Tell us a little about yourself:
I grew up in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. My dad was a graduate from one of the top art schools in Amsterdam. When I was visiting him every weekend he always had something to show me; a new painting, or some sticks he found in the park, painted black and sticking flowers made from leftover wallpaper on them. He always could make something from nothing much. I also grew up with an older brother who went to graphic / architecture school. He was a bad-ass in drawing cartoon style characters and making his own comics. I looked up to him, so I always did some drawing myself. So ART came into my life within the closest circles you can say.
When did you first begin to make art?
The moment I could hold a pen or pencil and I started drawing. That was the moment I was into art. This was at a very young age.
When did you first start using Photoshop and how did you learn?
My step dad installed Adobe Photoshop – no idea which one, but this was around 2001. [Editor’s note: Photoshop CS6 was released in 2000] I started to mess around with it since YouTube did not exist back then. All I did was experiment with it. I learned most of what I know now from various tutorials online or watching speededit videos. I started to get serious with Photoshop when I changed careers a year and a half ago from full time martial artist to photographer. I think I am mostly self- taught. I never took any classes, or workshops, just the online videos and experimenting before.
What inspires you?
I can get inspired from everything; a certain movie scene, a comic book cover or walking outside and see a location I like. It is not hard for me to get inspired.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
What is your typical process when creating a piece of art?
Getting inspired is a first. Getting the right model, the right location. If I get these 3 right, the post processing is just a side issue that mostly goes into a chill workflow.
I noticed your production space has a set of headphones hanging on a monitor. Do you listen to music when you create your work?
I do listen to music while I am working. My production space is in the middle of the living room and I have a daughter running around all day, and a TV next to where I work. So, it can get noisy. Listening to music is my way to get into my zone and work relaxed.
What kind of music?
I listen to Hip Hop, reggae or Motown music. It kinda depends on my mood.
What is your favorite Photoshop trick/method at the moment?
I like to use the HDR plugin on all my images but in a way it doesn’t look HDR-ish. You can create cool effects if you know how to work with it, even if you use it multiple times on one image. The trick is to use it subtly to get the effect you want to get.
Which HDR plugin do you use?
I just use the HDR plugin that comes with CS6. A Lot of people use HDR to get the details out of an image. I like to do the same but when I mostly do it, it doesn’t look HDR-ish. With the right settings you make the colors blend more instead of getting that usual raw result.
What is your favorite Photoshop tool at the moment?
Recently I’ve been using the dodge tool a lot for portrait retouching projects. So, for now that is one of my favorite tools. That and the ”patch tool”.
What work of your own are you most proud of?
I really like all my photos. Since I don’t work with any mood-boards or hand written concepts, the outcome of every picture even surprises me. I mean I know what I want to do with it, but in my head it is never like how it comes out. I always just have an idea I have to work with and give life to.
What are you currently working on?
Actually working on opening a photo studio with my older brother in our hometown.
What would you tell someone who is starting out making Photoshop art?
Just do whatever you think is cool. No rules no restrictions. Experiment a lot. Watch tutorials to make yourself better. Take classes, workshops. If you really want to do this you will find a way to have success, but also have fun with it.