Your early passion for fashion design led you to a career in the arts and a big move from Belgium to Los Angeles. What has your creative journey been like so far?
When I was 18 I wanted to become a makeup artist or fashion designer. But because I’ve been drawing and sketching since I was little I decided to follow the path to become an artist and I got my master’s degree in fine arts. I moved to Los Angeles because I met fthe love of my life. I lost my creativity a bit in Belgium but thanks to the support of my husband I started again from zero.
Before I got into galleries I started attending art fairs. The Beverly Hills Affaire at the Gardens ( a juried art fair) which is twice a year opened a lot of doors for me. I had the chance to work with interior designers, got into galleries and met celebrities who are clients as well.
Can you tell me about your consistent use of sunglasses in your large-scale paintings? Is there a significance within your work?
I love sunglasses and especially in a sunny city like LA, you can’t live without them. For me, it’s important to play around with accessories or something fun. Sunglasses play a huge role in my work, as they literally frame the eyes.
What message do you hope to communicate through your work?
I want people to interpret their own meaning in my work. It’s up to them what they feel or see in my work.
You use a variety of mediums such as paint and Swarovski crystals in your work? Can you tell me more about your creative process?
I work with acrylic paint on wood. From in the beginning my preference went to wood because of the structure and stability of the surface. I often hear that my work looks like it’s airbrushed but it isn’t, just ordinary brushes. Since a couple of years now I’m adding sometimes some SwRovski Crystals to my work. The idea came from when I was shopping and my eye went to a pair of swarovski high heels and I said yes, I have an idea…
I start from pictures that I take from my models. I’m not a professional photographer but I’m good with some poses. I sometimes add accessories, makeup or sunglasses while I’m painting.
I do have to be inspired, I can’t just work with every face. There are so many beautiful faces but I need that specific face with that unique mouth or eyes.
What inspires your creativity? Is it people, places…?
Yes, people and like I mentioned that unique face that I sometimes find just by walking in the city or at a supermarket or any place. I am also inspired by fashion and makeup photographers or makeup artists.
Your work currently hangs in galleries alongside Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol and Banksy. What artists have inspired you on your creative journey? Have you had any mentors at this point in your career?
I’ve been more inspired by fashion photographers or makeup artists or beauty around me. I don’t have a mentor. I think my biggest mentors were my parents in the past who were truly behind my artistic creativity. My dad was a great portraitist. I do have some favorite artists. I’ve always looked up to the Italian painter Fornasetti and Takashi Murakami is one of my favorites, as his work is fun, different, and happy. I even hear so many times how my art makes them so happy. I like that.
What’s next for you? Do you have any upcoming projects you are excited about?
I have a bunch of projects coming up. I have a few commissions to finish, after that, I’m going to make a portrait of a celebrity which I’m so excited about because it’s totally my style, very cool, vintage. Another fun upcoming project is to make several new paintings for a show in Dubai, by the end of the year.