Interview: Rik Oostenbroek
Rik Oostenbroek, also known as Nkeo, is an awesome graphic designer from the Netherlands. His abstract arts are famous and brought his artwork to the cover of the Computer Arts Magazine. And now the tricky part: He's only 18 years old.
1. First of all we would like to thank you for the opportunity of having an interview. Please tell me a bit about your beginning with design and why did you choose to become an artists?
The pleasure is all mine, I'm not used to get interviewed so it's kinda special for me!
The first step was doodling at school, since I was always bored at school, I was a smart kid before I got into art so I had to do something else. I started making trippy scene's with a pencil.
My story of digital art started 3,5 years a go. I had a friend, named Danny Arntz and he was in that scene for I guess 2 years. This guy introduced me to Photoshop and to deviantart but I was like :"what is this?". It didn't made any sense to me, since I was into sports only. A few months later he showed me DepthCORE.com, the community I'm part of myself right now.
After seeing Depthcore, especially the works of Wirestyle, sc3l and Shinybinary I started to mess around a bit on my own. This messing around was my first step in the design world and every time I got bored here at home, I started up Photoshop. From that point I started a deviantART account 6 months later.
Receiving favorites, comments and critique were improving my skills as hell those days, I got invitations from various communities and got my first Daily Deviation a few months later. Those things were motivating me so much that I thought to work further to the next level, being part of my inspiration source, depthCORE.com.
From that point things got only bigger and bigger! It felt so good to put my creativity in pieces that I thought to give a art career a shot! I was only into abstract these days, but I felt I needed to try more things to discover my strong and weak points, where I have to work on a little more. I guess design will never become really boring, since you always learn new stuff. Right now I got myself a agent and I worked for a agency already ( left because it was way to boring, had to do all their shit assignments ). So I'm totally freelancing right now, been at the cover of Computer Arts Magazine and everything feels damn good! And I bet there's a lot more comming up for me, since I'm still 18:) But first I'm going to enjoy this summer!
2. Your work is pretty unique. You use a lot of creativity in it. Where does your inspiration come from?
Haha thanks a lot man! This is a hard one, my inspiration comes basicly from music, nature and the ordinary things in life, like troubles, emotions and so on. Of course some sick advertisement inspired me as well, right now I'm inspired by The Happines Factory( Coca-Cola) by Psyop. But back in the days was it MTV who was inspiring me with their funky commercials and layouts! There are some artists who inspire me as well, every time I look around at depthCORE.com or Behance.net I see stuff that's just inspiring me to try other stuff as well. My favorite artist right now is jerico from rarz.net I guess, after seeing his stuff I gave surreal stuff a shot!
3. You sure have your own way to do a job. How does your typical workflow look like?
Well I just realized that I'm always starting with a main object( a abstract shape or a photograph ) and built everything around it. I pick like a photo or make a shape and just put it in the middle of my workspace. I used to work from the sides back in the days, but this is way much better:) I always start working big and size everything I work on down after a while, so the pieces look more detailed. The last thing I do is the background. I always do that later so you could actually make the main object and background match really well together. It's really strange since I cant make a focal point when I start with the backgruond and built it up from that point.
4. I'm a great fan of your artwork "The Dopeshow". It's awesome. Tell me something about this one. ("The Dopeshow" is directly under this answer)
Haha, it seems like everyone is in love with me because of this piece;) This piece was done for the promotion of my new online portfolio ; www.secretshowcase.com. It's just the piece that explains my love for digital art I took inspiration of all kinda advertising( basicly mtv ), promotion and all kinda digital styles to work this out. I've tried to make a combo of all the pieces I did in the last few years, and it kinda worked out. There is abstract, photomanip, surrealism in it and I really love it myself as well But the thing is, this piece was actually the finish of one of the stages I did in my digital art "career". I usually work a few months on a style, like this abstract/photomanipulation mix, I've done like 6 pieces before that no one ever saw, to try to reach this level. Right now I'm working on a more Surrealistic style and a New abstract style btw! So expect some sexy pieces in that style soon as well!
5. What are your tools of work? Do you use special software and hardware?
The Software I only use is Adobe Photoshop Cs2, I never really took use of other programs. I've tried some like Cinema 4d, Illustrator, 3DSmax but it didn't gave me the satisfaction Photoshop gave me! Since you could do like everything in photoshop, except rendering, I will stick with Photoshop for the rest of my life I guess! My hardware is kinda bugging me and fucks my photoshop skills up lately, since it's rebooting out of nothing all the time while I'm working. So people please donate me some money for a new one or contact me when you know some good pc anywhere around on the net but not to expensive please ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) ;)
6. How does your job influenced your life? Do you see things differently?
My life didn't changed that much when I became a freelance designer, but it did when I got in touch with art. Since the time I discovered Photoshop, I became more interested in other mediums as well, like Photography and Traditional art. The way I look to things changed as well, I'm looking for a story or emotion in every piece of art I see. It's also funny that I look so close to every "designed" ( even cigarette packages and book covers ) and try to imagine how they made that. I've learned many things from just looking to stuff and tried to understand what they've done to made this product or design.
7. Thank you very much for this nice interview. Do you have any tips for upcoming designer?
Thank you for having me;) Just try a bit and experiment with various styles, till you find the thing that suits you best, you have to cross your boundaries. I just think that people have to do the thing they like most themselves, not caring to much about the popularity or the opinion of the rest of the people. You should have some goals to reach as well, to motivate you a bit more. And last but not least, never give up! Rik
Check out his portfolio http://secretshowcase.com/