Gemma Plum

analytisch - communicatie - design - grafiek - mens - schrijven - strips/cartoons - tekenen

Gemma Plum ontwikkelt, schrijft, ontwerpt en tekent materialen die ingewikkelde dingen inzichtelijk maken, zaken in een ander licht zetten of bijdragen aan gedragsverandering. Ze observeert graag mensen. Zij beziet menselijke gedrag, gewoontes en rituelen, als een gevolg van hun angsten, wensen en dromen. In haar tekenwerk houdt ze van brute precisie en staat ze bekend om haar krachtige zwarte lijnen, waarmee ze de rijke emotionele wereld van de mens probeert vast te leggen, over te brengen en (zo nodig) bij te sturen.

Stadstekenaar 2021 - Stadsarchief Rotterdam (The City Archive), Het Centrum Beelden Kunst Rotterdam (The Centre of Art) and de Kunsthal choose me of one of the three drafts(wo)men to draw the city in times of corona. I was honoured. I decided to focus on the stories of the people living this time in this city. Rotterdam is famous for bringing together a rich mix of people. These times of corona seems to accomplish the opposite. Groups of people emerge, all nuance seem to disappear. Listening to the stories of representatives of some of these groups, it became clear that it is not that black or white. Everyone had to make difficult decisions, choose how to adapt. All suffer loses and all discovered things they wouldn’t have done otherwise. In a one and a half meter format I captured their stories. You can read more (in Dutch) about this project on the websites of Het Stadsarchief, het CBK, de Kunsthal en het Rijnmond nieuws.
There are two kinds of people… - Stijn Schenk from Real Comics asked me tell the story of Marleen H. who is intersex. She is one of the 1% population that grew up hiding something we should know exists. The whole graphic story (8 pages) kan be read in full on my website The 'comic' was made under a Creative Commons – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs licence. Which mean you can publish and disturbute it for free in a non-commercial way if you don’t alter the work and give the proper credits. If you need high resolution file in Dutch or English, or if you prefer a single pages layout, please feel free to contact me or contact Real Comics :-). It was published in by Real Comics, the NNID,, Pulp deLuxe, appeared in de Stripgids nr. 10 and was nominated for the Plastieken Plunk (the price for the best graphic short from Belgium and the Netherlands). On an interview with me accompanied the publication.
Selfportret - In the summer of 2021 I joined the All-you-can-art project in De Kunsthal. For atmittens I needed to make a selfportret.
The Freedom of Drinking - In the first lockdown I was asked to illustrate Vrijheid van Drinken, a book by Alek Dabrowski. He captured the bar culture of Rotterdam in the ’80 in short hilarious anecdotes. It became an instant classic.
Forgotten Cities - Vergeten Steden (Forgotten Cities) by the Italian Writer Guido Quarzo is inspired by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. A brilliant book where Calvino lets his Marco Polo conjure up magical cities and magical times for his host, the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan. In these imaginative prehistoric cities that Guido Quarzo invents, he tells us how things might have been, and maybe how they are… These illustrations needed a bit of the Lascaux-cave-painting-feeling. To get the right atmosphere I used a non-toxic etching methode. I really enjoyed making them. Mostly I work with computers but it was great to get my hands (and all that stood in my path) dirty again.