Interview Bram Vanhaeren
Who is Bram Vanhaeren?
I am a fortunate digital artist since 2004 on a mission to do more! Mind the sport enthusiast!
Where do you reside?
I am from Antwerpen, Belgium.
Which athlete you get out of bed for to watch? And why?
Oh this person must be very special, because I really stand on my sleep. I am that guy that always tries to get in bed around 22:00, to get up at 6 and hit my favourite 8 hour a sleep! :D
It used to be my little brother, he had his first world championships athletics in Canada a few years ago. I woke up for this to watch him run his finals on the 400m hurdles on a livestream! The Superbowl keeps me up as well!
Which sports team gets your blood pumping? And why?
I have never been a sports team fan, I always was into individuals athletes! Michael Johnson, Carl Lewis, Lance Armstrong, Tom Boonen, Michael Jordan, Kobe, Lebron. Sometimes a soccer team during the world championships can win over my heart and make it pump a little bit harder :D I always tend to get into personal stories, what drives these athletes individually, how do they train… this stuff excites me!
Do you play sports yourself?
I have been running for over 15 years on the track and field. Started doing competitions when I was 5, until 2 years ago – when I choose to focus on my job/career and get fit in the gym. I do workout on a daily basis – I LOVE IT to push my body. I grew up training almost everyday in the week. Running, jumping, then got serious about sprinting 200 and 400m. This is where I really learned my boundaries, you push yourself every training. That feeling to be able to push yourself just over that edge and recover. For me that's an awesome feeling! I need a challenge and some pain. Today I work out, got into powerlifting for 2 years and pushed my training, nutrition and body to new levels.
Who’s your favourite artist? And why?
I am terrible in this, haha! I don’t have any favourite artists, I love people though! I love how my friends, who I met on DeviantArt online 10 years ago, I still meet on conferences right now! For me these guys are amazing, I don’t care what their work looks like, I love that we are all still hustling and making things happen!
What was the key moment your love for art grew?
I believe when I was about 5 years old, when my grandmother and niece taught me to paint and create! I can still remember I was sitting in my room, wondering why this makes me so happy. I was too young to understand, but I felt different. I remember my “artworks” in school being so different then all the works of other kids. My parents told me, while everyone was simply doing what the teacher said us to do and copying each other. I sat their, mixing paint and other stuff, adjusting my brush technique to come up with something way cooler then what the teacher showed me. At the age of 4.. that’s me, hacking life to find other ways to stand out haha!
How did your love for sports come about?
I had no choice, my older brother started athletics, I wanted to beat him! This was our life – my two brothers and I – constantly competing and trying to break records! I didn’t realized I was better then all the rest, I simply wanted to beat my 3 year older brother and make sure my 1 year younger brother didn’t beat me! Haha! Then when you hit an age of 18-22 , you actually have to train to make progress and sharing this with your two brothers is amazing! We shared so much together, the love for sport, the love for art... I am really thankful I had that opportunity to share and do this with my two brothers
When did sport become a subject of your own art?
Well, eventually you start thinking about who your are. I am sport, I love competition and I love stories about athletes! I wanted to share my respect for these people by creating portraits and say thank you. I also wanted to share my passion and love with friends (this is when Facebook boomed). For the first time people understood what I was doing all the time! Once I decided I simply wanted to create portraits and work for magazines. I just did the one thing that makes me happy – create portraits and get to know these people!
What is Bram Vanhaeren’s style?
Colourful & Energetic!
If people want to see your work in real life: where do they have to go?
Come to my flat in Antwerpen! No, actually I am working on my first exhibition in Brussel for 2016. If you were at #AdobeMAX in LA, you could have seen my work in their #PS25Under25 gallery as well. You can always contact me to get my work on canvas if you like! I make that happen ;)
What is your favourite sport artwork you made?
Again – terrible question to someone who creates and let go! I don’t like to live in the past, I love the fact I create a portrait, post it/ share it and let go - move on. It is all about improving and looking for that next new technique! But since you are so kind, my favourite sport artwork would be the one with Michael Jordan, dunking!
Which sport, sports team or athlete has always been on your mind, and is on the list to make a work of?
I would love to work with the NBA – and I can say I have been contacted by them a few weeks ago – so who knows what happens in the future!
Julius Caesar used to say (freely translated): “Give the people bread and games, and they will be quiet.” If you were Julius for a day, wanted to keep everybody relaxed, what food and which games would you give them?
Spaghetti and Ages of Empire.
When I say Art Loves Sport, what’s the first thing that pops up in your mind?
Sport loves art!