After visiting her Art Trek exhibition I sent an email wondering if it was possible to meet up and have a chat, maybe even a small interview. So last week we did meet up, had a nice chat and had a small interview.
When did you start illustrating?
I studied painting for about 5 years but didnt feel so good with the conceptual tendency of painting. That's why I turned to illustration. The painting teachers weren't inspiring at all, but when I started studying illustration it was a whole new world. I really liked it so decided to stick with it. Little by little I started developing different techniques, meeting people, be part of exhibitions all around Europe (Holland, Paris, Rome, ...) and starting up my own ones, like Art Trek here in Antwerp. I really enjoy those exhibitions because it's not only a chance to show your own work but it's also wonderful to meet all those different people and artists and work together. When people want to be part of a gallery along your work you get some kind of confirmation about the quality of your work, so it's always a good feeling when fellow artists ask to be part of your exhibition.
For you, where does illustration stand in todays creative world?
I start working with illustration the same way I used to start with painting, even though in painting - or fine art in general - the questions of why this and why that directly come up. For me, I just draw or paint whatever comes up in my mind, if I have an idea I really like or something that caught my eye: the whole ideology behind a piece of work is for me a lot less important. I don't mean that a piece of work should 'just be pretty', but direct surroundings and emotions are already a vast enough concept to explore.
So what inspires you most?
The life around me, what I see. I love walking about, traveling around town or even around the world, exploring things that are different from what we're all used to. I also get inspired by the people around me, like my family, my friends, my boyfriend, .. and how emotions are expressed by them and everyone, actually.
What kind of techniques do you use?
Well, I try to explore as many different techniques as possible even though I do feel I usually fall back in the same routine, like a recurring motive. Like, I just came back from the USA where I went to help design a book. I met up with this one girl who was making woodcuts. So for a week I was constantly drawing and she was making the woodcuts from the drawings. It's fascinating to see how people use different techniques all around the world. Wherever I go I try to experience something that's very specific to that place. When I was done there I went to Chicago and there it was more like a 3D workshop, constantly sculpting wood.
How do you see the future of illustration?
It's a tendency that comes and goes, like Art Nouveau and Pop Art. It's a part of life that will never disappear.