What is your background?
My parents provided me with a remarkably liberal education and consistently conveyed the message that, as long as I followed my heart, I was headed in the right direction. This mindset isn’t typical in an average family. To this day, I remain profoundly grateful that they raised me this way. Their approach to education allowed my creativity and imagination to flourish without limits – something crucial during childhood and as you navigate your own personality and preferences in later years. Unfortunately, I’ve heard stories about people who aspired to be artists but were never supported by their parents. Fortunately, my experience is the opposite. My parents always backed me, giving me the strength and trust I needed. I must acknowledge that I am where I am now because of them. A car may be a beautiful object, but it’s worthless without fuel. The same goes for art. Art can be exceptional, but without the support of loved ones and relatives, it loses its significance. It’s a complete package, and I am immensely grateful that things have worked out well for me so far, allowing me to live my life doing what I love most – creating.
Can you take us through your artistic process, from conceptualization to the final piece?
I always start with ideas before I begin the actual painting. For every artwork, I begin with a blank canvas, and when the inspiration flows, the pencil touches the sheet and creates some magic. It’s hard to explain; it just happens. I truly see it as magic; that’s the best way to describe it. I strongly believe that in life, but also in art, you can’t force anything. And that’s the beauty of life, isn’t it?
How do you choose the medium for each of your projects?
For paintings, I always work with high-end acrylic paint. My artworks and themes always have bright, plain levels and colors, which are ideal for acrylic paints. I like to work with a lot of layers so that you have the least structure of the linen. I think the paint really pops out when you work this way. Acrylic is a medium that dries really fast, so this is perfect for the way I work. Paintings on linen are not the only artworks I make. I actually paint on everything—skateboards, bottles, jackets. I even painted a classic Devinci car two months ago, which was one of the loveliest projects. But I also love to work with Ecolin on handmade paper. Ecoline is totally different from acrylic, which brings more variety to my artwork. It’s funny that with the same kind of characters, you can create such different looks with just a change of materials. With acrylic, you have to work very precisely, but with Ecoline, it’s the other way around. The ink, combined with the water, flows organically so nicely. You don’t have to mix and change the colors because nature decides how it flows, which always turns into a surprise, and I really love to alternate between these techniques.
Are there specific emotions or responses you hope to evoke in your audience?
My works never really have a difficult, interesting, long story. I don’t like when people ask me what’s the story behind the artworks. Once, Picasso was asked what his paintings meant. He said, „Do you ever know what the birds are singing? You don’t. But you listen to them anyway.“ So, with art, it is important just to look. I couldn’t agree more with this. People always want to know everything. The curiosity makes me actually sick. Sometimes in life, you just have to enjoy things and moments without always wanting to know ‚what,‘ ‚why,‘ ‚how.‘ It is what it is. Everyone has their own vision in life, and that’s the way it should be evoked.
How are you faring today? What activities have filled your day?
Almost two years ago, I became the mother of the most special and beautiful girl in the world, Bobby Lou. She’s literally an angel and the light of my life. She has changed me so much and made me grow in so many incredible ways. Before she came into my life, I was painting all day and night. I had no other interests than art. My world was very small, and I just saw four walls, pots of paint, and pencils. You can almost tell I used to be a factory of my art, haha. Now everything has changed 180 degrees. I still love to paint, of course, but now I also love to spend time with Bobby Lou. I love to see her growing, exploring, and experiencing this big massive world. I think I am for the first time in my life on a small break from art, which is necessary sometimes. Now I am distracted from my art and fully focused on myself, my daughter, and life itself. And after this ‚break,‘ I am ready more than ever to come back with new ideas and a new good flow to work on! This doesn’t mean I will paint something totally different, I guess, but it gives the space to think about what I want to do next. You can’t work at full speed forever.
Playboy NL magazine featured your work. How do you perceive the intersection between art and popular culture, and how has media attention shaped your artistic journey?
I think the image of an artist has been changed. An artist isn’t an older man with a mustache, wearing a beret and dirty overalls, painting landscapes with mills in lawns. Painting in an old farmish building just by himself, surrounded by his paintings, which are all over his atelier. I think that image has been left behind for years. The art world, and the art, has been changed. It’s more popular and appreciated now than ever. I think that’s cool, that art gets a bigger audience.
Art is a basic necessity of life, and now it is more and more supported in the world, it’s only a good thing.
When you think of Austria, what comes to mind?
Have you ever had the opportunity to visit? I actually love Austria. I’ve been there several times, both for holidays and for work. The nature over there is insane. When I was young, we went on a mountain climbing holiday. I think I was 14. Nature is good for the soul, and I’ve always appreciated the art of nature. Really liked it.
But one of the things I remember very well is that I participated in a group show in Graz, in a super cool fancy art gallery right next to Das Kunsthaus in Graz. I remember that I was sitting on the floor with a serious stomach ache. God, I was so nervous. There would be a lot of press who wanted to do an interview with me, and I couldn’t stand the nervousness that flowed in my body. It was crazy, and kind of funny now when I look back at this.
What upcoming projects or exhibitions do you have in the near future?
In a collaboration with the famous Swiss watchmaker Franck Muller. The watch was first presented this week at Slaets in Antwerp. Currently, we are working on an art book that will showcase over ten years of paintings, sketches, drawings, and customized objects. I was asked by Uitgeverij Komma, a very established publisher specializing in art and photography books. We have been working on the book for quite some months, but next year we will launch the art book. I still can’t believe that my name will be on the cover of a book filled with everything that my own hands have created over the past years. It’s a dream come true.