A Dutch sea captain’s daughter, she was born in the middle
of the Venezuelan tropics.
Iguanas lived in the bottom of their garden in Maracaibo. They would often get to the ripe mangoes on the ground before she did.
When she was 10 years old, her family moved to Canada, then Holland, and by the time she turned 15, the family landed in Australia.
It's no surprise she learned at an early age how to scope out the horizon and interpret the invisible clues —no matter what the country, culture or language. It seemed the best way to sense her place and identity in the world, and give it meaning.
Educated at the University of New South Wales in Sydney (B.A., Dip. Ed.), she made the leap from teaching English in a private Sydney girl's school to writing fashion copy in an innovative ad agency. At 28, New York City called her so she continued working in advertising and communications for the next 10 years. She's convinced it taught her everything she needed to know about opening her own agency years later.
Returning to Sydney, she became part of the management team responsible for launching Murdoch Magazine's New Woman in the Australian marketplace, one of the most successful launches in the country's publishing history.
She’s fascinated by the intersection of creativity, psychology and innovation. For 30 years in the branding and design space, Van’s been known for spotting and interpreting the invisible clues in business, connecting the dots to create a more meaningful, human story and then watching the messaging hit home. Working with corporate CEOs, startups and innovators, her focus has always been on helping people recognize who they are — so others can. (More about her branding work on A Girl's Gotta Work.)
Currently based in Mexico, Van launched her first online shop, BlackLineCrazy.com mid-2019. She interprets her black-and-white paintings across different platforms, mediums and textures. Hello, BLC Limited Edition Collections. BOOM!
With this second entrepreneurial venture, Van had to put herself in the client seat, develop the brand, the business and the production process —collaborating with master craftsmen, printers, makers, weavers and much more along the way.
P.S. Everyone calls her Van but no one can place