The Natural Habitat of a Illustrator

Well, Today it is HOT outside and inside and everywhere.  And I can't stand high temperatures at all. People are going to the beach and do nothing all day blablabla. That could be a good thing for normal people but not for me. I live inside a house and I do work all the time because I can't sit still at all. I have to do something! But since it's to damn hot to focus for a long time on the drawing I am working on right now I am writing you guys a blog entry.

The topic of this day is about what I have around me while drawing and living. (yeah some kind of CAVUMtv Cribs)
I need to be stimulated by everything around me. Illustration and art is not just something I practice but it's also a way of life. So my whole house is a bit of a wunderkammer in progress.

Let me show  you some things.

my view in the living room

This is my view when I get home for my fulltime job. I like to sit down for a little while and drink some tea. But I am not doing this just to relax. At this moment I am planning what to do in the evening or thinking about the drawing I am working on. What can I add to make the drawing more interesting? What kind of symbolism can I use? So sometimes I just grab a book and start looking at the pictures and drawings in it or read some stuff that has a connection with the work I do.
I think every creative mind needs to step back from his or her work to think about it. And I do it like this.
(As you can see I even have some dead things in my living room so I don't just draw skeletons and shit like that. It is some kind of fascination. Some of you will understand.)

the bear in the chest
I also like stuffed animals and other puppet like stuff. I haven't done anything with this yet but that is not the point of collecting stuff. It creates a ambience. This one is even in some kind of panel in the shape of a large chest. They make me think about things from the past and future. Let's say a modern day vanitas in a 3D installation.

But it is not only collected stuff I am looking at. I think it is good to be confronted with your own work too.
some drawings I made with African masks in between
I have these two prints above my couch with in the middle the original drawing of the left one. I don't really like African primitive art but I do like some of the shapes and colors in it. As you can see I use these elements in my drawings too. You should be able to take an object and look at it and see the different elements in it. There is almost always something to discover you can use in your art. When I discover something in an object I buy it (If I can afford it) to remind myself of that particular thing in it. And besides that, it is always fun when people are coming over and see their amazement in their eyes with a slight sprinkle of horror in their eyes.
So always look back at what you did! Sometimes when I look back at my work I am thinking 'damn, did I really drew this? It is actually not bad at all!' I know it sounds a bit arrogant to think things like that but you shouldn't be afraid of saying or thinking good things about your own work. That is why you do it eventually. Creating good things.

Now let's move to some other things I surround me with at my working space. These two pictures above are some things I collect and keep in a pile of other pictures my eye caught. In a newspaper I found a detail of a medieval painting of a woman holding a rock. That appeared to be a comet. This little detail is a story in the making! I just know this is going to be the base of one of the next drawings I make.
Next to that a old man smoking his pipe. It is a nice picture of someone who enjoys his life in his own space. Pipe smoking is not something you just do, like a cigarette. It is a complete ritual of preparing the pipe and stuffing the bowl and then light it the first time and light it the second time. It is something you do slowly and focused and when it is on you can enjoy it. It takes time but it is rewarding. It makes you sit down and take some time for yourself like waiting for the pint of guinness or your glass of absinth. I like this image because it reminds me that I have to take the time for my drawings too. Even tho I have to finish a drawing fast I need to give everything the time it needs. When I have little time to do a Illustration I need to make the concept as clear as possible. Add the things who are needed and focus on other things. Time management is important!!! Yeah, I know.. I am not great at that one either. That is why there are times when I have to skip a night of sleep. And then I hate the drawing, send it to the client while typing a happy email and then go to bed. BUT! I am always proud afterwards. You maybe know that feeling. You did it! HA! You didn't expect that, did you life?!
And on the right picture you can see a table with some stuff on it and a skeleton in the corner and some other doctor stuff (you can't see that but you have to trust me in this one) Why? well the lighting and sober interior and the question: What happened in that space? It was the room of a doctor back in the golden age. That is another drawing in the making don't you think? 

And not the least important! Music.

Record player, Vinyl of the band IZAH and a statue of Behemeth

I always have a cd or vinyl playing. Music and my drawings are the same thing. Just like all the things I collected it creates a ambience I want to put in my illustrations. I look foor music that suits the spirit of the illustration and I really want to do more art for bands and festivals. So I think this should be connected in every way. But I have to say, I don't only listen to metal! There is also a lot of jazz, classical and even some pop music in my music collection. Whatever serves the purpose.

There are a lot more things I "need" to make my natural habitat complete like a shitload of typographic stuff and more posters I love. No, not digital but real posters. I don't like things digital. Then it gets lost in some kind of mess of whatever where I will never look at ever again. Now I need to clean up my stuff so now and then and I rediscover the pictures and posters I have.

speaking of the pile of things I need to clean up:

So I am going to clean this mess up and then I will continue with my poster. (pssst, it is for my own exhibition in October. More info soon!)

I hope you liked this post and take care of your own working and living space. I am aware not every single artist can live like this. I know artists who live in a complete sterile house and work in a super clean space where everything is in a certain structure and organized in a way nothing can go wrong. That is the person behind the art! Those artist mostly have a super clean style where they draw in too. But that is not my type of art making. So I guess the conclusion of this long story is a bit like you live your art, you don't just make art.

For any questions, please leave a comment!

Kind regards,



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