“Maybe there is a little bit of a dog in me too.” Andrew Tseng, Amsterdam-based illustrator, visual artist and occasional clay sculptor, brings to life warped, spilling shapes in drawings that feature canines more often than not. Read about his love for four-legged companions, and his designing techniques and approaches in the exclusive interview below.

Could you describe the process of creating your artworks for us? 

With drawings, I usually already have a vague idea of what I want to make in my head. It could be a scene in a story, sometimes it’s just a joke that I came up with in the shower. My main focus is the composition and I want to portray movement within the piece. I like to start by making very crude drawings and playing around with proportions and perspectives until it all starts making sense to me.

One of my favourite things is to design works for screen printing or riso printing purposes. The design process for either of these techniques is quite similar since you are working in layers. I’ve incorporated a lot of those methods into my work, even if the project is not intended for printmaking. It has had a lot of influence on the way I use colour.

With ceramics, I tend to work from a quick sketch where I’ve already decided on the general composition. My approach to sculptures feels a lot more direct because I feel like I’m taking less time planning. Because of how malleable the clay is, I can adjust things as I go without being slowed down by too much planning.

Why do you quite often choose dogs as the main heroes or villains of your artworks? Is there a special bond?

Though I’ve always loved dogs as a child, my parents would not let me have a pet. The apartment was either too small or I wasn’t responsible enough to take care of one. Now, as an adult, I don’t think I have the time to commit to having a dog. Maybe it is not meant to be and I can only commit to drawing dogs. 

When my grandfather was born, infant death was common in his village. His family gave him the nickname ‘Doggy’ in the hopes that he would survive. He lived to be 96 and had many children. Maybe there is a little bit of a dog in me too.

In your project Dogma that was inspired by cults of recent history, you mentioned that, “if only man would listen, the world would be a beautiful place”. So, what do you think dogs could teach us?

Dogs have a supreme sense of smell, which makes them one with their surroundings. They live in the NOW and hold no grudges. Whereas humans are always stuck in the past or scheming about the future. Dogs are gentle beings that are always true because they do not understand the concept of lying.

Humans, however, lie and hurt each other to avoid being vulnerable and construct false realities so they don’t have to face themselves. If only we could be more like dogs.

Are you currently preparing any exhibitions or projects we can look forward to?

I recently finished a sculpture that will be part of the Hyper-Contemporary group show hosted by Hasbrook Galleries (@hasbrookgalleries), which will be online.

It is a very big dog that is also a lamp.

Within the framework of our current theme “Who Let the Dogs Out”, what animal would you like to have as a lifetime companion?

A dog that accepts me despite my many flaws and understands boundaries. I’ve been hurt too many times already. It should also be one that doesn’t bark at my girlfriend and is hypoallergenic.

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Andrew Tseng is an illustrator and visual artist from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. After completing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Amsterdam, he has gone on to study Illustration at the Utrecht University of Arts. With drawing as his starting point, Andrew tries to seek the boundary between illustration and art. His work depicts alienating worlds in which colourful characters find themselves in situations that are marked by the absurdity of everyday life, as doubts and futile attempts at finding meaning abound. Visual gibberish is filtered through a lens of melodrama and abstract humour, coupled with clear lines and dynamic compositions.


Artworks / Andrew Tseng @mandrew.tseng

Interview / Markéta Kosinová

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