Vitruvi Muse: Leonie Markhorst, Creative Strategist and Blogger

Leonie Markhorst is a freelance creative strategist and the blogger behind NOA NOIR. Originally from the Netherlands, she has also lived in Vienna and Vancouver, and is currently based in Berlin. Her personal style was heavily influenced by her expat life as she prefers no-fuss, minimal and timeless designs—both in her wardrobe and interior—that survive more than one trendy season. Her minimal style website NOA NOIR is dedicated to the confident and effortless; the ambitious women who value great taste without showing off and who strive for that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’.

Combining her passion for branding, design and strategy, Leonie recently launched Studio NOA NOIR: a boutique agency offering creative services to brands that are looking to inspire, engage and connect with their audiences.

What are your morning rituals?
I am absolutely not a morning person and always start the day wrong: the first thing I do is reach for my phone to check my emails and social media…but now that I am working full-time from home, I find it easier to first properly start the day before getting sucked into the online world. I get showered and dressed, make myself some tea and take my dog, Peanut, for a quick walk. I have found that the Wake Aromatherapy helps with waking up too. Good scents are key to feeling good.

Where do you get your inspiration? Any favourite blogs/magazines/books/websites?
I get my inspiration from just about everywhere. After getting more into photography, a whole new world opened for me. I now look at everything with completely different eyes—even when I am not carrying a camera, I look around me as if I am searching for the perfect shot. It’s incredible how detailed your environment becomes. Architecture, textures, structures and colours in nature all heavily influence my personal style…much more so than overly-designed spaces or outfits. Perhaps I think more in “elements” and prefer to grab bits and pieces of inspiration and make them my own.

In the online world, Pinterest and Instagram are my main sources of inspiration. Business-wise I am hooked on Australian magazine Collective HubI often can’t even finish one article without having to jot down new ideas. Sitting in my favourite café with the latest issue is my favourite weekend brainstorm activity.

What made you start blogging?
I started my first blog shortly after my move to Vancouver in 2011. After being active on fashion forums (pre-fashion blog era) and reading blogs for many years, I played with the idea to give it a try myself. I had been gifted my first SLR a few months before that and wanted to use the blog as a creative outlet. I am so glad I did—it opened a whole new world for me in terms of creativity, my personal and professional development, and friendships both online and offline.

Do you have a favourite quote? If so, what is it?
This changes all the time, depending on what’s going on in my life, but currently it’s this one: “The mind is everything. What you think, you become.” To me it’s all about having an open mind and not worrying or expecting too much…shifting my focus from “what if”-thoughts to working hard and just going for it. I have really noticed a big difference in the things I have been able to achieve by simply changing my mindset and believing in myself. And every success, how little or big it may be, fuels my motivation to get more done.

What are you most excited about right now?
Launching my new business: Studio NOA NOIR. I am excited to help other businesses build and grow their brand by providing branding and strategy consultancy and offering creative work, such as photoshoots, copywriting, styling, as well as web and software development. I am currently busy with finalizing the branding and getting the website ready. Exciting times!

How do you stay healthy?
I have recently signed up for a membership that allows me to try different studios and classes in the city, so I am looking forward to trying out new things. So far I am really loving kickboxing!

Connect with Leonie

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