Take a look through Optima’s website and social pages and you might feel uplifted by the bright, airy imagery that helps tell the brand’s story.
Particularly interesting are the nature images: delicate spears of aloe vera, spiky sea buckthorn in bloom, vivid kiwi fruit, clusters of garnet-toned grapes, even a fish swimming through wisps of seaweed.
Read about the sustainably and ethically-sourced ingredients in Optima Nutricosmetics Ultimate – Complete Skin Food Elixir™, each one meticulously selected for its scientifically-proven gut and skin health powers, and you’ll appreciate the significance of these images.
Upon further contemplation, you’ll realise these delicate, translucent, ethereal pictures are actually x-rays. They are the artwork of Dutch artist Arie van ‘t Riet. This medical physicist became an x-ray artist after being inspired by the unique perspective x-ray images afforded him – revealing to him the inner beauty of life.
“Looking with x-ray eyes adds a new dimension to my experience of nature,” Arie describes in a Ted Talk.
For Optima, a brand focused on educating people that true beauty comes from within (specifically the gut), Arie’s images are the perfect illustration.
The Netherlands-based creator began exploring his artistic side when a hospital colleague asked him to x-ray a painting. While he had never x-rayed something so thin, the experiment worked, sparking Arie’s curiosity to try it again. A beautiful bouquet of tulips was his first muse, initially x-rayed then digitised on his computer where he added highlights of colour.
In the Ted Talk, Arie says he adds colour to “Try to combine the physical world, with colour and surface, with the x-ray world, the inner.”
Pleased with his tulips, Arie continued creating striking x-ray photography using plants, then insects and animals (that had already died). He eventually began combining the two in enthralling natural scenes he calls “bioramas”.
Arie has contemplated creating moving images, but that requires living animals and he doesn’t believe in risking their health in the name of art.
Sharing the same value of doing no harm to create her product, Optima co-founder Karissa Mather found Arie’s work as she searched online for unique imagery to help tell the brand’s important ingredient story.
“I sought x-ray images as I felt these were not only beautiful, but encapsulated our brand DNA by emphasising the sophisticated structure of our plant-based ingredients,” Karissa recalls. “Plants are amazing. They’re resilient, intricate, beautiful and can deeply nourish our bodies if we harvest and process them properly.”
Karissa says she hopes the images encourage people to contemplate how nature can provide all the nourishment we need.
“In turn, we must be respectful and source these ingredients sustainably and ethically. Nature is as powerful as it is delicate,” she states.
Optima pride themselves on being transparent, honest and authentic in the way they operate and in the way they treat people. Their value of full transparency is beautifully reflected in the translucent aesthetic of Arie’s images.
Arie clearly loves creating his artwork. So much so that after completing the commissioned images for the Optima collection, he kept going.
“As the seasons change, so do the plants from which we source our ingredients. Arie loves to update us on how they’re developing over the year, often creating and sending us more images to show this transformation,” Karissa explains.
“An example is our sea buckthorn: the first image Arie took for us was this one (see below).
"Cate (Lilja, Optima co-founder) and I loved it. So much so, we used the image inside our gift boxes (see below). A few months later, Arie wrote to say the sea buckthorn was now fruiting, and he created more pictures to share with us, resulting in this incredible image (see below).”
Celebrating the beauty and power of nature is clearly a passion shared between Arie and Optima.