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1. What inspired you to come up with such distinctive art pieces?
Before I started painting, I mainly did Photoshop editing. I was also active in the graphic design world. I noticed that digital art was becoming more and more popular, especially in animation films and series. Personally, I find it a bit disappointing that traditional drawing is not as common anymore. But then I had an idea: what if I applied the same photo manipulation techniques I used in Photoshop to a thrift store painting I found? The painting itself was not particularly beautiful – something someone from my generation would not normally hang on their wall. But what if I added a Stormtrooper to the scene? It was like a story started forming in my head, the background was already there, I just needed to add a few elements. Before I knew it, I had created several paintings that my peers and I would actually hang up, and it was also a form of recycling.
2. Would you be willing to elaborate on your painting process for us?
These days, I am always immersed in new ideas, which I first sketch out in Photoshop or on paper. If I like the design, then I paint it onto canvas. I carefully consider the direction of the light source and try my best to create realistic shadows. My main goal is to make it look like the element was already painted in the scene. However, it’s also fun to incorporate 2D characters from, for example, the Disney movie Alice in Wonderland into a landscape.
Each painting is unique. Using various painting techniques challenges me to recreate them. I learn something new every day. Sometimes, it’s even an art to make it less detailed than I normally would so it fits into the overall picture of an old painting.
3. What factors do you consider when selecting a character or object to include in a specific painting?
I don’t go to thrift stores or markets in search of a painting to paint a specific character or object on. I go to a thrift store to come across a painting that tells me exactly what it needs. Often, I can immediately see the potential in an old painting and know exactly what I want to paint on it. I start creating my story right away.
However, I do have folders on my phone filled with hundreds of images of certain cartoon characters, game characters, movie and TV characters, or even specific scenes. These are all ideas that I might someday paint, once I come across the right painting.
4. Do you have a particular artwork that you are especially fond of?
One weekend, my wife and I were taking a little break in Antwerp, Belgium. We woke up in our hotel room, and as we stepped outside, we stumbled upon a small market selling second-hand items, with mostly paintings. That’s where I found a painting of two comforting men surrounding another man, and it seemed like one of them was even mocking him. This sparked an idea in my head to incorporate Squidward from the TV series Spongebob Squarepants into the painting as a caricature painter, painting the man as the pirate from the Spongebob intro. It was hilarious, and now the painting truly tells a story.
5. Does feedback from your social media followers influence the subject matter of your future paintings?
Oh, the power of social media! The short answer is both yes and no. Sometimes I love asking my friends and followers what they’d like to see on a painting, and I get a bunch of diverse ideas. However, in the end, I usually end up going with my gut feeling, and what came to mind first. But, there are instances where I’ll incorporate those suggestions on a different painting. I do notice that the pieces that people can recognize from their childhood or are currently trendy tend to get the most reactions. It’s fascinating to see how people react to different subjects and themes!
6. Have you had the opportunity to showcase your artwork at any exhibitions?
Oh yes! Last month, I had the pleasure of being part of a group exhibition with 4 other amazing artists at the Amstelkerk, right in the heart of Amsterdam (Netherlands). And currently, a collection of my paintings is being showcased at the Kruisherenklooster in the center of Maastricht (Netherlands). It’s always such an incredible feeling to see my work on display for the public to enjoy!
7. Could you provide us with some insight into the themes we can expect to see in your upcoming collection?
In the future, you can expect to see more 80s/90s movie themes incorporated into my paintings. Think of classics like Batman, Disney, Jurassic Park, and of course, Star Wars. But I also plan to include beloved games such as Zelda, Mario Bros, and Donkey Kong. I am also very excited to explore new films and TV shows that interest me, like The Mandalorian, and incorporate them into my art. It’s a way for me to tap into that nostalgic feeling from my childhood, and I hope to bring that same feeling to others through my paintings!.