I am on a quest of combining great composition in an abstract way, with a world of infinity by creating lots of atmospheric depths and placing a myriad of details like Jan van Eyck did. I guess I search for a ‘theory of all’.
Where are you located: The Hague, Netherlands
ArtMarketDirect gallery URL:
Not really, even though the feel of letting myself down in a work in progress could creeps on me once in a while.
What’s your favourite colour and why?:
I teach my students a colour as such does not mean much. It is the realm of colour interrelationships that counts. I like colour combinations for that matter. My favourite is orange / blue because it is so powerful, next to violet / yellow because it can portray light quite beautifully.
Do you live with any family and or pets?:
I am solitary but miss my cat Furia as a great supporter and beautiful model for two years now.
Best and worst food?:
I like Indonesian food (typical for Indonesia and Netherlands) a lot, next to other oriental food. Mediterranean food comes next. I don't like organs kidney, brains, liver, etc. - my own I like but not as food.
Tell us a little about your full-time job and/or education?:
I did international and business law at Leiden, Netherlands but I always have been busy making art. At the beginning of the millenium I started my art business on the side next to being a lawyer and 6 years ago I decided to go fulltime. Now I teach 85 students 6 days per week (appr. 20 hours) and for the rest I paint and sketch on a daily basis.
If you weren't an artist what would you be doing instead?:
A very unhappy lawyer and I'm glad that the answer to this question is hypothetical.
What moment in your career are you most proud of?:
To be able to sustain myself with making and teaching art and even have a higher income than when I was a lawyer.
Before you became professional in art, what is the best non art related job you ever had and why?:
Being a lawyer because it gave me structure, work discipline and great problem analytical and resolving capabilities.
Getting Down To Business
There’s a lot of artwork on the market these days, how do you differentiate yours from the rest?:
I try to get my texts in SEO shape (Search Engine Optimization) all the time and place relevant hashtags. I also post at least once per week so I can keep followers on their toes. Besides that my work has to be outstanding and different so it will pop out.
What is the most challenging part about being an artist in todays market?:
The internet tends to get clogged with art nowadays and many amateurs, emerging and established artists have found their way online. The challenging part is to stick out in the crowd of cheap (amateur) art ($ 100) offered online and not end up at page 10 of each 20 artworks while a potential buyer gets fed up with low-quality art after page 9 and shuts down his or her laptop.
For you what is the best part about creating art in the way you do?:
The freedom I get and take with two thankful arms and be able to make what I want. When my energy runs low on a WIP I force myself to think of any odd office space where typical boring office humor is employed to keep the moral bearable.
If you were able to go back to give yourself a nugget of advice before you even got started what would that be?:
Get my SEO texts right straight away, because I am still in the process of putting them together after all these years. How could I have known Google and others value hashtags and meta tags less these days?
Visual art is often love/hate. How do you handle negative feedback?:
I embrace it, even though I know the giver is not right in his or her opinion. It is all about perception and even though it is poor, it still is what my artwork seems to such a person. Sometimes they are right and I take their remarks to heart. To those who are prunes and criticize my work because of the nudity involved I hold no grudge and know that it affects them. Sometimes as an artist I am pleased to evoke negative emotions next to aesthetical feelings.
What do you feel when something is sold? Why?:
Joy, because all the likes, hearts, winks and other positive outlets turn into a sound appreciation. It is important that my work is liked but we artists estimate a purchase even better. It enables us to buy new brushes and pencils.
What are your tools and/or equipment and/or medium of choice? Why?:
I sketch with a Pentel mechanical pen (fills - 3B, 0.5 mm) every day because I feel, when I can take my piece of paper out and sketch wherever I want with that basic graphite stick and people buy it, then I can accomplish anything. My oils and pastels will get better because of the daily sketching.
What is your creative process like?:
Throughout the years I feel my artistic powers rising because I got my techniques straight and therefore can express whatever comes to mind, how bizarre of nature. I always start with composition first and that is when I block in the big planes first. Detailing is for the final stage.
How do you come up with a profitable pricing structure for your pieces?:
Through experience. A drawing can sell for no more than $ 300 per piece. That is what people can afford 'out-of-pocket'. Higher pricing is for collectors and they are the ones everyone in the art world is chasing after.
What do you believe is a key element in creating a good composition?:
The basic set-up has to be right, caused by a great idea and through a bald first session.
What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received which you would be willing to share?:
Do tonal studies to start with. I see so many promising ideas stranding in the mist of low tonal contrasts, making them disappear. I like to impose a zen koan for beginner artists by asking "what is your original idea that stands out in the crowd?" Or: "How do you want to add value to a beautiful bouquet of flowers or a beautiful face?"
How has your style changed over the years?:
I turned from surrealism to cubism (my own sub-style 'roundism') and I tend to return to surrealism. Cubism has brought me a better understanding of composition taught by Piet Mondriaan and Johannes Itten but I also love detailing. I am on a quest of combining great composition in an abstract way, with a world of infinity by creating lots of atmospheric depths and placing a myriad of details like Jan van Eyck did. I guess I search for a 'theory of all'.
Tell us about any experimenting you are doing lately?:
I try to combine surrealism, cubism, impressionism, and realism and turn them into something new.
Do you have any upcoming events we should know about?:
Not really. I am in a new nude exhibition in a couple of big Chinese cities (artplu.com) right now. I will be featured at Saatchiart's front page this or next year, they told me and for the rest, I just follow the wind and see what greater things may come.