Interview: Erosie

Please, introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about you.

I am Jeroen Heeman, also work with the pseudonym Erosie. I live in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, I graduated from the Willem de Kooning academy in Rotterdam. I’ve been doing quite a few different things in the past 15 years or so, starting with graffiti in 1993, doing all sorts of interventions on the street around 1998 to being a full time freelance illustrator around 2002, working a lot with typography and slowly moved into doing what I do now full time since a couple of years. I feel what I do now brings together all these paths from the past. Oh and i like to ride my bike.

Recent, current or future projects you are involved in that you would like to share with us?

Next week there will be an opening at the Mini Gallery in Amsterdam showing the collages I did for my friend Martyn’s album and EP with Four Tet. Next month I’ll have a solo exhibition in Düsseldorf, Germany at Nina Sagt Gallery, still have some work to do for that!

What kind of things do influence your work?

I see my work as a reflection of my current interests and ideas, a constant personal process that feels quite close to me. I try to make something slightly different every time, I love using collage or a cut and paste technique for this, to make something I couldn’t think of beforehand. So I see inspiration in quite a lot of different fields, from musical patterns to daily street observations, architectual solutions, random shapes that suddenly seem relevant, that show me a direction I didn’t see before. I take a lot of pictures as well. And I get my daily dosis of internet influence of course..

How is your normal process of collaging? (idea or commission, where do you get your materials or find your images, which is your cutting technique, best way you have found to paste, where do you work and how, and very important: what do you do with your scraps)

I collect scraps haha…I have a special drawer for it. Actually I try to not clean up my messy collage desk at all, so every time I continue making a new collage it starts with the leftover mess of the previous one. I like doing this in general, switch from doing a collage to painting a canvas, doing a mural, it gives me a sense of continuation and simultaneous change. Also I like to find a fitting piece of paper or scrap shape instead of cutting it out, it’s much more surprising to me that way, the creating process. Actually that is to me the essence of doing collage to start with; finding a way to divert “perfected” skills that are all about excecution, from sketch to finish…instead I try to break patterns, I really like that awkward feeling of having to start over again..and again..not knowing if it will work out. Sometime this takes only one day, sometimes weeks, but you simply know and feel at one point it’s done, finished and you can continue. I like that. To me it’s a core essence of creation, not just following guidelines and stick to a tested recepy. Next to that I think I use collage more as a self referential tool; I use mostly the paper for it’s texture or color, but the imagery is mostly my own drawings cut up again, not so much exisiting images that I reassemble. This allows me to react on my images as well as the shape I cut these images in or how they’re cropped. Hereby I constantly redefine my visual language, a never ending work in progress.

Wich is your latest discovery in the collage world? What advice can you give to a collage beginner?

Collect the raw material. I have a really big collection of scrap papers, going back more than 15 years when I was using collage as a surface for my acrylic illustrations…sheets, stickers, envelopes, numbered tickets, coloured paper, packaging paper, you name it. That love for paper, typical colours, typical feel, get as many grades of transparency and thickness.. Once you build up your own “raw material collection” it feels personal and some papers are easy to replace, others not at all, so there is always this consideration whether to use it, or suddenly something fits exactly in place..that kind of thing.

What do say your friends/family about your collage work? And, what do you do when you are not working on art?

I ride my bike or play Lego with my little boy.

Would you like to ask anything to John Baldessari? Shoot.

If he’d feel like drinking a beer, that would be a good start

Anne Brugni
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