Louise Mertens – Mixed Media Collages

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Seit ihrer Kindheit fertigt Louise Kollagen an, es wurde zu ihrem Markenzeichen. Sie spielt mit Konturen und Linien und versteht es gekonnt diese mit weiblichen Körpern zu kombinieren. Louise Mertens lebt in Antwerpen und arbeitet dort nun seit drei Jahren als Künstlerin und Art Director in ihrem gleichnamigen Studio Louise Mertens.

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Elle:
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What sparked your interest in graphic design?

Louise Mertens:

Im 26 years old, I graduated in june 2013 and I started my studio in January 2014. I’m starting my third year as a self-employed freelancer now and things are going very well. I’ve always been very creative as a child. I was more of an introvert kid who was always busy drawing, painting, building things etc. I never knew art was something you could study or really practice in a succesful way. I discovered graphic design when I was 21 and this is when my journey started. I didn’t really like the school-projects as they didn’t seem ‚real‘ to me and I felt I was pushed by a certain expectation teachers have from graphic students. I’ve always had my own style and fashion has always been a great interest of mine. After graduation I felt it was finally time to show how I saw things and how I would design. It was a scared step to become self employed but it’s the best decision i’ve ever made. I love details, I love to finish things and I can be fascinated by how something is presented. it’s one of the most important things. It’s a state of mind.

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Elle:
What has been the biggest influence on your artworks?

Louise Mertens:

Asian cultures – specifically Japan – have had an influence on my past work. I think it all started when I lived in Japan for a few months when I was 17. There is something about their culture, it’s so unique, so strong and yet so extremely simple. Everything they design has been deeply thought about, which makes it so so obvious and easy to understand. I like the structure they have for almost everything. Japan feels very organized. The architecture is breathtaking. There is such a big difference in Japanese modern art and traditional art but both are so fascinating. It’s hard to explain, but if you look at most of my work, I think you can feel how I try to add these simple impressions I got from the Japanese culture.

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Elle:
Would you give a brief walk through your work flow for one of your artworks?

Louise Mertens:

In these series, the proces became very intersting. Normaly I have all the materials I need in my studio. I have my camera, my space, paper, small texture-objects etc. But while making these series, i was in New York city during an internship. I was living in Manhattan so you can imagine how small my room was. I was sharing an appartment with 4 people and basicly the only room I had to work on was my bed and some daylight. I bought some amazing magazines and I started working purely manual. Something I rarely do. I only had a few colors from a little store I discovered and the main reason I made these works under different conditions was because after 3 months, I felt so bad not making my artworks. I missed it a lot. It’s something inside of me that needs to come out. It was a fun discovery and I’m quite happy with the results as well.

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Elle:
What is the one work that you are most proud of?

Louise Mertens:

I would say (see attached) ’surreal‘. Because it was the first work I made after I hide my personal work for 4 years (during my study). At school they were not supportive at all if I made collages and I started feeling bad about making them. Surreal is the first work of a series I made right after graduating and the first work I exhibited. It’s still very popular and I love the balance between the graphical elements, the face and the dreamy part. I used my favorite colors I still use today.

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Elle:
What is your dream project?

Louise Mertens:

Difficult question. I do a lot of projects and a lot of them are different. But I think when I can do a complete Art Direction for an incredible brand that I love and support, that would be a dream. I love to decide how a photo has to look and them work with them to create a whole. I love when clients choose me for my personal view and I’m not guided into something that doens’t feel like I would do it. I’m lucky that many of my clients are very trustful in me.

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