Arjan Janssen and one of his works.

NAME: Arjan Janssen
BORN: 1965 Eindhoven (NL)
OCCUPATION: Artist and social worker
PLACE: Breda (NL)
WEB: www.ArjanJanssen.nl

Who is Arjan Janssen after all?

I am an artist from Breda The Netherlands. Beside being an artist I am working as a supervisor for homeless addicted people. I combine my time between my art, my job and my family. I am maried and have two kids from the age 12 and 15.

What is the focus of your work?

Mainly painting and drawing. It has to be mentioned that the drawings are as important as the paintings. Sometimes I make, mostly on request, an installation. For instance a wallpainting. And I make graphics as well. This can be silkscreens or lithography.

I organize projects and shows my self as well. I have always been active in the art scene. It is a bad attitude to isolate yourself and wait for people to come and get you. I am raised in the eighties and the do-it-yourself mentality fits very well to me.

How personal are your works?

As personal as can be. But if you expect a narrative element in it I must disappoint you. They are as personal as can be means that nobody except me could have made them. Although I am an abstract painter I think that my works are very emotional. Sometime even sentimental. I hope they show my sensitive personality and they appeal to the viewers inner life.

Do you collect art yourself?

Yes I do. I change my art with colleagues which I appreciate. My house looks more or less like a gallery.

Painting by Arjan Janssen.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Art, literature, music, thinking, looking, feeling.

Where do you do all your creative work?

In my studio, a former school class.

Are you an easy person to live with?

No, not I don't think so. I would say I am an interesting person to live with. I have got a lot of ideas and my way of thinking is not average. But that can be tiring as well. Beside of this I can be dominant in my opinions.

What makes you angry?

Average talented people who think they are special. And a lot of other things. There is not much needed to make me angry. Anger is an energy as Johnny Lydon said.

Painting by Arjan Janssen.

What makes you happy?

High quality human products. Paintings, architecture, clothes, books, music, can be anything. And of course I am happy when my children are happy. But most of all swimming in the sea.

What is your favorite time of year? Why?

I am happy when it rains. That's because I am suffering from allergy. Now at this moment I am writing this sentence it is raining really bad. Nice. And I hate the dark, cold winter.

Describe your personal style in three words.

Clear. Complex. Intense.

What is your favorite color?

Black. No doubt.

Painting by Arjan Janssen.

What book are you reading by now

"Le lieutenant-colonel de Maumort" by Roger Martin du Gard.

Can you name an artist you admire?

Let's name three Spanish painters: Velazques, Zurbaran, Picasso.

What do you think about art?

My life is dedicated to making as good as possible art. I just can't imagine life without art. Although most people do live very well without it.

Your recent songs you're listening at the moment?

I am listening to the music my wife is playing. She is deep into it and plays a lot of nice music. This one is in the CD-player at the moment: "Enslaved Ruun".

Painting by Arjan Janssen.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself

Being quickly tempered.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Really wouldn't know. I have just asked my son. He says that I am not talking much in general. And if I do I make a lot of bad jokes.

What can we expect from Arjan Janssen in the future?

A few hundred beautiful paintings and drawings.

The final question: Where would you most like to be right now?

Spain. Always Spain. Anywhere in Spain.

Painting by Arjan Janssen.

Thank you very much, Arjan Janssen!

Leandro Castro

© Images Courtesy of Arjan Janssen.