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    Mark Sturkenboom

    Mark Sturkenboom

    1. Where were you born and where are you from ?

    I was born and raised in Driebergen a small boring village near Utrecht, in the Netherlands. Now I’m based in Utrecht but I work with artisans all over the world.

    2. What is your first memory connected to the art world ?

    I really can not remember. It came late I guess, when I was a child I never visited a museum or gallery. When I was applying for Art school back in 2008, then everything came at me like a tsunami of impressions. Total overload.

    3. Have you always worked in the art/design field ?

    No, I was a welder and fabricator the years before I attended Art school. I would fabricate big stainless steel and aluminum machines for a variety of purposes such as bread making machines and such.

    4. What led you to the design creation ?

    I was sick of working in a factory with a buzzer when you were allowed to eat, where you could stand or work. Factories where you had to clock in everyday and not having any freedom. In that time I met someone (yes, it was a girl) who told me; You can draw so beautiful, what are you doing in a factory, go apply at an Art school. And so I did, I needed a push I guess. Funny thing is that it led me to making objects (products even) and drawing played almost no part of my Academy time. Now I’m working on drawings again actually, hope to finish some pieces this year.

    5. How would you describe your creative process and it influences ?

    It comes from everywhere. I like playing with extreme ideas and thoughts and by quickly materializing them, I see if they have the right to exist in the physical world. Ideas often come from discussions or arguments with friends, Also it helps to be a highly sensitive person I guess, which is normally a burden but not when you are a creator of something.

    6. Could you describe a typical day of your work ?

    Wake up, sometimes at 8:00 sometimes at 11:00 and then I will drive to my studio and work on my to do list that I have made the evening before. I stop when I feel like it, could be 16:00 or 23:00, Also depending on orders and transports that are planned. I try to work one day a week on new ideas, but I don’t always make that. Producing work that you already made before is great because it makes you money, but when a project is ‘born’ I usually want to move on the week after that, but it does not come in handy because some works you invest months or years in developing the idea. It needs to pay itself back. But I also make work sometimes where I don’t have the intention of selling at all.

    7. Why did you choose the specific materials you work with ?

    I choose materials that are visually complimenting the concept. In that way you can steer the eye of the beholder towards a new idea. The first impression is important, just as it is with people. You need some kind of sign language.

    8. What are the technical particularities of your creations ?

    Depends, I work with so many materials. For example my ongoing Overgrown series wherefor I developed a liquid, now almost ten years ago, allows me to grow objects with crystals in a matter of days. It’s always surprising in the morning to see how something is growing. It can be the best piece I ever did, or total shit.

    9. What advices could you give to beginning artists who would like to create sculptural design works ?

    Surround yourself with interesting people, not with designers.

    10. If your works had to belong to a design movement, in which one would you define it ?


    11. What designers have influenced you ?

    Not so much designers. Design is becoming a bit boring, these days it’s either ‘world saving prototypes’ or ‘material-experiment-object’, often a random ‘rough’ material pressed in a square table or stool or lamp. Often geometric as well. ‘Sculptural pieces’ with little to none context only referring back to itself. We are in the era of the new ‘high-end minimalism blob’. It’s all about a shape or form stripped from all reference or context. I really mis the fun and sex in nowadays. That sounds a bit bitter and of course there are artists that do it well. Also it doesn’t mean I’m not influenced, that is impossible in this time of an image and information overkill. I feel influenced by musicians like John Frusciante or Portishead for example, but also by sci-fi cinema, drunk people, rituals around death and the passing of time.

    12. What contemporary designers do you appreciate ?

    See 11 🙂
    Okay, here’s one: When I was in Art school I really loved the¬ Dutch collective of Droog Design. Almost all pieces were that good. It was more than just products, it was an attitude. They are still relevant today.

    13. What contemporary artists (in any kind of art) have you been inspired by ?

    Theo Jansen, Wim Delvoye, Maurizio Cattelan, Willem van Genk.

    14. If you had to summarize your creations in one word or sentence, what would it be ?

    It would be a really beautiful sentence.

    15. Is there anything you would like to add ?


    Proust Questionnaire with very short answers (one or a few words) :
    (The Proust Questionnaire is a set of questions answered by the French writer Marcel Proust. Other historical figures who have answered confession albums are Oscar Wilde, Karl Marx, Arthur Conan Doyle, Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Cézanne…)

    1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

    Being at peace with who you are.

    2. What is your greatest fear?

    Being alone in my final hours.

    3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

    Taking things to personal.

    4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

    Taking themselves to seriously.

    5. Which living person do you most admire?


    6. What is your greatest extravagance?

    Drinking expensive wine, buying shoes I really don’t need.

    7. What is your current state of mind?

    Sitting, waiting, wishing.

    8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

    Original authenticity.

    9. What is the quality you most like in a man?

    Same as what I like about women.

    10. What is the quality you most like in a woman?

    The way they can dance.

    11. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?


    12. Which talent would you most like to have?

    Professional dancing skills. Best and most fun way to express yourself and channel your energy.

    13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

    Being able to be more forgiving.

    14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

    To drop everything and attend Art school.

    15. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

    To come back as a Karesansui.

    16. Where would you most like to live?


    17. What is your most treasured possession?

    A letter from my father.

    18. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

    Not to be missed, bad (mental) health.

    19. What is your favorite occupation?

    Working with my hands, traveling or fishing or dancing (not in that order parse).

    20. What is your most marked characteristic?

    Not being able to accept that the party is over.

    21. What do you most value in your friends?

    Being good drinking buddies.

    22. Who are your favorite writers?

    At the moment Herman Koch, Yuval Noah Harari

    23. Who is your hero of fiction?

    Don’t have a hero.

    24. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

    Vincent van Gogh

    25. Who are your heroes in real life?

    People who have unconditional love and support.

    26. What are your favorite names?

    I don’t have it I guess. Names are connected to people.

    27. What is it that you most dislike?

    Clients who emailing every other day and all the time they want new and more info/images/videos/discounts (ASAP). After spending hours providing that over a period of several weeks they decide something else for their interior or project and they won’t take 2 minutes of their time to inform you that their plans have changed. Just email people! It’s not scary, no one will bite you.

    28. What is your greatest regret?

    I’ll keep it private.

    29. How would you like to die?

    Quick and easy.

    30. What is your motto?

    It will always work, even when it doesn’t.

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