Meet Dutch mix-media artist Teis Albers

Teis Albers hails from Berlicum in the Netherlands. He tells us about his multidisciplinary career, the inspiration he finds in vintage objects, graffiti, and flowers, and how he ‘zones out’ – transporting himself to another place – whilst he’s working.

‘Bouquet VIII’, Teis Albers

Q: Hi Teis, were you always creative as a kid or did you discover your talents later on in life?

A: I’ve been interested in computers from a young age and I went to my grandfather’s house a lot – he was the first person I knew to have a home PC.

He also used to paint and I think that artistic environment of canvasses and brushes inspired me subconsciously. I later became interested in graffiti and graphic design and slowly developed my talents.

Q: Did you have any other jobs before you became a full-time artist? 

A: I studied graphic design in Eindhoven and had some internships at advertising agencies. This was a great way to explore the world of applied arts. Right after my studies, I set up my own studio where I do lots of graphic and online design. 

Teis Albers in his workshop

Q: What materials do you use? 

A: Canvas, paint, oil sticks, markers, medium gels and lacquer.

Q: Do you prefer music or silence when you work?

A: Music is very integral to my productivity. I’m pretty eclectic when it comes to music: from hip hop to classical and from indie to metal. I love to zone out when I’m working and music helps transport me to another place.

Q: Do you have a painting outfit?

A: When I’m finishing off works, I use an apron and rubber gloves. The amount of clothes I used to ruin drove my wife nuts so I now have some sort of uniform!

Q: What do you think you would have done if you hadn’t become an artist?

I think I’d be a musician... but that also falls under ‘artist’ in my opinion.

Teis Albers in his workshop

Q: Which other artists inspire you? 

A: I love the works by Conor Harrington and Lita Cabellut. They use photographs and rework them with all sorts of mixed media effects – really inspiring.

Q: What was the last art exhibition you went to see?

A: I went to see Ali Banisadrs work in Den Bosch recently. It was very colourful and playful with hints of figures taken from other paintings. The works were massive in size, that’s something that appeals to me. The work becomes much more interesting when it's big, you can get sucked into the details.

Another artist I recently went to see was the photographer Tim Walker. Also huge prints and beautifully framed. All the works were inspired by the art of Heironymus Bosch.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? 

A: I hope to come up with a new creative twist so I can extend my body of work but stay recognisable within my signature style. I’m steadily growing in my craft and want to maintain momentum. In five years’ time I hope to do more exhibitions abroad. 

Q: What are your highlights from projects you’ve worked on so far?

A: I’m currently working on a project with a company that makes tailor-made shoes. My work is printed on the leather of gentlemen’s shoes. My artworks will also be displayed in some shops in cities here in Holland so that’s something I’m looking forward to.

Teis Albers in his workshop

Q: What are the challenges of being an artist now?

A: I think sticking to your own plan and committing to the long run is a challenge many artists have these days. There’s such an overload of really great work created every day. 

Q: What advice would you give to younger artists just starting out.

A: Try and be on the lookout for as many things you can, techniques, materials and new technology. Really dig deep into all possibilities that are out there.

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