Read my interview with Ballpitmag to learn all about me!

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Jambo! I was born on the 27th of March 1995 in Nanyuki, a market town northwest of Mount Kenya. The place I have the fondest memories of was the farm I grew up in Nanyuki, together with my younger sister, mum, dad, three cows, three sheep, two German Shepherds, a pack of Jack Russells, our wild cats, chickens, geese and not to forget the nightly visits of elephants and monkeys.

I was raised tri-lingual. I spoke English with my dad, Dutch with my mum and Swahili with my nanny’s.

Raised in the wild and quite literally with the wild, I couldn’t have imagined a better childhood. I was always playing with whatever nature provided. Stones, sand, mud, clay, plants, anything I could get my hands on. Unfortunately, mainly due to safety, we moved to The Netherlands.

For the past two years, I’ve been living in Breda together with my boyfriend Joel, two sphynx cats, Yoda and Dobby and my large collection of plants and sneakers. Three days a week I work at Bagels & Beans, as an assistant manager. I practice my latte art skills, make delicious Bagels and work with lovely colleagues, many have become friends. The other days I spend restoring my old house. Starting half of April I will be working in a shared studio. I will then finally have the space I need to get creative again


I’m not sure I have a specific aesthetic just yet. But I’m pretty close to finding one. From the moment I started at the Art Academy, I was always searching for a specific style. I wanted someone to be able to see my work and go “Hey, Alia made that!” I had such broad interests within the design world and created various pieces, that all my work had a different “look”.

I finally had my “aha moment” when I was lucky enough to have an internship at Ginger and Milk. In the studio in Rotterdam, they created the most wonderful 3D images, posters and projects. All handmade out of colourful paper. Colours I would never have imagined working with. I had the best most inspiring four months there. I finally felt that I had found what it was that I wanted to do. I wanted to be a paper artist.

Even within the context of paper, I have more than just one style. It depends on my mood, the project, the topic, the audience and the client. I believe I’m finding my voice and introducing some recognisable elements. I like learning new techniques and trying different styles. So I’m definitely not done finding and exploring my aesthetic.


I love working with paper. It seems a simple material, but the options for using it are endless! You can fold it, cut it, tear it, crumple it, crease it, whatever you like to get your wanted outcome. Paper allows me to construct three-dimensional shapes, it allows me to explore scale, texture and colour. No restraints. My mother informs me that even as a small child, I was engaged in creating shapes and forms with various materials including salad leaves.


I usually walk around with an idea in my head for quite a long time before I do anything with it. For some reason ideas always pop into my head when I’m in bed, falling asleep or in a deep sleep. Half of the time I wake up knowing I had an idea, but just completely forgot it. The other half of the time I manage to wake up and make a note of it on my phone.

When I start a project I don’t make sketches beforehand. The idea is always strongest in my mind and as I can’t draw or sketch this is not something that works for me. I often create small-scale experiments for the larger three-dimensional shapes I want to make. This way I don’t spend hours making a paper object only to find out it’s not possible or the measurements are wrong.

My creativity and productiveness come in waves. I can spend months not making anything. But once I get an idea in my head, I’ve got to make it straight away. Time then stands still for me, I single-mindedly work on something, I don’t take a break to eat and don’t want to be disturbed until it’s finished. I’m also never completely satisfied with the work I make.

KVK 75143627
Breda 2018