Il­lus­tra­tor and de­signer for print Nick Liefheb­ber takes us on a tour of his home stu­dio

Computer Arts - - Contents -

Utrecht-based de­signer Nick Liefheb­ber shows us around his print-filled home stu­dio

My stu­dio can be found near the city cen­tre of Utrecht in The Nether­lands. Hand­ily, it's con­nected to print stu­dio Kap­i­taal, with only a glass wall and door di­vid­ing us.

I've known Car­lien and Ra­mon, who run Kap­i­taal, for a while, since I also screen printed a lot of work for use in their pre­vi­ous lo­ca­tion. I'm re­ally lucky I got this place as there's re­ally only room for one per­son to rent it out. It used to be part of a park­ing garage, but they're de­vel­op­ing parts of it for dif­fer­ent use; it's on the first floor and be­low me there's a small bak­ery/cof­fee place.

As you can imag­ine, I'm re­ally lucky there's a print stu­dio right in front of my door. Screen print­ing, riso print­ing, etch­ing – it's an in­spir­ing place to print any­thing I need, as I get to talk to peo­ple that work here, plus those drop­ping by.

One side is ba­si­cally a glass wall pro­vid­ing lots of light, and the other is a glass wall look­ing into the print stu­dio. I never thought day­light made a lot of dif­fer­ence, but it gives me so much en­ergy. Where pos­si­ble, I still choose to hide a lot be­hind my screen though.

I've been here for one year now, and there's al­ways a lot go­ing on. The neigh­bour­hood is chang­ing with new ini­tia­tives, restau­rants and bars; the print stu­dio is or­gan­is­ing talks, ex­hi­bi­tions and par­ties that are great to be a part of. And ev­ery­thing in my own stu­dio is slowly fall­ing into place.

Be­fore com­ing here, I used to work in a stu­dio in a build­ing that had a prop­erty guardian­ship deal. It was a big space, full

of small stu­dios that could also be rented for fes­ti­vals and events. My own space, how­ever, didn't have any day­light. There was a great at­mos­phere in the build­ing, but I don't miss the cave vibe.

Since I do a lot of screen print­ing, I am slowly build­ing a nice col­lec­tion of inks (1). This is good as I like to have them around for colour in­spi­ra­tion.

Most of my il­lus­tra­tions (2) are made like a col­lage of pa­per cut shapes. So pen­cils for sketch­ing, scalpel knives and scis­sors are a big part of my work­flow.

I buy books (3) and I love my care­ful se­lec­tion, and the abil­ity to flip through pages when­ever I want. This is a re­cent se­lec­tion close to my com­puter mon­i­tor.

I like to have my own work (4) around be­cause other­wise I may for­get the lit­tle in­ven­tions I pre­vi­ously made. This way it's eas­ier for me to build on pre­vi­ous work and im­prove on it for next time.

With my setup (5) you'll find that it's full of my own screen prints that change a lot, plus plants, cut­ting mat, loads of books and boxes full of riso prints.

Nick Liefheb­ber is a Utrecht-based de­signer, spe­cial­is­ing in the cre­ation of bold, fun and colour­ful il­lus­tra­tions for use in print ap­pli­ca­tions. www.liefheb­

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