Interview with Pieter Ceizer

Pieter Ceizer in his studio

Pieter Ceizer is a Dutch typographer and multi-media artist currently living and working in Paris. His work is particularly engaged with the theme of escapism and a desire to passively resist life’s daily hassles by creating an invigorating, playful visual experience. Ceizer is including positive phrases or words in his art to realize this vision. We recently had the chance to visit him in his artist studio in Paris and talk with him about his art and his working process.

Do you have any studio essentials or rituals?

I’m not much of a morning person so first thing I need is coffee and I start to check my emails. Another studio essential apart from coffee for me is music.

Pieter Ceizer, So it goes (2018), Acrylic on Canvas,  140x140cm.
Pieter Ceizer creating his artwork, So it goes (2018), Acrylic on Canvas, 140x140cm.

Describe the core of your style. 

Imagination. I use only words and letters. The words are creating an image in your head. What a certain expression triggers is different for every person. My art is there for your imagination. You can say that I’m basically inspired by people. 

Are there any particular artists that inspire you?

An artist that inspires me is the Dutch painter and author Jan Cremer (*1940). He is a famous artist in the Netherlands, where I originate from. He has been painting since the 1950s and lives a Bohemian lifestyle. I would describe him as my ‘fake uncle’ because I have known him since I was a child. He is the one who taught me how to use colors. His way of life has always been a great inspiration for me. The importance of personal freedom and finding your personal power are things that I learned from him. Apart from that, his openness to the world including travelling and living everywhere makes him a great inspiration for me.

Pieter Ceizer, NO WORRIES Néon (2018), Pigments on Plexiglas, Plexiglas under plexiglas, 60x70cm.
Pieter Ceizer, NO WORRIES Néon (2018), Pigments on Plexiglas, Plexiglas under plexiglas, 60x70cm.

You had various cooperations with famous brands. Which of these collaborations are you most proud of and why?

That’s a hard question to answer because it is like having to choose which of your children you like the most. If I have to choose I would pick the collaboration with UNIQLO because it was a worldwide project. I started to see people wearing my designs in countries nobody ever heard of me before. I also got tagged by lots of people on Social Media wearing the pieces of the collaboration.

Pieter Ceizer creating one of his artworks
Pieter Ceizer creating one of his artworks.

How do you know or decide when an artwork is finished?

It’s mostly about time. At some point your work is simply due to an exposition or a collaboration. When I’m working on – especially a big – canvas the details are very important, so in the end I’m painting millimeter per millimeter. But after three weeks of painting on one artwork I just have to let it go, it’s done then. If you work it over too many times the artwork can lose a lot of its dynamism.

What is your process of creating a design?

For me the most important thing is to be free while creating. I give myself the freedom of just drawing. For example, I like to sketch while I’m talking on the phone. The other person on the phone might drop the word ‘amazing’ and I pick it up. After the call, I end up with ten different sketches of the word ‘amazing’. I’m gathering all the expressions from my environment. It can be during a call, from the radio or on the street.

Pieter Ceizer, Fuck Yeah (2018), Acrylic on Wood, 60x140cm.
Pieter Ceizer, Fuck Yeah (2018), Acrylic on Wood, 60x140cm.

What lead you to not only display your art on a canvas but also on T-Shirts and other merchandising goods?

Around the age of ten I started skateboarding. This taught me about freedom, rebelism and having fun at the same time. The skate brands and the whole culture behind it is very graphic and colorful, for example if you have a look at t-shirts and the decks. That’s where I got inspired first as a kid. This idea of displaying art stuck with me.

Aside from that, the question is ‘why not?’. Why not use all these different mediums? Different media touches different people. As the core of my art is strongly connected and inspired by people, it seems logical to use different media to create various touchpoints with my art.

Products designed by Pieter Ceizer for various collaborations.
Products designed by Pieter Ceizer for various collaborations.

What do you like to do to unwind after a day of work?

I like to cook and relax with some music after work. I also enjoy meeting friends at a bar after a long day.

Thank you, Pieter! Discover more on his artist page on Singulart.

This interview was conducted by Sophie Liebl.

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