Inteview with Gerdien van Halteren
Valeria Cassano - 28 Novembre 2018
This time I had the great opportunity to interview Gerdien van Halteren. A Dutch illustrator living and working in Amsterdam. For two years now, she's has been freelance illustrating under the name ‘this is -Gary’. At the moment she's full time illustrator and happy to have the opportunity to live of what she loves doing the most.
- You have your own style. What inspires you the most? (Other artists, music, movies...)
- I definitely get inspired by other creatives. I always feel drawn to simple and bold artworks with a humorous and grim approach. I love the work of Polly Nor, Wasted Rita, tattoo artists like Matt Bailey and Woozy Machine, and Dutch illustrator like Leon Karssen.
But I find inspiration in all kinds of places. The city can really inspire me as well. The people, the colors, the overall feel. Most of all, people inspire me. How they act, what they do and especially the emotions they have and evoke. I work best with emotions. Whenever I am in love, heartbroken, sad or angry, I get the best inspiration.
- What are you trying to communicate to your audience with your works?
- I want to communicate that it is okay. Period.
It is okay to be a sexual human being and celebrate your body and sexuality, but it is also okay to feel sad and vulnerable and even depressed sometimes. I think what I try to say is: "don’t be afraid to show your beautiful self, in every way you come."
- Which subject do you like to draw the most?
- Women. Always was and I think always will. Women are almost mythical creatures, there comes great power with being female. My own and other femininity really fascinates and inspires me.
- Which one of your works is the one you feel more related to? And why?
- Oh, that’s a though one. It's different from time to time, but for now I will say that it is my new ‘this is it’ print. It is very unapologetic and vulnerable at the same time. At this point in my life I am trying to accept myself with all my flaws and really celebrate me for me and show myself to the world.
- Did you have a particular education or did you learn to draw by yourself?
- I did learn by myself. I graduated fashion school, where there wasn’t a lot of room for illustration. I enjoyed drawing when I was a kid. I just did it, started with ballpoint pen on paper. Somewhere in the process I gravitated more towards digital work.
- What are your ambitions and the goals you want to achieve?
- For me, the most important thing is that I can work and live wherever I want in the world, so be totally place independent. Concerning my work, I would really love to see my work everywhere. As album cover, as billboards, people wearing it, ... I want to work with inspiring brands and artist, and keep developing myself as an artist; expand to different materials and forms.
- Looking at your works, it seems you have a personal conception of nudity and sexuality. Could you explain us your thoughts about these two words?
- For me, the naked body is something wonderful: the most beautiful thing in the world. It is so vulnerable and powerful at the same time.
Same for sex. It is who we are and it brings us closer to another and to ourselves. I really want to celebrate our body and our sexuality, because it is something so natural and pure and a real force in our lives. I don’t want to hide it and I think no one should.
- Do you consider yourself a feminist? What are your thought about it?
- Yes, definitely and for me, feminism is equality. I truly believe in full equality, I did since I was a kid. I call myself a feminist because, still, women are not considered equal to men in the society we live in and I think that is complete bullshit. Women are amazing, but so are men. We are equal.
If you want to see more of her works visit her website https://thisis-gary.com/Who-is-Gary
or have a look at her Instagram account https://instagram.com/thisis_gary?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=k1xdlab2vi15