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Designers supported within DDD

16 September 2021

2 min. to read

Illustration © Djenné Fila
As a young designer, you sometimes run into things that are not necessarily related to design but to entrepreneurship. And it's very well possible that it's not your field of interest per se. Coaches from the ABN AMRO Foundation support the participants in Driving Dutch Design. They help the designers on their way in their business in the run-up to their presentation at DDW.

Jan Willem van Elten works as a product designer for interior architects and brands. That's going well, but he misses a network, like-minded people with whom he can talk about his work. He now finds that at DDD. His questions to his coach Maarten Smit mainly concern his positioning. Am I building my brand? And how do I work on my name recognition? Do I do everything myself, from concept to production, and do I sell my products directly? Do I work based on invoices or royalties? Enough questions for Maarten of ABN AMRO to help with.


© Jan Willem van Elten

After graduating from art school, Djenné Fila started as a children's book illustrator. That went pretty well for the past few years. But now it's time to push her boundaries, to let her illustrations exist outside the book. Her request for help from her ABN AMRO coach Paul van Sprundel is about balancing work and private life and her income.

Together with BNO and ABN AMRO, we interviewed several designers and their coaches within Driving Dutch Design. What do they learn from each other, and how does the coaching process work? Discover the stories of Jan Willem van Elten, Djenné Fila, Edward van Dongen, Jack Westerlaken and Lisa Mandemaker. Read the full article (in Dutch) with the Drivers and their coaches talking.

And learn about how designers Thom Bindels, Asja Keeman and Bram de Vos together with their ABN AMRO coaches deal with finding the balance between ethics and earning money in this article (in Dutch). 

More information about Driving Dutch Design on DDW21? Check their event page in the programme!