The Mossy Giant has come to visit Deck Studios as we celebrate the ridiculously awesome Illustrator, Pieter van Tongeren, as Our Featured Artist of The Week! Check out our interview with The Mossy Giant himself…
So, introduce us to Mossy Giant?
“Mossy Giant is a rather large human being also known as Pieter van Tongeren – I make hand-drawn illustrations and combine this with cleanly graphic design. I am inspired by nature, hippies, bears, cannabis and everything around me! The things in life that makes me tick are black and white lines, detailed artwork, sunny days, and riding my bike. Mossy Giant came to life somewhere last year during a spiritual ayahuasca conference in Los Angeles – this conference was in a church and in this church hung a huge statue of jesus on the cross completely covered in moss – cool I thought a “Mossy Jesus”.My pal Justin said I should use it as my artist name – I can turn water into wine, only wine into piss so I did not want to call myself jesus, so I flipped out the jesus part for Giant since I am a 7 foot behemoth.”
When did you start illustrating?
“Been doing this all my life – but professionally I have been at it for about 3,5 years.”
How long did it take you to develop the strong visual identity that your work has today and what was that journey like?
“Man the journey was and still is crazy. My style will keep developing until I am 6 feet under, I want to look back at my older work and think; “jesus what was I thinking” – when you realize this it means you are becoming a better craftsman. It takes practice to develop a style and doing it a lot, so to put a timeframe on my style development is difficult, I say it started when I was a little chap and this process of style development is still going on.”
You draw a lot of characters within your illustrations – do you set aside time for character design and development or are they already living in your head when you begin a piece?
“They are absolutely living in my head! character development is something I do when I work for a client, but my drawings are always living in my head – they come up and then I have to execute. Of course I think about composition and detail but almost always I have a general picture in my head which needs to be created. Basically I go on adventures through the hippie and the bear – I kind of draw myself in a way, but I think most artists do this – (egocentric pricks 😉 )”
Did you train or study any form of visual art and design?
“I studied graphic design in the United States while playing basketball for the University of Evansville. My drawing is all self taught.”
Do you generally stick with illustration to create your designs or do you have any other artistic methods that you enjoy using?
“Its a combination of analog illustration and die hard digital work. It all starts with pencil, ink and paper – this way I do not spend my whole life in front of a screen and I actually get my hands dirty. After the drawing process is done I take it to the holy trinity (illustrator, photoshop & indesign) to color the artwork and design everything that is needed by the person who I am making the artwork for – whether thats me or someone else!”
What lies ahead for Mossy Studios?
“Man, lots of things, I have an artshow May 18th at Cafe Struik in Amsterdam, so if you are in the area come by and have a beer or two. And besides that the everyday hustle and joy of becoming a better human being and craftsmen (these go hand in hand btw) .”
Well, thank you for sharing our awesome work with us – is there anything else you would like to add?
“No problem, thanks for allowing to express my self through he written medium – Stay Mossy!”
Find out more…
+31 (0) 654612978
Mossy on Instagram