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Claudia van Rooijen is a 19 year old artist from the Netherlands. She is currently a student and does art mainly as a hobby. Photoshop is her medium of choice. Aside from making colorful textures that lighten the mood of viewers, she also loves to create collages that incorporate her favorite singers.
ToonariPost (TP): How and when did you first start practicing your art (are you traditionally trained or self-taught)?
Claudia van Rooijen (CR): I first started when I was about 12 years old. I am 19 now so I have been doing this for about 7 years. There have been times where I would just take a break, but I always came back to it. I am mostly self-taught. I learned the basics from my brother, but after that I just kind of tried new things on my own.
TP: What mediums do you use for your art work?
CR: For my artwork I only use Adobe Photoshop CS5. I guess it’s pretty much all I need for what I am doing at the moment.
TP: What piece of your work is your favorite and why? Which one are you most proud of?
CR: This is a really tough question for me to answer because I don’t see my work as art, to be honest. It’s just something that I really enjoy doing and I am still surprised that there are people out there who enjoy it as much as they do. My favorite piece of work I think is this one. It’s not my most popular one, but I just love how it turned out, I think the colors are pretty.
The piece I am most proud of is even harder to pick, but I am leaning towards this one because I tried something a little different for this one and people loved it. I believe it is my most favorited so far on DeviantART, so I guess that is enough reason for me to be proud of it.
TP: What makes your pieces unique?
CR: What makes my pieces unique is that I try to be as original as I possibly can while I am making them. Sure, you might pick up some ideas from other people, but in the end you always have to make it your own. Add your own style to it so people know that it’s you who made it. I think I have an eye for what will work in a piece and what will not work and having that is a big plus; knowing when something has to go or when there is something missing.
TP: How would you describe your artistic style?
CR: If there was one word I had to use to describe my artistic style it would be colorful. In most of my pieces I use a lot of different colors, but it is what I prefer. If my pieces were dark/black all the time I think that would be kind of depressing. At least for me, there are a lot of darker pieces out there that are absolutely stunning, but it’s just not who I am as an artist. I might try it sometime just to get out of my comfort zone and show some variety.
TP: When you first started, did you ever hit any bumps in your art process? How did you overcome them?
CR: Yes, I did. Like I mentioned in an earlier question I took a lot of breaks from Photoshop. Sometimes I would just feel like I had no clue what I wanted to do in the first place and it just ended up looking terrible. I am the type of person that is never quite satisfied with what I come up with, there is always room for improvement but at some point you just have to say to yourself, “Good is good enough” and just move on.
I think taking a break every now and then keeps things fresh. In the meantime I would check out other people’s work for inspiration and after a while I would just try again with a clear head. I don’t force myself do make anything, because this is just a hobby and I am only doing this because it’s fun and relaxing for me.
TP: If your artwork is just a hobby what are you doing now to support yourself (such as going to school or working part-time)?
CR: At the moment I am in school and I actually have exams in about a week, so I have to focus on that right now. It’s not that hard so I think I will do just fine, but I’m the type of person who isn’t satisfied with getting a C. I want to do the best I can but I’m not too worried about it. After that I am planning on getting a job, but it’s not that easy since I don’t have any experience, so we’ll see how that plays out.
I guess, if I really had to, I could do something with this and turn it into some kind of a job but I would rather just keep it as a hobby. Then again, don’t they say that it’s the best thing if you can turn your hobby into an actual living? I still live at home with my mother so it’s not like I have many expenses.