The talent behind We are out of office is Winneke de Groot & Felix van Dam, both from Utrecht, Holland. When starting art school, both fell directly in love with screen printing and very soon had a home made screen print workshop in Felix’ student bed room and started printing small prints and postcards. Along their travels the pair ended up in New York and fell in love (again), and once home, planned to return to the city they loved so much.
However, restrictions meant that they were not allowed to work in the States, which led to the idea to design in exchange for food and goods. This idea consisted of carrying round a suitcase with a mini screen print workshop inside, where the two designed and printed posters for deli stores, launderettes, coffeeshops and bakeries. They named this project ‘We are out of office’.
Back home, Felix and Winneke started selling prints and cards to fund their travels and projects like this. The duo decided to stick to the name We are out of office as it explained exactly how they worked. In a year, they we were able to make a living out of selling their work and that’s what they still do. Making prints and traveling is their circle of creation. “We need to visit other places and meet new people. All our work is based on stuff we find and collect from allover the world. Weird toys, floaters, beautiful Asian product packaging and so on. Our house is filled with these things.” says Felix. Looking to the future, the focus is now directed on creating smaller products, and developing their packaging, as they design and print everything by hand in the studio.