About Andrew's graduation project 'DOGMA'
'DOGMA' follows a spiritual group for dog aficionados that call themselves the Hounds of Love, who believe that one must strive to be like the dog, a true paragon of virtue. Their bizarre tale is told through very large screenprints and ceramic sculptures that depict life within the cult and the peculiar rituals performed by its members.
Hi Andrew, congrats with your graduation! For starters, where does your love for illustration come from?
I’ve enjoyed drawing ever since I was a kid. I grew up watching a lot of cartoons and movies, so I was always drawing these characters and making up stories. Eventually I developed a bit of a weird sense of humour and started to create my own characters. I think it has always been about wanting to tell stories and being better at expressing myself visually rather than with words.
Why did you choose Illustration at the University of the Arts Utrecht (HKU)?
I chose Illustration because I really like drawing. Having previously completed a degree I did not enjoy (Psychology), I wanted to choose something I truly loved this time around. At the time my understanding of illustration was very different than it's now. I thought it would be the most practical course for me, seeing as fine arts seemed a bit too uncertain. I picked my school because it was fairly close to Amsterdam, which is where I am from and where I lived at the time.
What's your best memory about your study?
My best memory from my course was actually at a different school. During my third year, I went on exchange for a semester to the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, Scotland. I loved having the opportunity to live abroad for a semester and to see how different everything was at another art school. Because there were fewer classes and more cross-pollination between the different departments, I feel like I really got to experiment and develop my style.
How do you conquer a creative block?
I often need to go through a lot of bad drawings before I arrive at something that looks decent. I usually try to power through it and exhaust whatever simple idea I have and focus on the execution. I feel like the more I draw something, the more I understand it and know which aspects to exaggerate and get to a stronger composition. Other times I just take a break and have a chat with my studio mates. Talking about my projects with people who know my work can help to form new ideas.
How does your workspace look like?
What are your 3 favourite places in The Netherlands?
1. Kapitaal, Utrecht – a screen printing workshop/exhibition space/hangout spot in Utrecht. It’s where I learned how to screen print and where I’ve met a lot of wonderful artists.
2. Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
3. Pacific Parc (RIP), Amsterdam – A restaurant and club that used to host the best rock ‘n’ roll shows in Amsterdam. Sadly it is no more.
What are your 3 favourite Instagram accounts?
What have you recently seen that you think is great creative work?
Not very recent but a while back, I was at the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht to see the retrospective David Lynch exhibition, 'Someone is in My House'. I had previously only known him from his films and had once heard some of his music. The exhibition featured an impressive collection of works, ranging from drawings to mixed media pieces and installations. I was still working on my graduation project at the time so it was really inspiring.
What are your plans in the near future?
Recently I was hired to do the artwork for an event called ADE Live by Paradiso and Melkweg during Amsterdam Dance Event. I was also hired to do the visual campaign for a film festival for emerging Dutch filmmakers called VERS Film Awards, which will be later this year. I am also collaborating with fashion designer Irina Gusakova for her Fall/Winter collection in 2020. I will be making illustrations, patterns and patches that will be either printed or stitched onto garments. It’s all very exciting!
Can you give one piece of advice to future students?
I think it is important to stay true to yourself instead of adapting your project into whatever you think your tutors want to see from you. Often when receiving negative feedback, it can seem as if tutors are trying to steer you into a completely different direction, which you might not agree with. While I think it is useful to listen to critique, I think it is more important to trust your own judgment and to know why you feel that way. In the end, the feedback you receive is just another opinion.