With her latest collection, Margaux Poppe from Beyond the clouds kills 3 birds with one stone. She offers positive postcards and posters with a message, makes talking about sexual violence more accessible and supports Punt vzw, an organization that works to help victims of sexual abuse. Read along and take a look in her colorful world.
Flower explosions in a frame
The meaningful prints are based on hope, growth and change. The idea for the collection arose from previous campaigns (#BloomForChange and #BloomForJulie) by Punt vzw, in which the organization chose flowers as a symbol for change. Margaux wanted to work on this further. By donating part of the proceeds from Watch me bloom to Punt, she wants to convert the symbolism of the flowers into an action plan. Because every donation gives Punt new opportunities to bring about changes for victims, but also in our society.
If we have to describe Watch me bloom succinctly, ‘feminine flower explosions’ best sums up this collection. Each of the six designs has a powerful affirmation as its title. From “I am lovable” to “We are worthy,” everyone can pick out a mantra that best suits her (or him). Or of course you just choose your favorite drawing from this sea of flowers! Margaux’s favorite print is ‘We are healing’. In this illustration you see different tiny women resting in flower buds. Some women have a more closed body language while others look relaxed and are even standing back up. It represents the stages of healing and the power of supporting each other.
Margaux sees her feminine, flowery illustrations as a way to give this heavy theme a positive spin. From her own experiences with sexually transgressive behavior she knows all too well that letting go of these events is a very important step. She visually represents this step by replacing dark thoughts that may be going through your head with colorful flowers. Working on this collection was confronting yet therapeutic. To ‘draw a better tomorrow’ is something she strives for as an illustrator, so she wanted to go through with it. Margaux hopes that every victim, like her, will one day be able to bloom and grow again. “It’s very liberating to be able to let go and find yourself again,” she says.
And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love flowers? The postcards and posters are perfect to brighten up your interior and add color to your walls. Her recognizable style is an eye-catcher for sure. Or you can give them as a gift to celebrate an important person in an original way. Strong softness in an envelope or frame, so to speak.
Illustrations that matter
During her own experiences with sexually transgressive behavior, she had to deal with different approaches. There were two events that got under her skin the most, the first of which she received virtually no guidance or help. The situation was laughed off and it was said that she herself would have been at fault. Unfortunately, these reactions are far too common. And that while at such a moment you are very vulnerable and expect understanding and support from your environment and authorities. The way our society treats victims of sexual violence is not okay.
Fortunately, the second time that Margaux became a victim of unwanted sexual behavior, she got the help that was needed. The support and guidance, also on a psychological level, have helped her to process the facts better. It was not easy to take the step to report the facts. The trajectory you go through as a victim, continuously having to repeat the facts, almost reliving them again, … It is emotionally very heavy. It can also be difficult for the victims’ environment to deal with such events.
Positive changes are already taking place, but there is still a lot of work to be done. That is where organizations like Punt can make a big difference. Punt assists victims of sexually transgressive behavior and sexual violence in various ways. They do this through support groups, advice and guidance, for both victims and their environment. By working with other aid organizations, they can ensure that everyone gets the help they need.
Young organizations such as Punt depend on grants from the government and donations to be able to offer the necessary help. Part of the proceeds from the Watch me bloom collection goes to this non-profit organization, so that they too can continue to bloom. In addition, Margaux is organizing an online auction on Monday 6 September via her Instagram profile. During this auction it will be possible to bid on the six original watercolor paintings on which the prints of the collection are based! The proceeds of this action will go entirely to Punt.