Annik Janssens

Born in: 1963, Belgium
Lives in: Lierde, Belgium
Education: Master graphic designer
Describe your art in 3 words: Love for animals
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Time for action - Pastel 40 x 50 cm

"Passionate about nature, animals and drawing."

What themes does your work involve?
Animals, wildlife as well as pets.
Describe your creative process.
As reference I use either my own photos or photos by photographers I have the authorisation to use. These photos must touch me, they must have feeling and passion, and often it is the look in the eyes that does it! I always start drawing the eyes. I think the eyes are the most important part in a portrait by the way, whether it is a dog or an elephant, the eyes are the mirror of the soul. I work in several layers, from dark to light, in order to be able to show the structure of the fur or feathers as well as possible. For the lower layers I use soft pastel or panpastel. Afterwards I work with pencils of different brands and hardness for further detailing. For me a portrait is finished when I have the feeling I want to touch the animal.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
All my life I have had a huge passion for animals and everything that has to do with nature. I strive to convert my passion for animals into realistic portraits where I try to approach the character of the animal as much as possible. I often draw endangered species and want to include a message. A message of awareness of the threats that hang over many of these species. I work photo-realistic to be able to portray the character of the animal as well as possible. Images say so much more than words. The viewer has to want to touch the animal, to feel it.
What are your goals and plans as an artist in 2023?
I want to create more awareness with my art. It is high time to take action; if not, generations after us will know many species only from television and zoos. This is also why I offer some of my wildlife artwork for sale at organisations, where half of the proceeds go to charity.
How do recent advancements in technology affect your art practice? How may recent developments in Artificial Intelligence (image generator software) affect the definition of fine art?
Besides my ipad and laptop with touchscreen I don't use a lot of techology.
What is the role of the artist today?
Everything in the world is moving faster and faster. With art, as an artist, you try to make the viewer pause for a moment. You try to get the viewer to let go of everything for a certain time.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
If the viewer waits a little longer to swipe to the next piece of art or page. If it affects you. If you want to touch it.
What about me - Pastel 40 x 40 cm
I am worth it - Pastel 40 x 50 cm
The Sprinter - Pastel 40 x 50 cm
We are family - Pastel 40 x 42 cm


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist

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