april 15>30, 2023 de intimiteit van papier hamme
may 6+7, 2023 open studio days
may 13>24, 2023 coupee cahier - industriemuseum gent
september 9>24, 2023 de hamse schildersschool en het idcollectief versus het land van de pillecyn hamme





I was in a conversation with a digital art friend that challenged me with some questions. Then he asked: did you go to art school? I understood the question and the insinuation because I did attend art school.


Art School was the best time of my life. I was 16 years old and went from the dusty college in a small town to the school of Rock n Roll in the big city, actually called Saint-Luke in Ghent, Belgium.

Ok, I failed the first year and had to do it over. I was a bit more stubborn than I am now, and I was convinced I didn’t need the classic rules of perspective. I was watching a lot of Picasso and adapted this style of painting everything flat, rather using colour and nuances to create perspective. I had this kubistic/futuristic style but never considered correctness of the image that I was creating. I failed at drawing the perfect 3-D drawings such as cubes and cones. So they made me do my year again.

And I got smarter, I listened and started to draw the perfect cubes and cones. I even got smarter and detected which style to take on to get better reviews from my teachers. This is the problem, I adapted my style to score … but then looking back, I was never married to that precise style, and I was able to make my own version of it. It was necessary to survive and I ended up really liking Giacometti's work.

In the last year at art school my parents agreed on renting a studio to avoid the three hour per day commuting time. It was a very small room, probably not more than 8 square meters, only a bed, a table. No shower, and a very small kitchen and fridge I had to share with 8 other students. I’m talking about the pre-internet erra, pre-mobile phone erra … The only thing I had to entertain myself were books, paint and the city.

I started working on the project we had to deliver to conclude college. As I said: best time of my life: I worked so many long hours and nights with immense focus and with abundant energy. I was able to develop my own style, and my teachers were encouraging me to do so.

Art School did change my style, because I felt strongly I needed to follow the rules to succeed, and I wanted to succeed. On the other hand I was encouraged as much as possible to set out my own style.

Adapting your style is what you need to do to belong to the pack because being a member comes with perks.

No regrets!


This article was published by ArtistsOpusMagazine, go read it!