The eXTra finGer

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Interview with Angelique Houtkamp

q)Something about you…what you want…

a)I'm originally a tattooer from Amsterdam and I started painting very soon after I started tattooing.
Painting is now my biggest passion. It's what makes me get up in the morning and makes me work 7 days a week, I wouldn't know what else to do.
What do I want?! I want the whole world to love my work! And to see the world as I see it.
I love to paint and create. And I can do that on my own with out anybody ever looking at it. If that where the case, so be it, Iwould still love to paint. But to have other people like your work too is the best thing. It keeps you very motivated.
Basically what I want is to be able to make a living out of the things I make and paint, it would be absolutely great if I where able to do that for the rest of my live.

q) What are your main goals when you create?

a)The main thing for me is to make something that has a feel of mystery and melangoly, of basic emotions like love and love lost, power, yearning, fear and death. I think that is the reason why I love old school tattoos so much, cause it expresses a lot of these emotions. When people get tattooed they know it's forever and I think they look more to designs that have very basic emotions like that.
I do a lot of girls and my goal then is to give them a certain expression and what I like most is not an obvious expression, but just slightly, so you do get the feeling when you look at it, but it's not layed on too thick.

q) Do you rule by any tendency in your creative work, or you only follow what comes in your mind?

a)I usually get an idea for an image, but most of the time I'm working on other paintings then. But that gives me time to let the images develop in my head, or I go through some books or the internet to see different angels I could look at it.
And a lot happens when I'm drawing that I didn't anticipate on before. I can't say I follow any tendancies.
It is ideas combined with homework.

q)How has the internet and your website helped you spread your artwork to a wider audience?

a)A whole lot. It's so much easier for people to see what I do with just a click on their computer.
I get so many responses to my work via emails, which is really great. You need some feedback from people to feel good about what you are doing and it keeps you inspired. And on low days the best thing is to get a compliment.

q)How do you define your style and how would you describe your art to someone who could not see it?

a)I do define my style as old school tattoo. And not so much for the imagery, cause that can differ or not be tattoo oriented at all. It's the execution that makes it like that: bold lines, heavy shadow [sometimes not so heavy] and simple colours. I like "dirty" colours, not too bright. And as few colours as possible, black ofcours and red and an other favorite is green.

q)What materials do you use to realize your creations?

a)I mostly work with watercolour and ink on paper. I'm always on the look-out for different watercolour paper. I like it to be thick and slightly textured. The thing with watercolours is that I got really cheap kiddy paint and the real expensive arty ones and they are all the same. There is hardly any difference in quality. I mix my watercolours so it doesn't really matter what colours I have. Lately I've also been experimenting with liquid acrylic paint, to be used as watercolour. The advantage is that it is waterproof.
I paint on canvas too, with acrylic and oil, but not as much as the watercolour, cause it takes such a long time.

q) What is your favorite a) taste b) sound c) sight d) scent e) tactile sensation?

a. It depends on the mood I'm in. It could be mashed potato's, sushi or crisps. I am a real sucker for salt and fat though, hence the crisps.
b. Sound, hmm. Difficult. I love how the city sounds different in the summer then the winter, like it's on a different wavelenght and the sounds vibrate higher.
c. I love the sight of a good rockband performing live
d. Kinda strange, but I love the smell of ozon. When my cat comes inside after a day of bullying the other cats in the park, sometimes he smells like ozon. Love it!
e. I love the feel of uncooked couscous. And bubblewrap! I can drive my boyfriend crazy pinching all the bubbles after I got a package.

q) What are you doing now…your current projects…

a)I'm working with Outré gallery from Melbourne, Australia on making a book with my work. It is very exiting and it's going to be awesome. The releasedate is planned for October this year.
I'm painting a lot for upcoming shows I have in the US, Canada and Australia this year.
A good friend of mine is a glassblower and makes glass objects. She recently asked me to participate in a project for the Berlin art fair. The plan is to make a mirrorpalace, like the ones you used to find on the carnival. A labyrinth made of mirrors, with sandblasted images in it. It's still in it's early stages, but I'm very into it.

q) Do you listen to music while you’re creating and what do you listen and what do you like to listen?

a)Not a whole lot. Which is kinda strange, cause I'm a huge fan of seeing bands life.
But I really need some time to wake up in the morning and then when I get to work i get so into it I forget to put on music. I guess I like to work in silence.
When I do listen to music I like a lot of rock, like Danko Jones, the Detriot Cobra's and the Supersuckers, but I'm also really into 50ies girlsbands like the Shangri-las. And I am a sucker for sing-along rock like the Ramones.

q) Do you draw influences from a wide range of artists, musicians, books…?

a)Yes I do. I'm totally into 1920 and 1930 illustration at the moment. But I can also get really triggerd by photography and fashion. Pin-upart is a great influence as well. I love the Enoch Bolles girls, specially his later work where the girls get a more weird ,sometimes satanic look on their faces.
And without a doubt a get a lot of inspiration from old tattooflash.

q)Name 3 things you couldn’t create without?

a)A pencil, paper and watercolours.

q) Where have you show your art…?

a)In lots of galleries, here in amsterdam, in the US, Australia, UK, all over the place.

q) What haven’t you done yet that you definitely want to try someday?

a)There are too many things I want to try. I have to tell myself I can't do a million different things. There just isn't enough time. I would love to try velvetpainting and stringart, to name just two. I would love to do ceramics as well. It would be an absolute thrill to design a set of tableware. I'm realy into industrial design, cause your making something usefull
But If I would do all these things I want to, I would just be scattering myself around too much, I need to stay focused on just a couple of things.

q) How important is self-promotion for an artist nowadays?

a)Self-promotion is a weird thing. Almost like a second job. Cause people don't just find you, you have to let everybody know what you are doing. But if people[and galleries] don't already know you, a lot of the time they assume you're not worth knowing, so the start is the most chalenging I't's really difficult to promote yourself. Athough it gets a bit easier with the internet and things like blogs and my space now a days .

q) Would you say that your work consciously reflects characters and situations found within your daily life?

a)No, not at all. It's more like fantasies of how I would like things to look. I wouldn't mind if the whole of Amsterdam was populated with sexy pirategirls , mata hari's and rough sailors. I love melangoly, for some reason it's the emotion I would like to get accros most of the time. But I'm not really a melangolic person, or maybe I am deep down

q) Favourite book?

a)A good man is hard to find by Flannery o'Connor. I'm not a big reader though, I always have other stuff to do. I can't seem to find the time to read. I have a ton of books though, but all made with images. I'm more a looker than a reader .

q) Designers/Artists you admire?

a)Mostly all of them are old and dead. There seems to be so much more craftmanship in the way they worked in the old days and more class and style.
I love the work of Erté, Enoch bolles, old timey tattooartist like Tom Berg, Bob wicks and August Coleman and a lot of anonimous illustrators from the beginning of the last century

q) Your contacts….e-mail…links…

a)You can email me at or at
Supercoolgoodies at


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