Interview with Renske Huysmans
Name: Renske Huysmans
Instagram Handle: @renske_prongs
What’s your background?
I was born in Antwerp and grew up in Zeeland. While growing up I was always busy creating things. During high school, I followed an extra art course and then realised that I wanted to follow a creative path. So I went to Grafisch Lyceum Rotterdam where I’m currently following the Visual Design study with a specialisation in Illustration.
How did you find AGA LAB?
My school’s website has a list with all kinds of internship advertisements, that’s where I found an article about AGA LAB.
How long is your internship?
My internship was initially 5 months and then I would do a different internship somewhere else, but with the Coronavirus, it was impossible to find another place. And because I really enjoyed working at AGA LAB I decided to stay another 5 months until the end of the school year.
What are you going to do after you finish school?
In July this year, I’ll graduate from Grafisch Lyceum Rotterdam and after that, I am going to study Animated and Illustrated Storytelling at Sint Joost Academie in Breda.
What did you wish to learn during your time here and did you meet those goals?
At the start, I didn’t really have a specific plan. I found it hard to choose just one technique to learn because I’m way too curious. So I spent the first half of my internship learning and trying every technique. This was a really good decision because I got a really broad orientation of the studio. I was able to help customers better and was able to take more responsibilities in the studio, as well as with AGA LAB’s social media. After the first 5 months, I knew the basics of all the techniques so I was able to spend time experimenting with different etching techniques and look into CMYK screen printing.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working on a book about my etching experiments together with my fellow intern Ida Ferrand. This will be my final project at AGA LAB. In between, I’m still working to finish some etching plates and prints.
What is your favourite tool/material?
My favourite material to print on is textile. I really like how versatile it is and it can create lovely textures in the print. I also really like to use sketchbooks, they are super nice for brainstorming and planning out new work. After a while, they become little personal collections of my mind and ideas. I always carry one with me and love looking back at my old ones.
Who or what inspires you?
I take a lot of inspiration from elements of nature. I really like to add organic forms and textures to my work. I am also very inspired by art styles like art nouveau, art deco, surrealism and expressionism.
Which printing technique did you enjoy the most?
I find it difficult to choose just one. I enjoyed etching and silkscreen the most. For silkscreen, I really like printing gradients and CMYK. With CMYK it is amazing to see the colours overlap and slowly build your image. With etching, I am simply fascinated by how many techniques there are to make prints out of a piece of zinc or copper. For both techniques, I do prefer to print on textile.
Would you recommend others to follow an internship at AGA LAB and why?
I would definitely recommend others to follow an internship at AGA LAB. It’s an amazing place, you will meet so many artists and have interesting conversations. It’s a really friendly environment, there will always be someone to help or give you feedback. But you have to be ready to take some responsibility, stand up for yourself and not be afraid to approach people. For example, you might get a little project from time to time, but most of the time you will be working on your own stuff and get the chance and time to learn the techniques. This can be very scary at first but if you can do it, you will leave AGA LAB rich in experience and with more confidence than before.
- header: compilation of various etch prints
- top: “Laundry Day”, screenprint on textile and T-Shirts
- centre: cyan etch print on paper
- bottom: Renske Huysmans in our print studio with a magenta etch print on paper