Interview with Studio Giftig



Studio Giftig is the result from a collaboration between Niels Van Swaemen and Kaspar Van Leek. From years of experience with graffiti that started in the late nineties, there was a desire to break free from the traditional graffiti and to develop their own style. What has manifested into an art form used on murals with a graphic and photorealistic touch. After finishing art school and several years experience as a graphic designers, they decided in 2007 to join forces under the name of Studio Giftig.



Hi Kaspar, hi Niels today you selected for Music On Walls three of your artworks inspired by music. 

Can you tell MoW why you chose to create artworks inspired by music? And the reason why you chose these singers/musicians for your artworks?

Our portraits were part of the biggest Dutch mural ever made and the theme was musicians with a link to the city of Eindhoven. Peter and Fresku both live there and Maxi performed there several times. We like to paint music artists because they represent a specific expression captured in their facial and body language of the portraits. Their music is always associated with some personal memories. 



Peter Van Elderen

Peter is our favorite portrait, because he came down to our studio so we could photograph him, to make sure we could capture him the way we wanted to paint his portrait. Next to that, it was nice to meet him in advance, to hear his point of view and specific details related to his posture at a gig.







With Fresku we also had some contact up ahead, but because of his and our busy schedule at the time he sended us info and photos which we used to process the portrait







Maxi Jazz

Unfortunately, there has been no communication between Maxi and us when we made our design for the mural.




Do you have a favorite piece between the ones presented today?

Yes, the one of Peter in particular because of the process of his portrait. 

Is there any other specific words you’d like to say about the artworks presented today? 

Yes! It was pretty nice to be invited to do this mural. In total there were several artists involved and seven portraits were made. Two by Belin and two by Zenk One and three by us. Also Vincent Huijbers (typography of the mural), Pim Bens and Sven Sanders (background). It was nice to collaborate and get to know each other. Thereby it was nice that Peter van Elderen and Fresku came by, to show their gladness and to check their portraits.

Check the making of movie of the mural in Eindhoven

Do you have plans on creating new artworks inspired by music/musicians ?

Currently we have al lot of projects running, but not specific related to music. However, in a few days we will speak with some musicians for a possible collaboration. We will keep you posted.

Can you tell us more about your techniques and how long does it takes you to make an artwork?

Most of the time we work on murals with spray cans. The time an artwork takes really depends to the specific project. But we always try to make our own design for a mural. Which means we try to photograph our model ourselves for a portrait. Sometimes with famous people (but especial with deceased people) this is not a possibility. But despite that we'd like to combine several different photo's of the specific person to make sure all the best parts comes together in a new portrait.

Do you listen to music when your working ?

Yes we listen to different kinds of music while we work. Most of the time we'd like some good old punk, witch keeps us going on. Yes, indeed, at the studio a lot of punk rock comes along.

What is the song you liked the most lately?

Lately we have been listening to Call it Off (a dutch punk band from our home town Eindhoven). We like their new single 'Abandoned'. 

What is your favorite album?

"Stranger Than Fiction" from Bad Religion is probably one of the albums we have listened to the most.

What was the last gig you went to ?

In the summer we always go to several festivals to paint. Last summer we also painted at the Pink Pop festival where it was nice to finally see Paul McCartney and the Peppers. But apart from the festivals we are pretty busy so we might not go to as many gigs as we used to. The last gig we went to together must have been Ignite.

Are you guys musicians ? 

Unfortunately not, though we'd like to sing (when nobody is around).