Aron Vellekoop Léon
Aron Vellekoop Léon is a graphic designer and artist who lives in Amsterdam. With his diverse background he has a lot to draw from, something that shows in his strong and abstract artworks.
Hi, where do you live, where are you from?
At the moment I've been living in Amsterdam for just over a year, not exactly the place where I'm from: I was born at Fuerteventura (Canary islands), moved to the rural Veluwe area in the Netherlands and then moved to study in Breda before coming to Amsterdam.
How does this place influence you as an artist?
What really shaped me artistically are the big differences between all these places. By emigrating at a young age I don't really get attached to one place, but I can really enjoy the differences. Observing these big contradictions is something I really love to do. For instance, now that I live in a big and crowded city as Amsterdam, I am more than ever busy with visualizing the feeling I had at these calm places where I grew up. Prints such as 'Beach House' and 'Woods' are literal examples of this journey.
What are you focusing on in your work right now?
At the moment I'm especially focused on abstract landscapes, but it's always going in different directions. In my commercial work I can really enjoy working on concepts and finding it's limits. After that it's nice to be able to daydream a little with my free work. Then I experiment mainly with what I can see around me. These two 'extremes' bring a nice balance to my work. Being able to spend so much time in the screen printing workshop is an added bonus.
When are your finest moments?
Mainly when I'm under time-pressure, I think. The pressure brings me to my A-game, especially when I'm doing commercial work. This might be less the case for my free work but both are strongly influencing each other. After a busy period there are always so many sketches, topics and other material laying around on which I can build my artworks. In these less busy periods I try to limit myself not to work too much, this period of calmness is when new prints really shape up.
And your worst moments?
I'm not too well in the morning, I normally need quite some time to start up. As a result I'm filled with ideas and work at night so I can't sleep until late. Not really that efficient, I'd say.
How do you start a new artwork?
This can really vary every time. I don't put so much pressure on my free work so really it can pop up at any time, any place. The only guidance in my work is that everything is an (abstract) reaction to what is happening in my surroundings.
How do you think people will know you in ten years time?
I've gotten pretty addicted to screen printing so by then I hope to have quite a 'body of work', printwise.
So I guess I'll be the 'screen print nut case', something I can only hope. I'll surely keep experimenting and playing around with this technique, that's inevitable with this addiction I have. What this will mean to others will probably leave me as clueless as it does now. One thing I do know is that it's great when people recognize or feel something with your works and place it in their homes.
2010 Universitat Autònoma de Barcelone, Escola Massana (Erasmus Minor)
2007-2011 AKV St. Joost Breda, Illustration
2003-2007 Grafisch Lyceum Utrecht, Graphic design / Visualiser
It's Nice That II, Grain Edit, Juxtapoz, People of print, Ape on the moon, Owta Mind, It's Nice That, Aesthetic Perspectives, FormFiftyFive, Notes on the Road, We and the Color, Fontanel.
September 2014 Zacharias, group show at Blackbird coffee & vintage, Utrecht
July 2014 Exquisite Corpse, Group show at Walls Gallery, Amsterdam
April 2014 Adobe Creative Jam, during a Meet Up event by Adobe, Amsterdam
February 2014 For the love of Prints, solo exhibition at AGA, Amsterdam
February 2014 RAAF, group show at RAAF, Breda
January 2014 AGA, jubileum exhibition, AGA 55 jaar, Amsterdam