Eelco’s illustrative style and unique use of colors combined with a more graphic composition seems to reach out and attract the attention of many people in a positive way. His work involves many layers and elements that it makes it interesting to discover and watch. His work can be easily recognized, with it’s significant and personal style with an explicit and harmonious use of vibrant color.
What made you become an artist? Could you tell me more about your background?
I grew up in a small village in The Netherlands.
My hippy mother dragged me to parties when I was young; I saw a lot of psychedelic rock art on walls. I was born in a creative atmosphere so art was my first influence. Drawing since little, I was interested by the hip-hop culture around 86. I have always been a rebel and graffiti was the perfect way to express myself. Then I was a fanatic skateboarder since the eighties. I had a big collection of original skateboards from that period on my walls at home and enjoyed watching these hand screened decks every day. My work now is a mixture of sixties/seventies, graffiti from the eighties and fine art from various decades.
Basic question, but how did you choose your name
Eelco is my name of birth, Virus is my graffiti name, I started using it in the eighties. The last three years, I’ve been using both of them together.
I’m currently working on a new website and will stop using Virus and continue with Eelco as I am Eelco.
Could you tell us about your technique and the type of work you create?
I’m a multi-disciplined artist/illustrator: I work with different medias. My favorite tools are pencil, fine liner, acrylic, spay paint and photoshop. Since 1997, I’m working as a professional illustrator going from advertising to editorial illustrations. Besides that, I’ve been painting canvases since a few years. In 2013 I started to make murals. I like the variations of working indoors in my studio and outdoors.
Works Available on StreetArtAndGraffiti.com
How would you describe your work today?
My career as an illustrator always made me more focused on figurative work. With murals, I got bored with painting letters but never had the guts to put my illustrative style on walls.
Being in Berlin in 2013 for an art-fair I painted in the early morning before the art fair began. The result was disappointing and I noticed that the letters were blocking me. During a train ride to Berlin, I made a sketch of a cat and decided to paint this. So I stayed with the animal theme. I used to draw a lot of birds when I was young. Animal behavior always interested me; most of my work is about animals with a human behavior. Most work is not really planned and sketched out, I like to leaf things open and get inspired by the moment. I noticed though that my recent sketches become more and more conceptual.
What influenced you artistically?
60ies and 70ies illustrations, psychedelic rock art, eighties skateboard graphics. Nature, animal patterns, textures and music are a big influence in my work.
Which is the best wall you have ever painted?
I’m not often proud of my works and I always look back to what I made.
I believe than the happiness I feel when I make a wall is more important than the result.
I don’t like to do the same things over and over. The mural I have painted last year in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY was a fun one, it seemed like my new direction was getting shape…
When you are visiting a new city, how do you choose the spot where you’ll paint a work?
I’m mostly invited to travel and paint murals at various locations. Living in New
York last year, I have found a lot of new contacts and friends who organize walls.
When they know I’m in town I receive invitations for mural options.
Why did you choose to work with StreetArtAndGraffiti.com?
I like the concept of an store with many others with various styles.
Any exciting projects coming up?
In January I will be working for The Rijksmuseum and Phillips again. I’ve been asked to do a mural in Honduras and I’ve got a new solo show in Amsterdam coming up.