Framed: MOSSY GIANT
A quick chat with Amsterdam-based artist MOSSY GIANT.
Old Mates is a pretty bloody great new(ish) club night running out of Melbourne's Platform One on Friday nights. We fucking loved their artwork, so hit up the dudes who run it to see if we can find out a bit more about the artist. This led us to one Pieter Van Tongeren AKA MOSSY GIANT, so we sent him a few questions and he sent us a few answers back along with a few awesome examples of his work:
Where did you grow up and where are you based at the moment?
I grew up in Driehuis - a tiny town about half an hour outside of Amsterdam. I moved to the States when I was 18 to play basketball, did that, came back and now I am based in Amsterdam. No hoop-dreams just art-dreams!
Where are you now? What are your immediate surroundings?
Right now I am sitting in a lazy chair in my studio typing up this interview. Got my gas heater blazing and some music playing.
Please describe a typical day:
Wake up, eat, bike to studio, draw, smoke, work on client projects, work on lettering, type some emails, creative blocks, creative enlightenments, peaks, valleys, highs and lows, bike back home, eat, bed! Repeat.
What mediums do you use? Do you like to use many or do tend to use the same tools again and again?
I tend to use the same tools over and over again. I work with a 3H pencil to lay out my composition, then I use Faber Castell ink pens, Fine and Extra Small to do the ink. I almost always work in a moleskin watercolor book, I like to have all my drawings in one place and filling up blackbooks. Adobe illustrator is used for all digital enhancements! Screenprinting, Aerosol and wheat pasting are also some mediums I dabble with.
Where do the ideas for your work come from? Is there a particular time or place in your life that seems to generate a lot of your ideas?
Man it sounds very cliche, but I get inspired by everything around me. Most of my ideas get to me when I lie in bed late at night and my mind can just run. Usually I let my mind go for a good hour and I fall asleep with fresh ideas that I write down on the morning. Other ideas are generated by looking around me in the city when riding my bike or walking around. I can spot a cool looking car and that will be my next subject to draw.
Who/what inspire you and your work the most?
My work is mainly inspired by nature, exploration, hippies and animals, black and white.
Do you read or have any favourite comics?
Yeah totally, I read mainly Dutch, Belgium and French comics like Guust Flater, Dirk-Jan, Asterix & Obelix, Sjef van Oekel, Joop Klepzeiker - I can bore you with more names but for most people from down under they will not ring a bell.
What have you been listening to lately? Is music something that is just playing constantly while you work?
For my happy hippie times I tend to listen to a lot of Jonathan Wilson, and for my old school hip hop times I listen to Cali Agents, Necro, Sean P. For my rasta vibes I listen to a lot of dub; King Tubby, Prince Jammy, The Congos etc etc. Music is very important when I work and is always playing.
What is something new you have noticed or learned recently?
Recently did a workshop sign painting with Mike Meyers - shit is awesome and I will be acquiring this skill over the next years.
What was the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Tough question 'cause there has been some much good advice over the years that has come my way. Trying to say yes to things that you might normally not do - this will create experiences you will never forget and experiences are more important then material things. Experiences are inspiration.
Can you suggest three artists/illustrators/creatives we should check out?
Tea-Wei, Jared Muralt, Chad Eaton, Yeaaaah Studio, Robert Crumb - three is not enough homeslice!
What are your favourite and the best things to do in the city that you live in?
Riding my bike around town and watch people.
Thanks a lot for you time! Any last words/shout outs?
If you are in Amsterdam around May 16th I will have an exhibition of my work at Cafe Struik an awesome cafe on the Rozengracht - people from down under come say hi and have a smoke and a beer.