Dutch Artist JDL Chats with LSD Magazine

JDL in Malaysia

Female Dutch Sensation JDL Paints Mural in Malaysia

Award winning Dutch street artist JDL was recently painting in Malaysia. The dedicated artist has had a fruitful twenty seventeen, having created murals in different parts of the world, collaborated with major charities and winning the Young Talent award at the Dutch Street Art Awards. We met JDL in Amsterdam during the awards ceremony where we found the charming artist to be level headed and totally committed to building a career within this arena. We recently touched based with JDL and got the lowdown on her trip to Asia.

Tell us about your idea behind this piece in Malaysia

Since September 2016, I have thought a lot about what street art means to people and how they interpret it. This is why I decided to start creating pieces one after the other with the hope that I could attract more objective experiences from the people who see my paintings. I sometimes wonder if it matters what I make. But, I also wonder if I paint what I think people want to see. Why does one portrait look depressing to one person, and joyful to the other? Does it matter if I’ve done any research? Does it matter to the public who I paint, or what I’m painting? And, what about the context?

I’ve learnt a lot from observing people’s reactions and experiences with my artwork. I feel like I’m ready to try and experiment and do something more interactive, something new. Something that people might be able to relate to. I’m starting something new soon completely independent from my work now. Something completely different.

I’ve always been a very stubborn and opinionated person but, I’m still young. I am constantly learning from my experiences with the people around me. So, I’ve started asking questions instead of providing answers all the time.

We know you love the portrait format, tell us a little about what the portrait says to you as an artist

As a kid I have always been very intrigued by facial expressions and how that reads into emotion. I always felt like society wouldn’t let me express myself and that I should “get in line”. Painting portraits in public spaces works like a cure for me: The face contains everything you need to know about the emotional spectrum and it satisfies me the most. 

Why Monochrome rather than full colour 

Black and white pictures pass on more of a natural feeling in my experience than full colour. Of course I have used full colour before but it felt very unnatural to me. Lately I’ve been adding a little colour in the background of my black and white portraits, maybe it means that I am changing, maybe it means that I slowly start to see things differently than they once were. But, I seem to be falling into it a little more naturally and it’s very comfortable.

 You’ve been winning awards and traveling the world painting, are you having fun or has the process become much more serious? 

It has definitely become more serious. I just did a year at the Willem de Kooning Art Academy and I’m already seeing my old work as a cliché, rather than anything of substance. Last year I thought that it would be ‘fun’ to be an artist. But, it’s so much more than that. There is so much pressure around what I’m doing now, you can’t mess up. You have to be finished on time. You can’t have a bad day. You have to produce something good. Even though, i still love what I do more then anything on this planet, I’ll be ready to sacrifice anything for it.

Where in the world are you painting next?

I’ve decided to refrain from talking about the future because there is always a chance that I might have to cancel due to certain personal circumstances or with the organisers or funding, stuff like that. For instance, (the most extreme example I can think of), an earthquake recently hit a location I was supposed to be working at, you just can’t for see those kinds of things.

I can tell you i just finished up my new mural in Heerlen! I’ll pass on a work in progress picture for now, final picture is coming soon!

Anything else you’d like to say to our readers? 

Don’t do drugs, kids. And if you ever start painting with spray cans, use Royal Talens!


JDL in Malaysia

JDL in Malaysia JDL in Malaysia


New Mural in HeerlenJDL Netherlands





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