We had the good fortune of connecting with DOES and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi DOES, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I live in Geleen, the Netherlands. I entered into a talent development programme of one of the Dutch Professional football teams when I was 10, was selected for the national team at the age of 12, signed my first contract when I was 15 and made my debut in the fist team at the age 16. I started tagging around my 15th birthday. I guess I needed some kind of relief from all the routine and discipline. I had always been drawing a lot without a particular purpose. When I discovered graffiti I really started to take drawing very seriously as I felt that was my basis. Throughout my soccer career I continued to draw a lot. Especially during my darker moments, which where mainly related to knee injuries, drawing helped me to stay positive. For over a decade, it was football by day and graffiti at nightfall for Does: ‘In 1997, I started drawing pieces and soon after, the excitement of spray paint and tagging walls drew me outdoors.’ On track to become a professional football player, it was my way to let off some steam. ‘I needed it to balance out the strict regime and focus that football demanded. No one from the club knew I was doing it, I was living a parallel life.’
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The basis for my work is still the letterform. From that basis I can go in many directions. “I would never step away from letters. They are so close to my personality. I’ve used the same letters for 20 years now, I don’t want to throw it away.” My style is a combination of a basic style and a wild style with some graphic influences. I like to play with forms, technics, colours, spaces and effects. I am still trying to develop my style. I want to get better every week and for me getting better means changing.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live very close to Germany and Belgium, so it is easy to travel and to visit beautiful cities as It is a great area to do nice things. I would bring him to the nicest restaurants in this area. My favourite restaurant is ‘One’ in Roermond. Because I like to cook dinner I would serve dinner together with my wife and kids in our garden. Go out for walks as I live very close to the forest and visiting nice cities such as Maastricht, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Cologne. Unfortunately we are not able to travel because of Covid, so staying at my house at this point would be more realistic because we are currently in Lockdown.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I like artist who are active and trying to develop their style and skills. A big inspiration in the beginning, for me, was Dare. We painted several times together. He was the guy I spoke to a lot about doing canvases and stuff, and it was also the first time that I saw graffiti painted with acrylics on canvas. He was a big football fan, as well as a great person and also a great artist. I think he inspired a lot of artists from my generation. He’s still one of my favourites. I bought a canvas from him around 2007, and he passed away in 2010. That was a bit of a shock. One memory was when we took a football onto the Basel line, with Sirum from Australia, and Rusl from Germany. We played a little football on the tracks while we were painting.