Maarten Deckers, graphic designer
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I’m trained as a graphic designer so I’m heavily influenced by visual communication and typography. Most of my inspiration comes from looking at arts and crafts and from travelling to cities like London and Berlin. I try to soak in as much as I can and allow it to resurface. Looking at this series of abstract prints it’s obvious that the work of Jean Arp left a mark.
Which three words can describe your work?
Abstract. Colourful. Composed.
How does your creative process work?
I hardly ever start with an end result in mind. But I do set some boundaries, creativity needs constraints. At the beginning of my process I allow for influences and coincidences to take over and give me a starting point. From there on I gradually start reshaping, rearranging and recolouring until I find the right balance and individuality. I very much depend on feeling. There’s rarely a message involved.
When do you make your best work?
When I let go of expectations and start zooming in on details that are right in front of me.
How did this series of screen prints come about?
By zooming in on pieces of 3D animal models. The kind you can build by simply popping out cardboard pieces and sliding them into each other until you end up with a 3D model of an animal (like a giraffe or elephant). I redrew some of those pieces on a large scale and added drawings of pebbles. Some of them I filled with a pattern. I kept moving them around and recolouring them until I ended up with a series of compositions that I screen printed by hand. I put a lot of effort into mixing the colour inks, often using fluorescent undertones to make them more unique.
What is some of the best advice you have ever received?
“Creativity and ego cannot go together. If you free yourself of the comparing and jealous mind, your creativity opens up endlessly. Art is not a product of the ego but a result of being open to inspiration.“ I came across this piece of wisdom on two separate occasions: in an article about a Japanese potter and in a documentary about a Korean buddhist chef. Needless to say I have great respect for crafts and a buddhist mindset.
What is your greatest enemy?
Perfectionism. Too much of it can really ruin the fun.