Maaike Canne

Maaike Canne is an illustrator living and working in Breda who spreads her magic on both walls and paper. Whatever the medium is, her work always represents a beautiful color palette and seems to be formed out of a moment just after a moment, if that makes sense.

Hi Maaike! Where are you and where are you from?

Hi! I grew up in Bergen op Zoom, but I moved to Breda 7 years ago. I went to art school here and my studio is only 5 minutes from my home!

That's been quite a while in Breda, what is it that you like so much about the place?

Well, I'm actually thinking about moving to Rotterdam.. Breda is a nice place to live because It's not very big, you can go anywhere by bicycle and in the summer there is a place called Galder where the water is very clear! It's also very close to bigger cities but a lot more peaceful.

But now Rotterdam is calling?

Yes. I've been thinking about moving to Rotterdam for a while now but it's a big step to find an apartment, a studio space and an extra job on the side altogether. At the moment I'm really enjoying the studio space and the apartment that I have, but I would love to be able to go to concerts, museums and stuff like that without taking the train. I think I'll really try this year!

Have you always known you were headed into the direction of illustration?

Not specifically illustration, but I've always known I wanted to work in the creative field. I come from a creative family so as a child everyone was very supportive when I figured out that I wanted to make art for a living.

I remember taking my red suitcase filled with colored pencils everywhere I went. And I loved painting and drawing with my grandmother in her studio.

How do you now get started creating an artwork or illustration?

I've always been collecting inspiring images and taking photos on the street. At first a lot of these pictures were focused on the subjects but now it can also be just a color combination, a strange composition or a weirdly placed object.

I like to clean my desk before I get started because my head is very chaotic and I get distracted quite easily, a clean desk helps me focus. I just start sketching on paper until I like what I see and then I usually paint it and add some digital corrections to finish it.

Even though you've finished the St. Joost Academy quite recently, do you already notice a difference in your work after graduating?

That's a tough question! I graduated in August 2017, so that's not a very long time ago. I think the biggest difference is that I use a lot more color now and I rarely put characters in my work. My work contains some kind of distance or loneliness I think..

It feels like there once was a character but he or she just left. As the viewer, you get an insight in what the character (who is not in sight) might be seeing or experiencing.

The surroundings of the character play a bigger role than what the character might look like, it's open to the imagination. It's hard to put into words..I hope this makes sense? I also like to work more abstract lately, especially when painting large murals.

Where do you hope your work will lead you in, say, five years time?

Well, this is probably a boring answer. but at this point, I also have another job on the side. I hope that by then I can just focus on creating art and make a living out of it.
I hope that together with doing figurative illustration projects I'm still making larger, more abstract murals. I also hope that I have gotten a better focus on where I want to go with my work.

Lastly, New Chique Gallery is also really about using art for home decoration and interiors, what is your favorite piece of (design) furniture?

I love to be surrounded by pretty things, I feel like a room shows a lot about who you are. I like my vintage furniture like my 'Jutjens stokkenkast' and I love sleeping under my Dusen Dusen duvet cover. But the things I cherish most are the weird and more rare things I've found on fleamarkets over the years.

I have this very cool cassette player from the 80's with a mouth on it that moves when playing and I bought a weird porcelain 3 faced doll just last week. Also, I love collecting books and zines and displaying them, like 'Arsene Schrauwen' by Olivier Schrauwen and my David Hockney books.

Maaike Canne