Instagram: @coxjanssens Website: www.coxjanssens.nl
1.What’s your story? Where are you from?I was born in a medium sized town in the Netherlands. With my parents I visited a lot of museums and exhibitions. The less popular things were always mostly more interesting, I already wanted to make independent decisions.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.I like projects with humour and imperfectness in it. A lot of colour was something I was always ‘fighting’ for. Gray makes me sad, but in some of the buildings I am drawing I need to use it; it is bearable when there is enough colour around it.
3. What is your favorite medium and why?A pen is the best. I mostly use a black fine liner that I cannot erase, to keep some imperfection. It also forces you to think about the image you are going to make on forehand, to plan very well what comes where and in what order you should draw it. Textiles are another love of mine, the possibilities and diversity make me curious and besides that it is also usable, which is great.
4. What is your artistic process like?Mostly I am used to doing a lot of research before designing. I like to dig into a certain topic and try to come with solutions, ways to tell the story or spread the information. I am educated as a designer, but I am interested in a lot of subjects not related to art or design. What can design do for other fields of work? For my Graduation project Apart from the Norm I collaborated with psychologists to create ‘conversation cards’. The project is about the social norms around desiring and having children. I collected over hundred motivations to have or not have children and visualised them. The cards are meant to help discussing difficult topics for people who are still in doubt or those struggling with involuntary childlessness. By giving examples it is often easier to recognize painful subjects. I believe that collaborations between the creative industry and other professions can solve a lot of problems. I want to continue with discussing habits and showing different points of view.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?My surroundings, places that I go to, articles that I read, and people like Karl Blossfeldt, David Bowie, David Hockney, Floor Rieder, Lena Dunham and Alex van Warmerdam.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?As a designer I have learned to think beyond the normal, to put my creativity into unexpected things. It is in my character to question norms and human behaviour, observe and see paradoxes. I am always on the look for funny stories or ugly things that can become beautiful, I suppose I am the whole time looking for inspiration in the real world, not so much online actually. When I decided to make a Berlin drawing diary for example I saw every ten meters something fantastic again, it made me enthusiastic.
7. Where did you study?At Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. As it says in the name it is a school totally related to design in the broadest sense of the word.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years? Working in an agency?I hope to have experienced a lot of different things, in a studio or self initiated with a team, as by every step it gets clearer what works best.
9. What about in ten?I am not sure if I want to tell that in public.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?I hope to spread important stories in an accessible way, like my Graduation project Time Included Cloth where I made textiles that change positively during use. The idea is to make the fabrics last longer, because time will actually give you something, it reveals other colours hidden in the textile. This is a playful way to let people think about how much they buy and for how long they use it. Also it is a critic against the industry, because too many textiles become very ugly after laundering, while this isn’t necessary at all. Besides that I want to show the beauty in something unexpected.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favorite food?At the moment Baghrir, airy vegan pancakes from Morocco. They are traditionally sweet, but I make them savoury to eat with a nice salad.
12. Favorite book?Tot waar zal ik je brengen (Until where shall I bring you) from the writer A. Koolhaas, which is a book from the seventies, but I appreciate the oddness of it. I collected a lot of books of this writer, because the illustrated covers look great and in all books an animal plays a quite disturbing and important role in a humans’ life. This is really interesting; you can read about the animals’ thoughts (he made them up of course) on the ridicule of the human being. A. Koolhaas is a quite forgotten writer at the moment, but fun fact is that he is the father of the famous architect Rem Koolhaas.
13. Favorite genre of music?I listen to a lot of things, need diversity, but I get most happy from music in which you hear the skill of the musician. I like music that is a bit complicated in melody or lyrics or that has a twist.
14. What are your hobbies?I play guitar and write songs in the time that I am not working. I like to write about weird situations, embarrassment, ridiculous thoughts and uncertainty. It helps me to be not ashamed of anything, which is something I want to achieve, to loose barriers.
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?Sad.