Vera van de Seyp: ‘The creative sector is still a male-dominated world’
Creative coder and graphic designer Vera van de Seyp received a talent development grant from the Stimulation Fund in 2021. She uses her interest in technology to realize ideals.
openness, accessibility and knowledge sharing
As a creative coder and graphic designer, Vera van de Seyp moves between the digital domain and applied forms – from hacked knitting machines and generative artwork to modular fonts, homemade computers and playful websites. Openness, accessibility and knowledge sharing are important values in her practice. In 2016, Van de Seyp graduated from the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague with a degree in Graphic Design. Her passion for computer science and artificial intelligence ensured she continued her education at Leiden University, where she completed a master’s in Media Technology in 2020.
‘For my graduation product, I researched how a generative agnostic network – a model in which two neural networks compete against each other to create new output – could be used to design album covers. I used a training dataset based on 150,000 existing album covers from the open-source community of Discogs, a music website. The result was a massive selection of hypnotic generative designs for non-existent albums.’
bring about change
Based on her own experience with open-source platforms and code, where developers share information to build on the work of others, Van de Seyp wants to bring about change in her chosen field. For example, she is part of the Freelance Female Developers network, and recently co-organised a hackathon in cooperation with Creative Coding Utrecht. ‘In my opinion, the creative sector is still a male-dominated world, especially when it comes to creative coding. By organising free online workshops for female-identifying and gender-nonconforming artists, designers and other interested parties, I’m hopefully lowering the barrier to entry, and offering a stepping stone into this sector.’
free access to source material
Completely in line with the philosophy of open-source technology – free access to source code for everyone – Van der Seyp both enters into collaborations and encourages them with her initiatives. ‘I will publish all of the code I have written myself, including the do-it-yourself tutorials, online. I hope to make it an accessible place for new designers.’ In the future, Van de Seyp wants to continue organising workshops and become part of the international creative coder and developer communities by participating in a residency or fellowship outside the Netherlands.
Text: Manique Hendricks