In April 2014 I already posted a Q&A, and since I keep on receiving requests for interviews of art students, I decided to repost it, with some additional replies,
Questions and Answers:
On a regular basis I receive mails from students all over the world, with questions on my work. Replying them cost me a lot of time. Since I do not want to disappoint anyone, I always do reply. But from now on, one can check this blogpost, which I will complement with new Q&A's every now and then.
2. Q. When do you know when a painting is finished? A. It is a feeling... I just know when it is ready.
3. Q. What would you recommend to art-students? A. Try to create as much as you can, experiment a lot, persevere, set goals, listen to your heart, take your time, and over the years... be unique.
4. Q. How did you get your art represented by galleries? A. My first collaboration was with a gallery who asked me... I still work with them!! Next I tried to get in contact with other galleries, but I almost never received a reply. From the moment I decided to let go, and just paint, things changed. Nowadays it is the other way around: galleries contact me with requests to collaborate.
5. Q. Did you always have confidence in your talent? A. No not at all. For a long time I believed I was not good enough. I know there are a lot of much more gifted artists than I am. But I think my talent lies in perseverence, originality, courage, and the will to be different. I feel very lucky and grateful to be able to do this as a profession.
6. Q. Which were the highlights for you, so far? A. My first solo exhibition in a gallery in the Netherlands (Galerie De Kei - nowadays called Kunsthuys, back in 2006), my first solo show at a wonderful gallery in New York City (Monkdogz Urban Art 2008), first solo show in Paris (Galerie Tatiana Tournemine, 2011) my commission for the famous dutch singer-songwriter Anouk (cover of her 9th album), my second and third solo show in Paris (Artclub Gallery 2016 and 2017), my collaboration with and permanent exhibition at galleries in the USA (F.A.N. galleries in New Orleans - Louisiana and Carmel - California - 2018).
7. Q. Can you live from your art? A. Yes, I am in the lucky situation I can, and I feel very very grateful for that, and hope to be able to continue like this. There have been times (during a few years after the crisis started), when the majority of the galleries I worked with, had to close their doors. I did not earn enough with my art anymore, and had to get a second job during 2 years. After I decided to stop the second job, because it really was not good for my sanity, I could use all my energy for my paintings again. Next new doors opened.... Still feel so damn grateful for that!!!
8. Q: How do you design your paintings? A: My abstract paintings arise on the canvas layer by layer. No sketches! They come from my heart. My portraits are based on simple sketches and pictures, but I use my fantasy and imagination during the process of creation on canvas.
9. Q: What tools do you use to get the different textures? A: I use brushes, palette knives , my fingers, and improvise a lot.
10. Q: How do you come with the names for your paintings? A: They arise during creation of the painting.
11. Q: Why do you have features that are realistic and parts that are abstract? A: For the simple reason that I like to create both!
12. Q. What paint do you use? A: I use acrylics, from different brands and I blend a lot!
13. Q: Do you also use a medium to make the paint thicker? A: No, I don't use a medium.
14. Q: Can you post a video to show how your work? A: No. I developed my very own style over the years, and it cost me a lot of energy, sweat, and frustration, as well as joy of course. But I am not going to give it away like that. I encourage artists-to-be to follow their heart, experiment a lot, and develop their own style. Dare to be unique, instead of copying others.
15. Q: What does art mean to you? A: My life. I can't live without. It makes everything more beautiful, meaningful. And by creating it myself, I can express myself.
16. Q: When did you discover art? A: I grew up with it. My father is an artist as well. It went playfully.
17. Q: According to you, are there any limits on art? A: Yes and No! Yes, because some say something is art, when to me it is nothing more than putter-work. Yes, because some declare something to be a piece of art, which is totally incomprehensible to others. For example, a piece of rope, hanging down from the ceiling, amplified with some bullshit story. To me that is not art. NO (and now I am contradicting myself), because everything should be possible. If you observe the world with an open mind, there is so much more to discover! NO, because I myself, always say that there are no bounderies on my work, nor what it has to depict.
18. Q: Does your mood influence the work you are creating? Or is the other way around? A: What's going on in my body and mind, I express with paint on canvas. It's not only my job, it works also therapeutical. I only get moody/frustrated, if I can't manage to express it in the proper way. Of course, if what I have in my mind, easily flows on the canvas like I want it to be, it makes me happy!
19. Q: Do your works come from a fantasy, or is it a copy of reality? A: Both. The abstract works are no fantasy. It just arises, from the urge to express 'my reality' with paint on canvas. Next it is to the spectator, to use his/her imagination. The portraits are fantasy, but partially based on reality.
20. Q: Do you experience fantasy as a kind of lust. A: I do think so, yes.
21. Q: In the 60's art started to appear in tv-commercials. Do you think commercials are art? Do you think art can be used for commercials? A: Commercials are no art, it is pure marketing. But it absolutely can be made very artfully!
22. Q: Do you think the value of art is always equal to the financial value it sometimes gets? A: Absolutely not. Sometimes a piece of art is worth much more, than what someone wants to pay for it. But most of the time, it is the other way around. Works of old masters and a select group of contemporary artists often are sold, through auctions, for disproportionate high values. In my opinion they may be worth a lot, but the millions and billions that are now issued for this are completely insane.