Hi! My name is Nadieh Bremer, which is pronounced more like Na-di, so forget about that eh at the end. Nice to see you here! Let me explain a bit more about myself and how I got to where I am now.
I’m a freelancing data visualization designer and artist, working from a small town near Amsterdam, with a background in data science. In 2011 I graduated as an Astronomer from the University of Leiden. Looking for more tangible and dynamic work I left the world of academia and worked as an analytics consultant at Deloitte for four years.
It took me a while to figure out that, although I liked doing data analysis, I loved the visualization of the analysis and insights. In my evenings and weekends I started teaching myself about the subject of data visualization and I also started creating personal projects. A year later in 2015 I got the opportunity to join Adyen as a full-time data visualization designer. There I worked on designing & building dashboards and other data visualizations for their client environment.
However, after a year I figured out that my passion lies with the more creative kind of data visualization, not dashboards. Therefore, I quit my job to become a freelancing data visualization designer, under the name “Visual Cinnamon” to explore if there is a market for unique and captivating visualizations of data. If you’d like, you can read this blog for a more thorough story about my journey from astronomy to data visualization.
My projects include both web-based interactive visualizations, frequently using a storytelling technique to show insights into complex data and static visualizations that typically allow a bit more freedom in their design. I also like to explore the world of data art. Something that wouldn’t look bad hanging on a wall, or that can be used as branding or marketing material.
Fab Academy Motivation
Ever since discovering my passion for the visualization of data I’ve been creating these visuals on my laptop. Mostly to be used online, and although sometimes they appeared in printed magazines, I was never involved in the printing process.
At the start of 2020 I was feeling a drive to take my work beyond the computer and into the physical world. I bought an AxiDraw A3/V3 pen plotter during the first lockdown, which was an absolute joy to experiment with. I also created A3 posters of some of my favorite dataviz projects and set-up a small online shop to sell them. And participated in two riso printing workshops during the summer of 2020.
After this step from a 2D screen to a 2D piece of paper, I wanted more! I investigated workshops for 3D printing, laser cutting, and that’s how I came across the Fab Academy website and was immediately intrigued. The vast scope of topics that were covered in 20 weeks, the idea that you would immerse yourself into this full-time, (hopefully) create some fun things, and work together with a small group of like-minded enthusiasts was just what I needed (especially now after having been working from home for almost a year without breaks…).
I wasn’t an easy decision, since as a freelancer I would not be getting any income for half a year. But eventually I decided, well… YOLO ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Money isn’t everything and I can/have to still work for ±40 years after this. I felt such an enthusiasm for wanting to participate in Fab Academy that I didn’t care if I would ever be using the skills that I learned for my work (but I do hope I will!).
Here’s to having fun, learnings tons of new things, and creating the weirdest of contraptions!