Get To Know | Aafke Bouman

 Photography | Rick Erfmann

Photography | Rick Erfmann

Who is Aafke Bouman
I am 23 years old and recently graduated in illustration at HKU! I live in Amsterdam, but I love to escape the city now and then. This escapism also was the start and theme of my graduation project.

Within my imagery there is always a nomadic element to be found, both within the meaning and content as well as my way of working.

By making long strolls and stumbling upon new places I view my own surroundings in a different way. The way I conjure images consists of an interplay between my own observations and its translation towards my illustrative works - here, documentation and fiction come together.

What kind of projects have you been pursuing lately?
Mainly my graduation project! Here I came up with three fictive characters which all dissappear. 

As a maker I started a quest to actually find these persons. Through traces, items and messages I found, I illustrated and visualised these three dissappearances. The goal of this project was to tell a fragmented story in the shape of a quest which includes both the maker and spectator. 

 Aafke Bouman | Afstudeerproject Evie Hearst 

Aafke Bouman | Afstudeerproject Evie Hearst 

What did your first work consist of and what was the idea behind it?
It was an illustration for an article about our internet usage and how we cannot function without it. I made a drawing of a window with a cat sitting in it, looking through the window towards sunset, which simultaneously suggests the wi-fi logo. It is not my first work, but it was the first work where I was positively surprised by my own idea, haha.

 First Work 

First Work 

What are you most proud and thrilled of? 
I'm most proud of the fact that I graduated Cum Laude, I worked very hard for it and naturally the reward is very satisfying. It also gives me a confident feel after my graduation.

 Aafke Bouman | Afstudeerproject Bill Davenport

Aafke Bouman | Afstudeerproject Bill Davenport

What is your biggest source of inspiration?
Traces, weird poses and gestures of people, sects, old dug up photographs, films of kids that discover their own shadow, rituals, podcasts (this american life) and phenomena such as Hikikomori. But also artists such as Felix Vallotton, Will Barnet, Hopper and designer Ikko Tanaka.

Ikko Tanaka | Graphic Designer

What do we non-artists underestimate when it comes to art?
That in order to come up with new ideas and feeding yourself with such, as an artist you are actually continuously busy with your work. Whatever part of the day, I am always occuppied with finding new imagery, compositions or ways of designing.

 Aafke Bouman | Afstudeerproject Chester Harris

Aafke Bouman | Afstudeerproject Chester Harris

What are your current favourite Instagram accounts?
@publicdomainrev A great image archive consisting of inspiring and often odd photographs, illustrations and paintings of the past.

@leifandleif Kunstenaar Leif Low-Beer from New York surprises me each and every time how he utilises space and the flat surface. His work looks very playful, but you can see how every detail has been taken into thought.

@montagueprojects A curator of book covers from the entire 20th century, good for (typo)graphic inspiration. 

@hithisisjeff Finder/collector of old beautiful pictures.

When on the wall - framed or without?
Framed, in my opinion a frame lifts the piece to a higher level.