I enjoy drawing and painting ... a lot.
Pen- and brushstrokes are creative expression in it's barest form. When I'm creating, I believe the brush and pen marks expose my own inner self, helping me create the mood or atmosphere of the story I want to tell.
I work hard to get that inner feeling I have for a story onto the paper or canvas, while still clinging to an esthetic pleasing image.
I work and live in Bredene and Ostend, in Belgium.
b1973, Oostende, Belgium
Most of my strongest childhood memories go back to me creating. I still vividly remember drawing recognizable people portraits on paper napkins in a restaurant, creating images with my dad's typewriter or just drawing the umpteenth board for a game me and my sister made.
Going on into my teens, I wanted to become an architect, but an assessment at school marked it as a bad career choice due to limited spacial awareness. I followed the advice and didn't know what to do next. Eventually I made my choice and graduated as a biochemical engineer because the creative fields didn't seem viable. Meanwhile I satisfied my creative urges through model kit painting, figurine sculpting/painting and event organisation for our local games club.
After graduation, I found a job at IBM and eventually became an AS400 system engineer. Changes in management style and corporate decisions lowered the creative aspects of my job, and eventually I crashed badly with a burnout. To recuperate from the illness I found playing music, drawing and painting to have a healing effect on me, so I started attending art school under guidance of artist and uncle Danny Bloes.
Eventually the IBM department I worked at was moved to India and we were made redundant. Thorough analysis of my past career showed me at heart to be a creative person. This analysis was the basis for my decision on the 17th of November 2016 to switch careers and become an illustrator.
Since then I've worked hard to improve my drawing and painting skills. I attended all the art classes I could at the art school. Weekly nude drawing sessions as well as regular visits to the zoo or a museum for more life drawing improved my anatomic knowledge and sketching skills. I entered Rebecca Guay's online SmArtschool and followed 4 semester there (1 under Marc Scheff and 3 under Greg Manchess), went to Winchester (SCBWI (society of Children book writers and illustrators) annual meeting) and attended Jeff Miracola's Fantasy Art Workshop.
My very first commissions were by Baccus6mm, Rebus, Black Gate Miniatures and some private commissions. Selection in the Young Wolves category at Picturale 2019 has brought me in contact with Knipoog bureau, for whom I will draw some card artwork.
Aside from more private commissions I am working on three projects:
Creating card art for some games I play myself, which I'll launch as a kickstarter
Creating more (book) artwork to sell as prints through my Etsy shop.
Illustrating a children's book written by fellow illustrator Maria J. Cuesta
My career may have switched, but the further along this path I'm travelling, the more I know this is what I'm meant to do, and I'm looking forward to every bit of learning along the lifelong journey.