Art and design have always been a very important part of my life. My dad is an industrial designer and he mostly works from home, so design is sort of this other sibling with whom I grew up unknowingly. I remember when I was around eight or nine years old, I would come back from school, go on my father’s computer and mess around in Photoshop for hours. My father showed me the basics and I followed tutorials to try to further my knowledge. I spent a great deal of my time on Photoshop as a kid. I have always been very creative, I was always drawing and making up stories. I used to write and illustrate my own books and present them in front of my class. I took my projects very seriously and I was very committed to them. I consider myself to be very lucky, because I always knew this is what I wanted to do.
It took me a while to find my style. I read a lot of poetry for inspiration, because I knew I wanted to create images that resonate in a similar way poetry does. I identified illustrators, painters and designers that I liked and then tried to understand why I liked them. I am very fond of the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cy Twombly, Joan Miró, Paul Klee, Henri Matisse, Ellsworth Kelly, Sister Corita Kent, Karel Martens, Paul Cox and David Carson, to name a few. That helped me a lot in trying to find what I wanted my work to look like. I started playing around with shapes and textures to try and develop a language of some sort. The challenge was always to find the right balance between the digital and manual aspects I wanted my images to have. I try to reach for the middle-ground between the two.
I love to experiment with different mediums and with happy accidents, but I also like to have control over the image I’m working on with Photoshop. Photoshop gives me infinite possibilities in terms of compositions and colors, while my cutouts and textures bring a human, tangible feel to my work. The interaction between the shapes, the colors and the textures is really important. I try to create images that are ambiguous, evocative and fun at the same time. I also like my style to adapt to the type of project I am doing. I try to experiment and to change my style often as well so I don’t get bored. The best advice I could give others is to not worry too much about having a style, because that can become very restricting and boring after a while. What’s so great about being a graphic designer and/or an illustrator is that it does not limit you to one thing. The more you explore and broaden your horizons, the more your work becomes rich. I know I like being surprised and challenged, so I want my work to reflect that.