Q&A with Nick Van Hofwegen

AustralianMan

Young & Sick is the artistic project of Nick Van Hofwegen. Reining from the Netherlands, Hofwegen now resides in LA and makes music and art; mixing and combining the two mediums to create colourful and vibrant works full of detail and activity. 

You are based in LA- a real hub for artists. To what extent do the people, personalities and the LA lifestyle feed into your work? Are they big inspirations?
What type of things inspire the art that you make?

I grew up in a small village in Holland surrounded by nature. When I was 18 I moved to London to pursue art. It didn’t take too long for me to miss nature immensely. I knew LA had to be my next step. I moved there five years later. My inspiration is drawn from the serenity surrounding the city.

Foster-The-People-Torches

What is your preferred medium to work with? How do you like to begin a piece of art?

I draw most with paint markers. I like the way they flow so easily. I never really think too much when I begin a piece of art, I just draw a shape and see where it goes.

Did you grow up in an artistic family?

I grew up in a family that massively appreciates art. My father has one of the largest record collections I have ever seen. I grew up listening to so much music.

Overexposed_Maroon5

What artists do you admire and why? What kind of music do you like to listen to?
Do you enjoy listening to music while you make your visual art pieces?

I’ve always listened to 60s and 70s music.
The harmonies of Steely Dan, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, and America are inspirations in my music. I enjoy listening to music when I do just about anything.

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What motivates you to keep creating new pieces of art?

Art has always made me motivated to make art.

5What kind of studio space do you like to work in?
Do you prefer a quite space or a loud and energised environment to work in?

Quiet as possible.

2You have done artworks for a whole range of musicians. How did that come about?

When I was in school for a brief time, I had a teacher that had us work on a design for a favorite band. I did a piece of art for “The Velvet Teen.” I was encouraged to send it to them, so I did. Their manager at the time introduced me to Mark Foster who was playing guitar with comedian Andy Dick. Andy called me one day at 3am asking me to do art for him as well. I didn’t even believe it was him at first. Mark then followed, and eventually grew to become Foster the People. The rest slowly followed in.

3You work under the name ‘Young and Sick’. How did you come up with the title?
What do you mean by it?

My manager used to throw parties in New Orleans. He always used to name each one, and called me once for a name. I told him I’d been toying with the name ‘Young & Sick,’ but wasn’t sure for what. After he concluded the party, I realized I really liked it. It’s ambiguous. I feel people often think I’m a rapper or something.
Anyways, the .com was available, so that was that. Young&Sick.com

You make music as well as visual art. How do you find the different processes?
Do you enjoy the variety you get from both?

Music and art have always gone hand in hand for me. Often I am drawing for a few hours, then work on a song. It helps keep me productive and focused. With both I just kind of start loosely, and let it evolve naturally. I could never just do one full time.

Continuum EP is out now via Harvest Records.