Instagram: @sorenselleslagh Website: www.sorenselleslagh.com
1. What's your story? Where are you from?Hi, my name is Sören, I'm a 28 years old Belgian artist that lives in Mechelen, a beautiful city near Antwerp. I've worked for almost 4 years as an animator at Volstok in Ghent and now I'm working self employed as an illustrator/animator.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.As a young kid I've had the opportunity to visit Paris with my best friend at the time and his dad. I remember it felt like entering a dream. I was so inspired by all the renaissance art, the level of craftmanship stuck with me and it's something that I really enjoy learning about and integrating in my personal work. Besides renaissance art I was also really inspired by artist like Miro, Picasso and more modern day artists. I mean I can go on and on, there's just so much talent around to appreciate and learn from. I enjoy thinking about visually appealing compositions and colors and I love learning more about human anatomy, especially female anatomy because I think it's even more interesting and more fun to draw.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?I'm always used to draw digitally, which has it's pros and cons. It's really dynamic but I feel like my medium destination would be painting. I like the authenticity, and to step away from the screen sounds liberating.
4. What is your artistic process like?For personal work most of my ideas usually come right before I go to sleep, that's when I feel like I'm the most creative, ideas get crazier and everything is more vivid when I'm in that hypnagogic state. To realize my illustrations I work a lot with reference images for poses(body, hands,...), backgrounds, objects,... Colors depend heavily on the mood of the illustration. When I'm working for clients I read the brief and take some time to really understand it, research, work together and offer a solution that's best for them and feels right for me.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?My work is inspired by so many different things. Real life situations, other artists, music, photography, fashion, architecture,... I also find inspiration online, but sometimes the constant stream of content and inspiration can be a bit overwhelming. I ask myself, what would I make if I haven't seen any art at all, it's almost unthinkable but a fun exercise.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?Art plays a huge role in my life, I always tend to look at things in an artistic way. Something I did as a kid, and what I still love doing, is looking at the clouds and let my imagination do it's thing. It's incredible what the human brain can come up with. That artistic point of view makes me excited.
7. Where did you study?I studied multimedia in high school and graduated my bachelor Devine (Digital design & Development) in Kortrijk. Devine was an education that consisted a majority of programming, designing and later on animation(2D and 3D). For my internship I've had the opportunity to go to Boston and work with the lovely and talented people of Blackmath.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?I hope to see myself painting more. I hope to find a deeper connection between my art and my personal values.
9. What about in ten?I hope to have a gallery or a shop.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?As I'm growing as an artist I think about this question a lot more and I've asked myself what is important for me and what do I value the most? Values such as mental health, equality, animal cruelty, global warming,... are very important to me and I hope my art can spread awareness around these topics.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?My favorite food would be Italian or oriental food. Me and my girlfriend visited Italy several times and we love everything about it.
12. Favourite book?So hard to choose one specific book. In general I really enjoy learning more about myself. If I have to choose one, I would say The Power of Now from Eckhart Tolle. Although I also really enjoyed The Power of Habit, Factfulness or some books of Malcom Gladwell like Outliers or The Tipping Point.
13. Favourite genre of music?I love all sorts of music, it really depends on the situation. When I'm working I'm mostly listening to rock or rap. Some of my favorite rock musicians are Queens of the Stone Age, Nirvana, Radiohead, Balthazar, War on Drugs,... As a kid I used to play a lot of GTA Vice City and San Andreas and I loved listening to the radio channels(70s, 80s music) while driving and blowing up stuff. For parties I prefer disco, house or techno.
14. What are your hobbies?I love running. Running is like meditation, it helps to clear my mind and be present. In October I will be running my second marathon in Switzerland and in the future I want to try running a 100km ultrarun.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?I'm not sure what I would be, but I would love what I do.