A moment of reflection. We are always curious about the creative process of artists. How did they get to this point? We want to dive into the mind of the creators. The result: ‘Making Process’, a column featuring artists who offer us an insight in their creative process.
In this episode Mikko Kuiper from Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
SHC: What does your life as an artist look like?
Mikko: Most of the time I paint and draw, but I also do photography, and I don’t want to exclude anything. I once cut a huge banana out of styrofoam and covered it with disco mirrors: the Disco banana.
SHC: What material did you use to create the old work?
Mikko: The old work is a painting on a sheet of paper on canvas, which I painted as realistic as possible with alkyd paint.
SHC: What changed over time?
Mikko: One big difference between my recent and older work is the material I use. Nowadays I work with acrylics. But the most significant change is the energy: I increasingly move away from detailed painting. I actually want to work towards a style in which I can achieve exactly what I have in mind with just a few strokes, a style that I would like to call “fresh”.
SHC: Do you experience this in your daily life as well?
Mikko: Yes, I’m getting better at letting go and being confident things will work out. That also applies in art. Even though sometimes there is still that little voice in my head: “It won’t work, you can’t do it.” I think every creator knows what I’m talking about. But now , another voice is able to rise up, saying: “I’m just going to do this!” The conflict remains, but I started to pay way less attention to voice number one.
SHC: Do you see this as your biggest achievement so far?
Mikko: Definitely, I am able to leave things the way they are, and have faith in a happy ending. Every time I notice that something is working, I get excited. Where I used to struggle for hours on a drawing or painting, I am currently aiming for a level where I think: “that line works, that part is good.” That enables you to continue without hesitation.
SHC: Last question, what life experiences influenced your style?
Mikko: Influences are always difficult to point out, but I immediately think of the moment I came face to face with Autumn Rhythm (Number 30) from Jackson Pollock, my favourite painter . Being moved to tears by a painting that initially looks as if a herd of wild buffalo’s rolled over it is perhaps the greatest art.
But when I dig deeper, I also have to mention the rheumatism I suffered when I was younger. When I was between the ages of 16 and 18, I had joint inflammation all over my body, especially in the legs. I had to rely completely on myself, I stopped going to school – though I surprisingly passed my final exams – and learned a good amount of hard lessons. But in a way, this time was a rare gift as well. During all those wasted hours, I could just focus and paint. Especially my mother was of big help, since she encouraged me and taught me valuable things, being a painter herself. Thanks, mum!