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Theo: ‘I want to stimulate and surprise’

Theo02 uitsnede2

Role at Bord&Stift: Illustrator.
Working here since: 2014.
Which book are you reading at the moment? The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, from Jonas Jonasson.

You have been working at Bord&Stift almost since the beginning. How did that go?

“While studying architecture, I quickly noticed that other students were much more passionate about architecture than I was. I was drawing a lot and when I got some drawing and painting assignments I thought: If I could earn my money like this…!

Charlotte had just started making whiteboard videos and came to me through a mutual friend. The first videos we made in her bedroom. I sat there with my long body wedged between her bed and a drying rack, the whiteboard on a cupboard. Now we draw horizontally, with the board lying on a table, but then it was upright and we used a much larger area, which we zoomed in and out on. That turned out not to work well for the perspective. If I had drawn a horse that looked pretty good from my point of view, it sometimes looked more like a dachshund on camera. It’s nice to see how we’ve grown since then, professionalized.’

Did you immediately feel at home at Bord&Stift?

‘I soon thought: I could be good at this. I love both language and visual work, and that comes together in Bord&Stift. And if your colleagues are also this nice … Working with Charlotte and Violet was very pleasant from the start. We have a comparable life, find each other in how we want to treat each other, how we approach assignments. In recent years Bord & Stift has grown enormously, but that basis is still there: the openness, the sincerity.’

What work do you do besides Bord&Stift?

‘In addition to my work at Bord&Stift schrijf ik ook light verse, in the tradition of Drs. P and Ivo de Wijs. It started with hip hop battles when I was younger. The trick is to insult someone as creatively and effectively as possible. Think of punchlines such as: Your head is so big that you can live on your own. I really enjoy playing with language. With light verse , there should be no word too much.

I wrote two collections of sports poetry together with Ivo de Wijs, who is also my uncle, and in 2016 my solo collection Personal Best was released. I performed for Erica Terpstra and in the Kleine Komedie, became the house poet of the magazine of the hockey association. It is always a challenge to produce something. I read in, follow the news and see if there is a joke in it. Also in daily life I am always looking for the joke, the surprising.

Besides drawing and writing I also give athletic training. I used to be a fanatic decathlete myself, now I train teenagers and young adults. Charlotte was also once in my group as a 14-year-old girl. I can also use my creativity in those trainings. For the warm-up, I always try to come up with new variations of games, to see how something can be even more fun, without making it too complex. That is also the case with writing and drawing. I want to make something that stimulates and surprises, but that people immediately understand and enjoy.’

Now of course we want to hear a verse from you…

The planning of my work is everything
And so I lead a life without sorrow
Today I moved mountains of work
To tomorrow

Also read the interview with Liselotte:
‘I like to try new things.’

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