Jos van der Meulen went to the Academy of Fine Arts in Rotterdam to learn how to paint. Van der Meulen’s biggest passion, ever since he was young, is to make new designs from everyday objects. His professor advised him to not only exhibit his paintings, but also his workshop and attributes. He is know a well-known inventor of odd and extraordinary products and objects by raising the status of cast-off things by giving them new and different lives. Van der Meulen tries to make ordinary things extraordinary. As a result, the thought behind a lot of his products is to work with whatever the environment offers him. He has a large stock of supplies, in case the environment has nothing to offer him at that particular moment.
Using the quality of the material and applying it to the new implementation is rule number two for van der Meulen. Inner tires from trucks can be handy elastic rubber bands or cast-iron street drains can be turned into storm proof terrace pottery. Van der Meulen started the production company JaJo together with Jan Neggers, primarily to produce the Paperbag series. He also works on commission for a variety of cultural institutions and companies to process leftover posters into Paperbags, Paperboxes or Paperfiles. Van der Meulen welcomes employees from companies in his workshop on a regular basis for team building. They can paint their own pieces of paper which van der Meulen then sews into Paperbags on the spot.