3DTotal: So from starting out doodling on your parents’ walls to your first spot of freelance work, could you tell us what sort of art education you received?
Remko: Actually I'm self-taught. I did specialise in traditional printing and painting techniques for two years, but never really went to an art school. By the age of 20 I had to move to Belgium, and get work quite fast. My mother and grandfather were into traditional painting, and so I kind of grew up in between the painting tubes and canvasses. As most of us do, I started drawing really young and never actually stopped.
I like to read nature, history and art books a lot which still remain a great help to me. I also like to get out, take pictures, and observe the world and people around me for hours.
Personally I'm convinced that you learn a lot from your environment. Actually for me the great thing about art is you never stop learning.
3DTotal: What spurred you to head back to drawing and painting after working in the advertising world?
Remko: I missed the big bad trolls, mechs and girls with big hair [Laughs]. Actually the game industry presence in Belgium is very low, so when I started out as a freelance illustrator in the beginning to earn a living, I automatically kind of fell into the advertising industry.
It was when I did a commission for Hades Productions that I first came into contact with the world of making games. I liked it a lot and for fun in my free time I started writing and drawing my own game. After six months I ended up with some kind of weird book about a future where people have to snowboard to stay alive. Yeah! I showed them one day at Hades Productions, just like that, never thinking they could like it but they actually did. Together we went to see investors and managed to obtain enough money to create a demo with the team. This was a great time where I learned a lot and was lucky to work as an illustrator, scene artist and designer on my own game. Unfortunately a few months later Hades had to close their doors and we couldn’t finish the demo. Working over there gave me the taste of the games industry and I decided to draw and draw again to maybe create a chance for myself to get into the entertainment industry.