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Interview: illustrator Maaike Canne on the suggestiveness of her work

Illustrator Maaike Canne draws recognizable and mysterious locations. Or – how she likes to call it – “suggestive situations”. What drives this young and talented illustrator and where does she get her inspiration from? We talked to her get the answers to our questions.

Illustrator Maaike Canne

Illustrator Maaike Canne finished her illustration studies a couple of years ago and – on top of this – has been drawing her entire life. With an eigth year younger brother, she liked to entertain herself by drawing. Her grandma – an artist – introduced her to painting and drawing. We talked to her about the influence of her childhood and her big examples in the art scene.

To start: can you tell a bit about yourself?
“Yes, my pleasure. I grew up in the south of The Netherlands in a family that has always been very supportive. As a kid I was a bit of a boy-ish type. I enjoyed playing outside with the boys from my class, building tree houses, going on adventures and getting dirty. My parents have always let me wear whatever I wanted, even when I looked like a complete idiot. They never bothered me while hanging out with friends who were a bit older than I was at that time. I’m very grateful for the way my parents treated me, because it’s been an important part of who I am today.”

Illustrator Maaike Canne - Resort Corbusier
Illustrator Maaike Canne – Resort Corbusier

She adds: “I used to play by myself a lot since my brother is 8 years younger than me. Drawing was the perfect solution!”

“My parents have always let me wear whatever I wanted, even when I looked like a complete idiot.”

Is that how you discovered that you wanted to be an artist?
“I think so. As a kid I was drawing a lot and I loved to paint together with my grandmother. I remember when I was 9 or so, standing in front of her easel painting a horse while only wearing a big t-shirt and my grandmothers high heels. I’ve always known I wanted to work in the creative field. I’ve studied 4 years of Fashion and Graphic design in Rotterdam and then I did 4 years of illustration at the art academie in Breda.”

Illustrator Maaike Canne - Elle Decoration, kitchen special
Illustrator Maaike Canne – Elle Decoration, kitchen special

Who inspires you most?
“There are so many artists who inspire me. Of course many classics like Matisse, Picasso, Hopper, Magritte, Boncompain, Malevich, Hockney, Roger Brown.. Photographers like William Eggleston and Stephen Shore. Architects like Luis Barragan, Le Corbusier, Marcel Breuer. People from the Bauhaus movement. Members of the Memphis Group like Natalie du Pasquier and Ettore Sottsass. There are also “newer” artists I enjoy. Like Saehan Parc, Firenze Lai, Chris Harnan, Kasper Bosmans, Antoine Cosse, Dadu Shin, Robin F .Williams, Ekta, Charlotte Mei and many more.”

Illustrator Maaike Canne - Kibilind Magazine, Resort Corbusier
Illustrator Maaike Canne – Kibilind Magazine, Resort Corbusier
Illustrator Maaike Canne - Sento
Illustrator Maaike Canne – Sento

And how would you describe the common theme in your work? Is there a message you want to spread?
“I would lie if I said I had a message upfront that I’m consciously trying to integrate. But that being said, I’ve noticed over the years people are slowly disappearing from my work. That doesn’t mean there will no longer be characters in my work, but this is how my work is naturally evolving.”

“Thinking about the future gets me a bit anxious. But this is probably just a millennial thing.”

Canne continues: “At this point it’s the scenes or locations that are left, while it still feels like there used to be a person involved. Maybe someone just left or something is about to take place. It’s suggestive. The scenes are often pervaded by a sense of silence and estrangement, but tucked in under a warm blanket. This combination seems to have taken my interest over the years. Places like gas stations, empty malls and hotel lobbies also have this intriguing atmosphere.”

Do you think this is the way your work will evolve in the next five years as well?
“I tend to live in the here and now. To be honest, thinking about the future gets me a bit anxious. But this is probably just a millennial thing. Let’s take the easy route, haha.”

“It’s important to stay curious.”

“I see myself working as a visual artist working in different media. Smaller sized illustration work but also on a larger scale, like mural projects and 3D work. I have an interest in interior and design so I’d love to collaborate with interior designers, product designers or architects. I think I’ll still live in Rotterdam, but in a more quiet neighborhood.”

Illustrator Maaike Canne - Egg Machine
Illustrator Maaike Canne – Egg Machine

At last: is there any advice you would have given your younger self or other your artists?
“Be curious!”

www.maaikecanne.com
@maaike_canne

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