Artist Proof Interview with Artist: Claudia Hek
Global Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
AP Shop URL: http://www.zazzle.com/claudia_hek
Thick lines and lovely ladies, that’s what Dutch autodidact artist Claudia Hek, age 35, is all about. Inspired by Pop Art, old-school tattoo imagery and 40
’s & 50’s pin-ups Claudia Hek’s work reflects her view of beauty that sends a bright spark into the world. Using bright colors and primarily women’s figures in all manner of professions (pirate wench to gun-slinging bandit), Claudia had created a new vision of these timeless subjects by evoking the raw modern passion of a bygone era in her paintings. Not only is Claudia a talented painter, but she is a prolific poster designer for bands worldwide. She also creates logos and stickers, t-shirts designs for bands, clothing labels and burlesque starlets all around the world and has her own line of T-shirts that she sells in various shops and through her website.
AP: How long have you been making art for and what lead you to start.
CH: It never really started, I think it was always there, but it started to come out ever since I could hold a pencil and from then I was always being creative in all kinds of ways and for the last 10 years it’s been my work as a freelancer.
AP: Where do you currently live and work ω And how does this influence your work.
CH: I work and live in Amsterdam, one of my favorite cities in the world, there’s so much to see here and there’s so many different cultures and people. Here you can be who you are, wether you wear a burka or just a leather g-string and that is what really inspires me.
AP: Did you have formal training if so what If your self taught can you tell us what you prefer about being a self taught artist vs having formal training.
CH: I went to art school but after 2 months I knew that that was not the thing for me to do so I’d quit. Sometimes I wish I had learned some more techniques but on the other hand I think you stay more pure as a self taught artist, maybe it takes more time to figure things out but it feels much better when you got there all by yourself and by getting there you’ve probably learned a lot more from making mistakes.
AP: Can you tell us about where you make your work is it in your house, a studio etc.. and how it effects your work.
CH: I work at home, I’ve got a spare room that I use as my studio. I love working at home, I don’t have to go outdoors and there’s no other people around and it’s real cosy with my 2 cats around. I really love the peace and quiet of my place and this way, when I wake up in the middle of the night with a brilliant idea I can just roll myself out of bed and sit down and work on it if I have to.
AP: What are some of you favorite design projects/exhibitions you have worked on to date.
CH: My last show was a group show here in Amsterdam with the theme ‘Myths & Legends’, I’d set up that show myself and it was probably my favorite show so far and my piece for that show is also one of my favorites, it’s one of my first paintings that sort of came alive while I was working on it and I got so attached to it so I decided I don’t want to sell it.
AP: What is your medium of choice.
CH: Acrylics and Indian ink.
AP: Who are some of the artists that have inspired you and or your work.
CH: Roy Lichtenstein was a big inspiration and most pin up artists from the 40’s and 50’s, Dick Bruna and Coop when I started doing gig posters.
AP: In what direction would you like to see your work going over the next five years.
CH: I’d like to go a bit deeper and maybe darker, give it some more meaning and give the viewer something to think about.
AP: What forth coming projects and or exhibitions do you have scheduled for 2011.
CH: I’m planning to set up another group show in december and have all the artists design a tarot card plus I’m working on a project with a friend from the U.K who’s a photographer and did a series of fetish girls and I’ve picked 10 that I’m gonna illustrate and in the end of the year or beginning of next year we’re planning to have a show in Amsterdam and one in London.
AP: Take us on a guided tour through a day in your life as an artist.
CH: My day always starts with 30 minutes of meditation, then it takes me about an hour to wake up, check my email and hang around on Facebook and then I start work around 10, work for a few hours, maybe go into town for coffee or go to a flee market, get back to work for a few more hours and then go to the gym or read a book. That’s what most of my days are like.
AP: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions.