No rest for the obsessed Daan Roukens

No rest for the obsessed Daan Roukens

Mar 9, 2012 |  by  |  Art
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Independent Creative | Writer at | Entrepreneur | Painter | Founder at Artists Not Armies | For feedback, tips, suggestions mail me at

There hasn’t been any rest for the obsessed artist Daan Roukens ever since he started painting. He’s everywhere; in art, blogs and fashion. I recently met him in Berlin and after we compared our tattoos (his tattoo is the logo of his company, the same goes for mine) we decided to stay in touch. Soon you’ll be able to see his work at the Artistic Affairs exhibition at Walls Gallery in Amsterdam.

Do you remember the first time you were aware of the fact that art existed?
“Well, I think there where two moments in my life that made me realize what my job would be when I got older. At the age of 15 I started shooting and editing videos with friends, we played several parts from famous films and made DVDs. This was the first time I entered the world of art, and it led to the decision to go to art school and learn to work with video. I started studying Fine Arts, because I didn’t want to focus solely on video and started painting, sculpting and designing. This evolved into No Rest For The Obsessed, which showcases me as a painter and designer.”

“What might have played a role as well is that my mother is also an artist. I recently discovered a picture where I was at the age of two, playing with clay next to my mother who was working on a big sculpture.”

Good versus bad art

“I do think there’s a big difference between different kinds of art in general, but to say anything is good or bad is just a matter of how you interpret art. If you follow the line of history and know something about art, then you can definitely tell if art is good or bad. But in the end it’s all about the taste of the buyer and perhaps nowadays what marketing can do for you.”

Working out an idea brings peace of mind, and not working it out brings the exact opposite.

No Rest For The Obsessed is a great name, how did you come up with it?
“Thanks! Initially it was a state of mind, but NRFTO is a brand, store and blog by now. No Rest For The Obsessed also refers to me as a person. NRFTO is the contradiction of what I want to achieve. Working out an idea brings me peace of mind and not working out an idea brings the exact opposite. So in my search for rest, I myself am the obsessed. It feels rather cathartic and it’s my door to exploring new things. NRFTO is also a platform that presents me as an artist, since it all began with painting and that’s still my core business.”

About your art: what inspires you, what are you telling us?
“The most important aspect of my art is to like it. After this step comes the story or concept. I want to create beautiful things and share my interests with others. My inspirations are ‘the finer things in life’ like fashion, music, art, design, colour combinations, patterns and in the end almost anything. One of my paintings for instance is inspired on the ‘Vruchtenhagel’ I had for lunch one day.”

Please tell me about your upcoming events.
“The next event will be at Walls Gallery in Amsterdam, during a two month exhibition called Artistic Affairs. And I’m currently working on a painting for the online magazine AJANAKU, where I write about each step I make with my paintings. Besides that my webstore will be updated very soon, with a new layout and better buying options for my t-shirts. The rest of the time I’m working on new paintings, t-shirts and blogs.”

It’s great to meet an artist who is totally focused on who he is and what he wants, and Daan sure knows how to put his art into the world. Check out his site, and be sure to be present at his next exhibition to experience his art in real life.

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