Hello Bunbun030, can you introduce yourself to us?

Greetings, I’m just another madman who likes to share pictures with the world, hoping to make people smile.

Why did you choose a bunny as your trademark?

I was drawing bunnies even before I was drawing Bunbun. 

I had this toy bunny that I bought for a girl I liked when I was about 18; she didn’t like me back. So I never actually gave it to her, but it stayed in my coat pocket for at least a year.

When I finally took it out, the wrapping paper fell off, and out came this weathered and misformed bunny. I instantly loved it and used it as inspiration for quite a few drawings and paintings.

You could say it’s Bunbun’s father… but that would make me his mum, and then this analogy goes totally pear-shaped.

Can you talk about when and how you started making street art?

I was finishing my bachelor of illustration and at the same time still doing an extended internship at an awesome company. So at that time, everything I drew was being judged either by my teachers or my internship, so I wanted something that was just for me.

I had seen a lot of sticker art around town, and I wondered if it was fun. 
So I bought a pack of white labels and drew my favorite animal. I left them around during my commute and saw how they started interacting with their environment. And then I started making more stickers and taking pictures of the results.

Where does your artist name come from?

Oh! I wish I had thought this one through.
I had no idea that I would be drawing the same bunny for over more than 16 years, so the name is dead simple.

It’s not even the only Bunbun out there, so later I added the 030 as that’s the area code of Utrecht, where he was born, and it makes it easier to find it (online).

I do love the fact that ‘Bun’ means little in Chinese, and saying little-little is another way of saying small penis. Female Bunbuns are called Nubnubs and even that name is quite common online…

You are a multidisciplinary artist; you use different mediums (stickers, Lego ceramic) to express yourself. What makes you choose one from the others for your work?

I think it’s the medium that decides.

I love experimenting with new stuff.
When something new comes along, it’s never the question of what I can make with this new material or technique; it’s more about how this new technique suits Bunbun, and we’ll see what comes out.

Sometimes it’s a success; sometimes it’s just fun. And it’s great when it’s both.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Besides the medium, well, I’m a nerd, so there are a lot of pop culture references in my work. For instance, I don’t know how many times I’ve done the Beatles « Abbey Road » cover in different techniques, it’s just such a great composition.

Well, I think there is a rule somewhere that it’s something you should really like yourself, never because it’s popular.

And I do like trying to come up with completely new stuff. For example, for my second set of screen prints, I wanted to work with two not-too-obvious colors. 
I went with purple and yellow. What’s purple and yellow? Flamingos.

So I came up with this image of Bunbun on stilts at sunset among a group of flamingos. I think I worked on the composition for days; making the screen print was a hassle, but I’m delighted with the result.
Only sold one, don’t care, still happy.

What does Street Art mean to you?

For me, Street Art is all about showing you something in a visual world that is neither telling you to follow rules or to buy stuff. There doesn’t have to be a message; it can be just to show you something nice and make people smile. Here is a bunny. I hope you like it.

Well, that and, of course, there is the territorial issue; we’re like dogs doing a little pee everywhere: « Look, I’ve been here!! » Most of us do try to make it a nice pee…

I love going to new places and leaving some Bunbuns behind. You might find a traffic sign full of stickers; leave your own, and it’s like saying hello to your colleagues.

Going to new places and not having anything on you is a nightmare. You feel naked, and have you really been there if you couldn’t do your little pee?

Also, have you really seen a city if you haven’t spotted at least one Space Invader?

In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of social media for artists like you?

I think the pros and cons are the same.
You’re easy to find, either for people who like or hate your work. I know a few colleagues that still work 100% anonymously; it has its perks.

I never thought about that myself, as I started the stickers almost at the same time as I started to do webcomics and animations.
It’s all with the same Bunbuns, so staying anonymous wasn’t an option for me, which I’m glad about because staying anonymous is a pain.

The funny thing is that I got more hate mail about the comics than I ever got about the street art (if any). My sense of humor probably isn’t for everyone.

I do love that when artists are online, it makes them easy to approach; I have sent my share of fan mail to colleagues, and it’s always nice when they reply. Ended up drinking beers with some.

What are some of your upcoming projects?

Oh, oh, I’m so glad you asked.
I had this idea for a collaborative sticker months ago. I’ve done a few collaborations in the past, mostly on invitation, and most of them have been one on-one.

I thought it might be fun to do a sticker with 12 colleagues, use an existing composition (the Last Supper), and restrict the palette so it would make a nice whole. It took a few months to get all the files, convert them all to one file, and get everyone to agree, but I just got the confirmation that it’s being printed, so I’m very excited.

Oh, oh, and I just got this pile of single-colored sticker sheets. I’ve been thinking about how to use them for years, and now I finally can. And I can promise you there will be an Abbey Road one.

Last question: Do you have any movie, series, or book recommendations?

You didn’t say it had to be about street art, so I’m going to tell you to read The Tao Of Pooh. It’s a brilliant book giving you a nice introduction to the teachings of Taoism using the classic Winnie the Pooh Stories of A. A. Milne.

I read it as an angry teenager, and I think I could say it changed my life. I read it a few times over and loved it every time. (Or just read the original stories of Pooh; they’re still great too).

Don’t forget to follow Bunbun030 on Instagram.
Contact: info@bunbun030.nl.

You can discover or rediscover my other Street Art interviews here.

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