Hello, Mind Twists and other itches, can you introduce yourself?

I’m an old-school female from the Netherlands. Born and raised in Eindhoven, well-known for Philips, PSV, and Dutch design.

I’m a teacher in daily life, and I love doing creative things in my free time. Street art-wise, I’m not a thrill-seeker, but sometimes it just comes with the job! 😉  

Where does your artist name, Mind Twists, and other itches come from?

This is actually the ‘slogan’ for my digital collaging, which I’ve been doing for 10 years now. I sometimes get these weird, surrealistic ideas (the mind twists) in my head, and they need to be vented or else they will stay itchy. Figuratively, creating is scratching the itch! This is also applicable to my street art.

Why did you choose Street Art to express yourself?

I already worked for another artist and done some pretty great things. But I missed total creativity (and credits), so I started creating MAU. Then Covid also came up and everything was restricted. Consequently, street art was a great way to be active outdoors, decorate the city, and have some fun.

Do you remember what your first street art piece was?

It will probably be my tag: a (Garfield) paw print. I used to spray-paint my stolen bikes. If you have spray paint, you use it! After a while, I got caught by the police, though. Because I was 17, I did community service and got a fine.

Fun fact, someone else continued the paws. I still don’t know who that was!

In most of your work, you represent a cat’s head. Why this choice?

I had one cat (Pip) for 19,5 years. My one and only, can’t get a cat like that again! But that’s not the reason for choosing a cat. Perhaps unconsciously a reference to my tag? I just wanted to create a simple character with big, cartoonish eyes.   

You are a multidisciplinary artist. You use different mediums (Perler beads, stickers, spray, stencils) to express yourself, what makes you choose one from the others in your work?

Regarding being creative, I can easily get bored, so it’s nice if I’m able to do all kinds of things. I can do some Photoshopping for my stickers, or I can spray paint some vinyl if I feel like it.

I actually started doing stickers because my perler beads got stolen/removed too often!

It also depends on the materials that are available, I prefer using waste. All my stickers are also made from waste materials. Mediums also depend on the kind of project I get involved in.

Among all your works, which one is your favourite and why?

I think my favourite work is my spray-painted piece (with Lempke) in the city center of Eindhoven. It was clean and perfect! Unfortunately, it was removed like two months later.

Perler bead-wise, I would choose my collab with Pixelpeopleparty from Barcelona. Her creation inspired me to create a MAU buddy.  

What is your definition of Street Art?

Street art is a way to visually express ideas or messages in a creative way. It’s a manner to educate, entertain, rebel, or whatever drives you to go out and paste or spray your way around town. It’s accessible and free to anyone, which makes it appealing to everyone. Furthermore, it creates unity in neighborhoods and among people. I love Janisdeman, who does these cool neighborhood projects in which local people are also reflected in the street art.

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

Social media is a must nowadays, no matter what field of work.
If you’re financially depending on your talents, it’s pretty essential.

MAU is just for fun, I’m not into making money with it. Instagram enables me to get an audience and meet other street artists, but I don’t want to spend all my time on social media. It’s nice to get tagged because it’s free advertising. 

What are some of your upcoming projects?

I discovered Whosdoor and asked for a collab. I already had a sneak preview! So hopefully we can meet and paste together soon.

Next month there will be a project here in Eindje. It’s an annual spray paint gathering, but it’s never announced publicly. I still need to do some preparations, but I’m looking forward to it! 

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

I watched the Netflix series “Brand New Cherry Flavor” on the train on my way to Berlin. It says horror, but it’s more like absurdism. It’s weird and I loved it! Requiem for a Dream is still one of the best films ever. Whenever I hear the soundtrack, I immediately feel the desperation of the main characters.
I will definitely recommend the SAS Survival handbook. It’s interesting reading material, and you can learn a lot about nature and read great tricks! 

Thank you!

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

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