strangefruits art & design portal
Leon Poirters
age: 30
country: Netherlands
exposed: October 2006
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mugshot Leon Poirters
Please introduce yourself and tell us something about yourself and your background.
I was born in Eindhoven (The Netherlands). Spent most of my childhood riding my bike and skateboarding in Dommelen which is a village known for its beer. Studied graphic design in Eindhoven and again at the Academy of Arts in Breda. I am still living in Breda because of my friends and my two little cousins who live nearby. Loes and Mart.

Today I am working from home, which is a small apartment. My view consists of a shop which sells car stereos, a tree and this neighbourhood's trash-disposal-unit. Tomorrow I will probably work in my studio which is located in an old factory. Its about a ten minute drive by bike and houses several of my friends and other artists.

What makes a good website in your eyes?
Good contents... in combination with it being functional is what makes a great website.

Could you tell us something about your work process? How do you start? How long do you work on it? What mediums do you work in and which one do you enjoy the most?
I always start with a blank sheet of paper and a pencil. I start sketching the ideas or concepts that are already in my head. What follows depends on the kind of project I'm doing. When I am designing a corporate identity for example, I start translating my sketches into usable, printable designs. I digitalize them and after briefing my client I make sure my designs are being produced the way I intended.

When I am making a drawing I tend to sketch until I think it is ready to be inked. This could take up to several days. After inking I finish a drawing in Photoshop.

Most of the projects I am involved in end up being printed by a professional printer. I enjoy printed matter very much because it allows my designs to make a transition into something real. Printed on paper I choose, my designs start life on their own.

To what extend do you allow clients to influence your work?
To some extend. My clients have their expertise and I have mine. I think a good product contains a healthy mix of the two.

What key feature are you missing in the application you most work with?

In what way do you use the Internet? What role does the computer play in your work?
I use the Internet for information, communication and inspiration. My computer is essential for doing my work since it allows me to create digital, printable products.

Computer or Ink?

Concept or Intuition?

The thin line between art & design is sometimes hard to define. Do you consider you work to be art or design? Why?
This distinction between art and design is not important to me.

If you had an unlimited budget and all the time you needed. What would you do?
I would try to find a solution to poverty, hunger and innocent people dying. If thereís any time left I would start working on my next comic. I am not sure yet what itís going to be about but its main character will probably be a chef in a small diner.

What inspires you?
Why do people do the things they do?
Things which used to be beautiful but aren't any longer.
Stories and fantasy.

How do to you keep your knowledge up to date? Do you spread your knowledge at universities, conferences or workshops and so on?
About two years ago I started a design-collective with three friends who are also designers. Meeting them, speaking to them and working with them keeps me alert. I watch television, read magazines and surf the Internet. Most importantly though... I try things that I haven't tried before. This keeps me and my skills up to date.

Who is your favourite artist/designer? Why?
For several years now, one of my favourites has been Chris Ware. Pretty much because of his elaborate storytelling, his mix of minimalist and overly decorated drawings and because of his well designed and printed books. Other favourites are Frank Cho, Enrico Marini, Phunkstudio, Jasper Johns, Radargraphics, Katsuhiro Otomo and Femke Oosterloo.

Which project or website would you like to have made, or make?
Some day I would like to (I am going to) make a design, comic or artwork which equals the diversity and brilliance of the album Grace (Jeff Buckley).

Final words?
Be nice to your neighbour! ?>