Sunday, August 2, 2009

"Nee Nina we hebben geen abstracte strips."


At first, thank you Andrei for inviting and introducing me here.

Since 2006 my work is focused on drawing. During my study in artschool I did painting, animation and drawing.

I've always been interested in the narrative character of images, but I wasn't always charmed by all figurative forms I found. In 2008 I began drawing abstract and writing short stories. Now I am working on a book with short stories with my publisher (De Harmonie). I also just started working on an abstract comic book because I finally found a language in abstract image to build a story with.

Influences come from the world around me, from music and literature to people or the bottom of a shoe. Visual art related I can mention for example: Rene Daniels, Edvard Munch, Georg Baselitz, Cy Twombly, Mark Manders, Philip Guston, Per Kirkeby, Willem Kooning and Pierre Alechinsky. As well as medieval icons, asian miniatures and japanese drawing (and woodcuts).

When it comes to comics, I have spent -and still do- many hours in comic shops searching for the comic that really appeals to me. Around 2008 the comic shop owner told me that what I was always looking for (comics as nonfigurative as possible) didn't really exist, so we came to the conclusion that I should start drawing it myself. I think it must be the same in various countries, that abstract comics are very rare in comic shops.

Now I am learning from comic artists like Frank Miller, Sam Keith, Joost Swarte, Moebius and others about framing, structure, sequences, page layout etc.

It is a real adventure working in this field of abstract comics and discovering more and more artists working in the same area.



  1. nice work nina
    thanx for the words as well,

    high quality stuff you got there!
    this one seems almost like a crime-scene, some sort of action seems to have taken place & it suggests a narrative starting at just one point, yet spiralling off in many directions from that one point.

    you get a beautiful lumenosity in your work, the ½ format you have here, deep black & shady white, succeeds to startle this viewer, that deep black seems endless, like a vanishing vanishing point, & all the angles add up to complete this strange mystery, in which direction should the lookreader step? it offers many options into differing space & also unfolds a story untold, yet told, somehow.

    & you mention Joost Swarte!

    he is one of my favorites, i love his clean clear line, but as far as compositions go, he is an unsurpassed master of the frame, of the framing.

    & with more people becoming involved by the day, i think there will be quite a healthy scene involved in nonfigurative comics for a while now, it is great to watch it happen as it is happening...

    = )

  2. Hi Nina! It's amazing that you began looking for abstract strips last year--there must be something in the air. Or did you hear something about us, this project, around that time? I know I was mentioned on a Dutch site, and there was an article on abstract comics in a Flemish journal. But overall, as I say in the introduction to the book, people have come up on their own, repeatedly, with the idea of putting "abstract" and "comics" together. From the anthology--even forgetting the early underground guys--Mark Badger, Patrick McDonnell, Benoit Joly, Anders Pearson, Janusz Jaworski--all of them seemed to have come up with the idea without knowing of any previous such work. It came to me from Pierre Alechinski (I'm glad to see his name in your post--I've been thinking of doing a big post about him), then Crumb, then when I found Gary Panter's one abstract page, that clinched it--though I think I had begun playing with the form even before that.

  3. Thank you both for your comments here!

    It's a honour to be part of this blog and I think I will learn more and more from you and other contributors.
    It's nice you like the black in my drawings troylloyd, I think it is the blackestblack ever found and works well for contrast and depth in my comicpages. I find it exciting how narrative appears in my drawings, i cannot get enough of it. And I image experiments and possibilities for years in this field!

    I did try making sort of comic related thing years before, but I was never satisfied. I stopped using figurative stuff in 2008 and made two exhibitions with several panels. One exhibition had four panels and was all together about 8 metres long. This looked like a comic large scale and then I started drawing for a new exhibition, with around 20 abstract drawings where I used fixed frames for the first time. Hanging in the space I made some sort of a story with them.
    My 'all-time-comic-wanna-make urge came up again and I started experimenting with black and white abstract comic pages. At the same time I was working at pages and sketches, I researched all around for more information about abstract comics. I didn't find that much.
    This made me even more enthousiast to work in such an unknown area, where there is a lot to discover.

    Then I found this blog and other artist and that gave me convidence to keep on going. It is really cool to see the developments of other artists here. Actually I found the Flamish article here on this blog first! There is a bit of a comicculture in Belgium and in France, not so much in Holland. And I think there is a complete different conception of comic and it's significance if you compare holland with the USA for example. Mainly children are reading comics here, it is mostly seen as being for not grown up people. (Except for the now growing number of graphic novels) But! Since May 2009 we have a person who is going to help the Dutch comicscene out of the plump for the first time in history.
    Now 0,5 precent of Dutch adults are reading comics, hopefully this man will lift this percentage..!

    I will look for anything happening in the abstract comic world and realted in the Netherlands and abroad and post things relevant here. And I am really looking forward to see the artwork from the anthology in NY in September.

    And I need to say: Andrei you are an amazing promoter and a big stimulation for me to keep on working on my comicbook.



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