René Ladenius is a photographer and digital artist. "I keep developing my skills and I learn new techniques and tricks related to digital editing almost every day." Read this interview to find out how he came to be where he is today.
As well as making digital art, René also works as a photographer. "I'm a huge rugby fan and I'm a webmaster for Rotterdam Rugby Club. I make a lot of content for this website and social media," says René. The 57-year-old image maker has been married for 32 years and his children have left home. He works three days a week and this means he has lots of free time, which he spends trying to do as many fun things as possible.
"It all began around 12 years ago when I started photography and travelled a lot. My preference was architecture and landscape photography," René explains. During the pandemic, he couldn't travel as much and he began to focus on creating digital pop-art pieces and collages using Photoshop. "I actually take inspiration from everywhere and, for me, the challenge is creating something new from something that already exists. After lots of trying, experimenting and, of course, a few failures, every now and then I'd roll out a piece that I was quite happy with and I'd hang it on the wall right away," says René.
Although René wasn't originally planning to sell his digital pieces through Art Heroes, he eventually decided to post a few on the off chance. "It turned out they were on trend and that meant they sold one after the other." René now focuses more on digital art and has let his photography fade into the background. He has now been able to build an extensive collection and he still finds enough inspiration to regularly keep designing new pieces.
René has a diverse collection of digital artworks, but if he had to describe his work, he'd say that most of his pieces fall into the categories of “pop art” or "collage art". "There are also a few edits of the ‘old masters’ in the collection and I like calling these the 'new masters'." René takes inspiration from everything, whether it's looking round a museum or just trying out lots of new things. "I don't have a particular method or plan. Ideas often come to me at random. I keep developing my skills and I learn new techniques and tricks related to digital editing almost every day." For René, a piece is never really finished: "It's sometimes hard to draw a line under it because it's just too much fun to stop a piece when you've sometimes been working on it for weeks. It also happens every now and then that I'll replace an existing piece on Art Heroes with a revised version based on new insights and techniques."
René's favourite piece is the colourful image, "Air Jordan Graffiti". "It's difficult to choose from all the pieces, but if I had to pick one then I'd go for a piece I made recently. I wanted to design a colourful image with a street art style and graphic elements. I think I managed that."