When were Dulk and his art project born?
A: Dulk (my name as an artist) was born when I was 18 years old and I started to paint graffiti in the streets. At that time I tried to keep my drawings and my graffiti apart and I never thought that they would merge.
Your characters, and the scenery that hosts them, are inspired by nature. How was this passion born?
A: My father has been always a big nature fan; he breeds many different species of birds and he loves all kinds of animals. Since I was a child I was fascinated by them. Our shelves at home were full of animal books and encyclopaedias. I remember myself on the sofa drawing on notebooks and my father showing me black and white photos of hundreds of animals. I am sure it all started there. When I see my old drawings (which have all been kept by my mother), I can see the same things I am doing now but in a child’s language. When I was small I wanted to become a vet because I loved animals so much, but now I can easily follow my passion for them through my drawings.
How old were you when you moved to Belgium, and how much has this move influenced you?
A: I was 25 years old, at a good point in my career and in love with illustrations. I think it was the first time that I really thought that I could live from my drawings. I had met really important people in Europe while my style had started to grow internationally. It was a great moment to evolve as an artist. I was still studying and I could work and test my style in different projects and show it to new people.
Also I was in the country of Flemish paintings (not considering the Netherlands of course). I really liked those paintings full of hidden details, characters and colours. I truly like what they have there: the atmosphere, the buildings, the culture. The people are different from those in my country and they tend to be more intrigued from new kinds of design.
What does the iconography of nature and animals represent for you?
A: It plays a major part in my art. All animal species are different. They all have different anatomies and different types of life. I try to show in a pleasant style the innocence of animals and what we do to them in this cruel world.
When did you began to “taint” walls with your illustrations?
A: When I started to paint graffiti I did some lettering, keeping my characters only for notebooks, but two or three years later I decided to paint on walls what I always drew on paper.
Why did you choose the name “Dulk”, and what does it mean for you?
A: It is a long story based on the person who first convinced me to handle a spray can. I always drew in notebooks but never on a wall; it was something that I could never imagine to doing. I had started to paint with a friend who had another friend that signed himself “Dulk”. The original “Dulk” died in a traffic accident. I never met him. My friend always said that he was a wonderful person and he wanted me to use his name. I didn’t have a “graffiti” name and I thought it was a nice gesture for both of them. Now my friend is super happy to see the “Dulk” name all over the world because he was the one who believed in me and in the name.
What kind of message do you want to convey with your work?
A: I try to do what I like best. My message is not too obvious since I prefer to have the public interpret my paintings from a subjective point of view. Each one can discover different stories in my illustrations but I have always mine inside them. In all my creations there are some of my personal stories and I love this because each one includes a different part of me.
Sometimes I try to camouflage a critical message with nice colours and apparently nice characters, but if you look at them closely you can see that, often, not everything is as nice as it looks.