Interview with Telmo Miel

Photo by  Selina Miles

Photo by Selina Miles

Both Telmo Pieper as well as Miel Krutzmann started working on their creative abilities from a very young age. But it wasn’t until 2007 they met at the Willem de Kooning Academy. Telmo (25) at the time a talented young illustrator and designer, Miel (31) decorating walls for several years, practicing the art of graffiti. In that period they started working together on walls, and grew to the ambitious artistic duo they form today.

After the academy they moved to the Sober-Concept Store, where Sober-Industries (also academy-friends) just started their new studio and shop space. This is the spot where the company ‘TELMO MIEL’ became official in the beginning of October 2012.

Working together seamlessly, they both enjoy working in realistic styles. With loads of contrast in subjects. Technique and style have a high priority in the artwork of Telmo & Miel, true craftsmanship is what they want to produce. They work separately on ideas for murals and come together with the sketches to see if combinations can be made. The result is usually very surrealistic, with attention to detail. They always work on the same piece together and are able to switch places when ever wanted or needed.

Hi Telmo & Miel, today Music On Walls selected three of your artworks inspired by music. 

Can you tell Music On Walls why you chose to create artworks inspired by music? And the story behind your artworks?

Usually we don’t work too much anymore on portraits of musicians, because now we feel it to be somewhat morally wrong to abuse someone else’s fame in our free work. So the artworks we did make about music where actually not necessarily by choice but commissioned or in theme of the Festival (for Reykjavik). Each project had their specific way of giving us the opportunity to combine our work with music. 

In Reykjavik we created a mural for Iceland Airwaves festival initiated and set up by Urban Nation. Different artists came together to make an artwork about a song of one of the bands playing at Airwaves. We got the band Mercury Rev who gave us the song "Moth Light". We got inspired by the sentence "If I Was A Moth’ which made us think about perspectives, being as small as a moth or a moth being as big as you. With a funny twist we decided to make a moth-rider girl. (Artwork below)


The Artwork (or painting) for Martin Garrix was also a commissioned project where 7 different dutch artists made an artwork in 6 hours on canvas of 2mx2m. Every artwork was made inspired by a new song assigned to each artist, this song was released during Amsterdam Dance Event. Our song was titled ’Together’, as in family, friendship or lovers. We chose to go with a more classic friendship, that of Mowgli and his friend Baloo in Jungle Book. We gave this theme a more modern look, which is why we would have titled it: Urban Mowgli. 



Urban Mowgli

Urban Mowgli

The bus painted in Norway (with Notorious BIG, Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix) was a commissioned bus, and the kids who initiated the project wanted there bus themed that way. We love doing portraits and they wanted these legends on there, so it was a lot of fun working on. 



What are your favorites songs of Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix?  

Kurt Cobain: "Come as you are (unplugged version)"

Jimi Hendrix: "Manic Depression"





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

Our favorite is the one in Reykjavik, because it was a great trip with a lot of cool new people that we’ve met. Plus painting on that wobbly iron is a bit more difficult so we were proud of the outcome. 

Why is music important to you, in your life and in your art? 

Miel: To me music is the same as paint, and I experience the same in both. Music can be sad, happy, beautiful and everything else, just like paintings can. I love to work on my paintings listening to euphoric hip-hop songs, which makes me feel invincible and more confident about painting. 

Telmo: It just makes a lot of things better. Cleaning the house with "Carmina Burana" - Carl Off. Walking in the street with Action Bronson in your headphones or working on a mural with Jimi Hendrix. Music in your life is like icing on a cake.

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

If something comes our way that points us in that direction then yes! 

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

The time depends on a lot of things. Like, is it a mural or a canvas and how intricate is the design that we want to paint. A wall can take 2 days to a week or longer, a canvas can take a week to a month. On walls we use spray paint and normal house paint. On canvas we use acrylics and/or oils. Our way of sketching reverted back to making pictures and combining these in a multi layered image. 

Do you listen to music when your working ? 

Miel: I think i’ve answered this in one of the above questions ;)

Telmo: Not only music but always listening to something, documentaries or tv series. When I do listen to music it is a mix of Hiphop, Soul, (old) Rock. My Ultimate favorite is Radio Nova Paris, they always play the things I want to hear.


What is the song you liked the most lately? What was the last gig you went to ?


Miel: The last song I listened to was "U.E.N.O." by Black hippy. Last gig was i think Lollapalooza in Berlin. 



Telmo: Sean Price “Planet Apes” (Songs in the Key of Price). Lollapalooza in Berlin. 



Are you a musician? 

Miel: I wouldn’t consider myself to be a musician, but I am in a hip-hop band type thing. I make the beats on my computer for the mc’s. I make angry or melancholic type drum based beats. But as in painting I work mostly by feeling, so every time I go a certain way that my feeling tells me.  I see a lot of things the same in creating paintings and beats, the only difference is music takes up a period of time and paintings are static.