TEUN VAN HEEREBEEK
Artist & watch lover
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from and what is your background?
I was born and raised in the southern part of the Netherlands near Eindhoven. Coming from a creative family I have inherited a creative brain. After spending my childhood with gaming consoles and drawing I decided to study arts and design. From the moment I received my Bachelor in Design I started to continuously improve my attention to detail and develop an own signature illustration style.
You have created a special drawing for us. How did you create this Moonwatch Only drawing? What have been the main ideas you wanted to show?
For me Moonwatch Only is “the bible” when it comes down to the Speedmaster. Everything is documented so well that a Speedy itself almost needs to look up things about its own kind from time to time…
The main idea was to bring the Speedy to life within an environment that suits the chronograph. When I made the first sketch I was thinking of a living room setup with a comfy Chesterfield and a glass of whiskey on the side on a cloudy evening. The Speedy was just relaxing and reading about his family.
But after some brainstorming I decided the Speedy should be in no other place than space of course. So the second environment was born: an open cut rocket with a Speedy reading the Moonwatch Only book. Everything needed to look spacey and NASA like. It was a true design challenge, but I liked the idea.
A gazillion hours, energy drinks and a few shouts later the illustration was finished. Good news: the illustration is now available as a signed print in the Watches and Pencils online shop.
How and when did you start drawing sketches with watches?
I am always looking for beautifully designed matters. Whether it’s art, buildings or watches. But I’m definitely most attracted to mechanical watches: details, technique and craftsmanship hand in hand.
Could you define your concept?
At a certain moment I couldn’t find time for both passions anymore: watches and drawing. As a creative mind I tried to connect the two seemingly incompatible parts. Then I came up with a bridge between the two: Watches and Pencils. Illustrations by a watch nerd, for a watch nerd. Based on typical watch terminology, famous iconic watches and things that are on our minds. Often with humorous and tongue-in-cheek points of view. On Fratellowatches.com I publish a new cartoon on a monthly basis.
Could you describe the drawing process, from the idea to its final touch?
The starting point varies: requests from the watch crowd, an article or my own brain. I also keep track of a list where I save all the ideas and concepts I come up with or receive by email, Instagram etcetera. After the base is formed I start with the creative process of translating the situation/word/watch in a creative sketch for the end result. Many pencil drawings later I’m satisfied and start to make a digital illustration. First I start with the lines. After I set up the base lines and modify them a bit I start with choosing colors. After everything is colored the final layer is added: shadows and depth. As a finishing touch I often reposition elements and refine colors and lines.
How many hours do you spend on each project?
I’m a perfectionist and I am prepared to go a long way. Nothing I create hits the internet before I’m satisfied with it. The total time I spend on one illustration varies from 4 until 24+ hours. It really depends on several factors. For example: budget, the watch, inspiration, etc. Since I’m a true Speedy fan, most of my Speedy works get an above average treatment… 🙂
View all the Speedmaster related products in the shop (e.g. signed prints and screensavers).
What do you do with the finished drawings? Do you produce them in large amounts for commercialization or do you keep them as one-off pieces? Who are your customers?
Only a small selection of the most popular drawings will end up in my web shop. In general I do not like mass produced prints, so I print them myself with a little help of my network of friends. I’d like to keep things small and exclusive with a personal touch like an autograph and final inspection by the artist. My core business is to create custom illustrations for watch lovers and brands.
What are your favourite brands and your favourite watch?
I’m a Speedy fan by heart. It’s a watch with such a rich history. Iconic but still within grasp for most watch collectors. I’m not focussed on specific brands or models besides the Omega Speedmaster. In general, I do like sports watches and watches that are designed by the form-follows-function principles. Nothing fancy or shiney, just because it is beautiful. Good design comes from a multitude of factors.
Can you tell us any particular and funny anecdote with your drawing projects?
Yes! At some point I was looking for a new “victim” to feature in Watches and Pencils. At a watch meeting I found one and I pretended to like it a lot. I looked at the watch from every angle. Not because I liked it, but because I wanted to get things right in my drawing… 😉
Last question: where and how would you spend your next 24h if you had a teleporter?
As many artists I also struggle with inspiration, time management, developing and optimising my signature/style. If I had a teleporter I would visit great illustrators and watch designers to talk about this matter and to get inspired. To name some names (I don’t have exact addresses): Gerald Genta, Hergé (Tintin) and Johannes Itten (artist and Bauhaus teacher).
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For all the Speedmaster related products (such as the Moonwatch Only illustration), please follow this link.