.

Why did you join KREW? Well, I met you, Marc, during a meetup. Then the ball kept rolling. I did some stuff for KREW, for Alireza Parpaei and then for some people you knew. People on the KREW platform have reached out to me as well and I’ve been working with them. It’s a really nice community to be able to reach out to people who have different specialties and expertises in different fields. It’s very helpful. Thank you Marc for all the opportunities!! You should really be proud of how everything turned out. It’s really an awesome community.

What can KREW Members reach out to you for? Reach out to me if you need someone for graphic design. Or when you need advice on some graphic design issues, just ask me. I also like to discuss photography, book suggestions… and nerdy stuff like Harry Potter of course.

Where can we best find your business and you online? I don’t have a website yet, but I’m very active on Instagram. I’m also on LinkedIn… and on KREW of course. Oh, and I do have a Behance account with some of the graphic designs I made on there!

Thanks for reading the weekly KREW Spotlight! Don’t hesitate to reach out to Marieke and start a new meaningful connection or collaboration.

Marc Rodan is the Founder of KREW and Chief Editor of KREW Stories. In 2015 he started his first business as the tallest (mini) pancake baker in Sweden. Since then, he has travelled the world to start businesses in both branding and online education. Marc loves penguins, UFOs and anything blue and orange, always makes up songs while doing the dishes and dreams of one day living in a tree house as big as Jake and Finn’s. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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