Simone Frank is a Photographer and founder of Creative Studio Vert Creation & Frank Claus. She lives in Rotterdam and is showing us a few of her favourite places. We got to sit down with her and ask her a few intimate questions. Get to know her as we ask her what home means to her.
How are you?
I'm doing well. I just moved to a different city (Rotterdam), it really feels like an adventure. It's so fun to go to a different city and just explore. I'm in a good place. I'm super grateful that during these strange times, that all my friends and family are healthy, and that I'm able to do work that I get to put all my creativity into.
Simone is wearing our Suki Wrap Blouse in White, our Barrie Pants in Cream (size XS) and our new Linen Blazer (coming this Summer).
When you think back to your childhood, what friends did you have and played with?
When I was little I played with so many different kinds of people. I got along with everyone in my classroom. I would not only play with girls, but also with boys, or with lots of friends together. When playing outside I would play with lots of friends that lived in the neighbourhood, I would never really just play with one friend. I had so much fun, we would be outside until it was almost bed time or until our parents had to drag us away from the playground.
Are you happy with the person you have become?
If I look back now, to when I was 20, I would give myself the advice that it's going to be OK. In the beginning of my twenties I struggled with a lot of things and you had to, all of a sudden, make all these choices (you didn't have to make before you were 20). But I definitely learned a lot in that period.
And the choices that I made, like moving to the big city (Amsterdam) or to quit my job I had back then, are exactly those things that you really have to go through. Through all the ups and downs, it will bring you to something way bigger (and better). Especially the not so pleasant things I've gone through have really made me who I am today.
Now that I'm older, you have different values, and you can let go of things more easily. And then I look back and think: why did I ever make such a big deal out of it? You really start to live more consciously and you also start to really love yourself more. Overall, a big learning process that continues to evolve me.
What high school did you go to? And what does it mean to you?
The same teacher that told me that you can achieve anything when you do it with confidence, also taught me that you really have to stay true to yourself. You have to stick with the ideals that you keep close to your heart, and that being your authentic self has so much more value than to just follow everyone else.
And that's how I really decided to take a different route and choose a completely different high school than all my friends. This school that I wanted to attend was everything I wanted. But it wasn't the high school that every one of my friends would go to, I would be the only one going to this high school. This was pretty daunting at first. But looking back, I think it's great that I was brave enough to really make that choice at such a young age, because I knew what I wanted and my fear was not going to stop me from making this choice.
What is your biggest insecurity?
I think my biggest insecurity is: if I'm good enough, if my work is good enough. It's nice to hear from other people or my friends that you're doing well, that you and your work are appreciated. There are so many other people doing the same work, and I sometimes think to myself if I'm really good enough?
It's not that I struggle with this daily, but I think there's a lot of expectation coming from this society, that you always have to perform to your best abilities. But actually, we shouldn't have to feel this way.
What are your thoughts at the moment?
A year ago, everything was going as it should, there was a flow in my work and projects. I love being in the flow and that you continuously have projects that you're working on. But what the last year has taught me, is that it's actually not really persé good, that you always say that you're 'so busy (working)'. I caught myself saying this all the time, when people asked me how I was doing. I would automatically reply with: I'm doing well! I'm so busy with work. And I wasn't sure if this answer that I was giving people was actually something positive?
Since a couple of months I'm trying to really focus more on certain things and I try to manage my time better. And I think a lot of people have questioned and asked themselves how we're going to manage our time now. What's going to change and how are we moving forward?
It has taught me that I shouldn't just give up, and that I shouldn't base my happiness things I can't change anyways, like the pandemic we're all living in right now. The last few weeks I've really noticed that I'm able to manage my time well, and that I can really focus on both my personal and professional life.
How do you see the world now?
I have a lot of hope for us in the (near) future, I think this is what the world needed. To really stand still and there are so many positive things that have come out of this pandemic. We stopped travelling so much, there were less airplanes flying, there were less cars on the road, and that has had such a good impact on the world in such a short period.
I think we should all look at the world and think about how we can do this better. I love hearing things like, the other day I heard that office jobs may look quite different after the pandemic. It won't just be 9 to 5 anymore, people can work from home more easily. Also, people care more about each other and look to one another more. I think we are drawing more close to each other which I think is great.
Read more of Simone's story on our Instagram