Friso Blankevoort

Friso Blankevoort a.k.a. Freshco is a graphic designer and artist who, every now and then, can be found out in the wild with a spraycan. Clear lines, little jokes and minimalism make up his signature style. He also isn’t scared of real manual labor, which he then finishes digitally.

Hi, where do you live, where are you from?

I was born in Haarlem, studied Illustration at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam and am currently living in Amsterdam.

How does this place influence you as an artist?

Ending up in Amsterdam was caused by a combination of events: my girlfriend already was living there and during a sizable rainstorm my apartment in Rotterdam flooded. But now I'm here I surely don't want to leave anymore. Amsterdam is internationally known as the city of sex and drugs but I think it's also one of the places where creatively is really thriving. I don't want to be the person from Amsterdam who is constantly saying I'm living in the best city of the country, but I do like it here. When I have a little free time on my hands I enjoy going to Utrecht, Rotterdam, Antwerp or Eindhoven, in The Netherlands everything is just a blink of an eye away.

What are your finest moments?

Somewhere between 11 a.m. and lunch.

What are you focusing on in your work right now?

In my illustrations I'm trying to find what's the line between recognizable figures on one hand and abstract shapes on the other. From a certain subject I start sketching symbols and icons that have to do with the subject, afterwards I work out the one that is the best (or funniest). In other cases I sometimes make a collage of different parts that together form one image or subject. It depends on the job or the medium. Some shapes I make are almost abstract but are put in context by the others surrounding it. It's not always as clear but that makes the image more fun to watch, because then there is really something to read in the image.

How do you start working on a new illustration or artwork?

Most often with three to five simple sketches in my notebook. Those are more or less simplified notes of the subject, not too detailed. The build up of the image and the composition normally happens on the computer, so I can puzzle with it until I feel it's right. Sometimes the execution afterwards is done manually (as with Sleepy Logs) so that the outcome is not too digital.

How do you think people will know you in ten years time?

I guess I'm always hoping that my style is recognizable, because the media I use can be very different. So I hope people will know me for my style, that then can be found in a number of places: museums, skate parks, books, album covers, clothing and (by that time) immense murals :v)

Friso Blankevoort