RocketClowns interview illustrator/musician Paul Borchers ‘YobKiss’
















What’s the thing or person in your childhood that triggered your  interest in art /music?

My father Jan Borchers gave me some drumsticks when I was 2 or 3 years young. I was fascinated by his records. I once rearranged all the inner sleeve’s, vinyl and covers separately. It must have been a nightmare for him. I was also very fascinated by tape recorders. As soon as I could draw figurative things the only thing I would draw was band stage setups and tape recorders. After that I was fascinated by Kiss, Devo and The Stranglers.I just really liked the way they looked and I was only 7 years old!

How did it evolve for you, when did you know this is it for me?

Playing music is not something that I thought of; “Oh this is for me”. It’s something that’s just been around me all the time and wanted to do all my life. I never thought I would get into art when I was young. I was more interested in Belgium and French comics and started drawing my own of course. When I was studying illustration my work with Antistrot sort of naturally got accepted by the art world.
















Do you have ‘heroes’? Who are they and why?

I do have a lot of artists, designers and musicians that I admire but they’re too many of them to name. For YobKiss I got my inspiration from a couple of artists though. At the time I was drumming in a band called Soft Posh and I was doing some electronic music with our guitarist iPennies (Stephan Kaffa) but standing behind a keyboard and a laptop was just not enough for me. I kind of missed the intense drumming I used to do when I was playing in death metal bands in the early 90’s (Black Door Mine, Compos Mentis). I wanted to start a new solo project combining my love for vintage synths and metal. With Soft Posh we went to a Broadcast show in Rotterdam and the drummer and synth  player  were selling their solo project called Microtronics. That mini CD really inspired me to start something on my own with drums and synth, so did Dosh at that time and Zuinosin a trio from Osaka for whom I was organizing show’s for. Later they became known as the duo Bogulta. Nani and Syogo from Bogulta introduced me to a lot of artists in Japan while we were touring there together.

With drawing initially my art I got inspired by Rita Ackerman, when I was studying art I was literary copying here style for about half a year. Some people thought that was lame but I think by copying your heroes you learn something from them even though they’re not physically around. In the end you use what you learned from them and apply it to your own interpretations. A lot of old masters used to work that way too I guess. I also learned a lot from my Antistrot colleagues. A lot of the things we were doing when we’re experimenting with Antistrot has influenced my way of drawing. I guess we all influenced each other all the time.















Where do you get your inspiration from? 

These days fashion and costume design inspires me. Architecture also really inspires me, It  gives the music a certain place in space. It works better for me if I can visualize where the music is and If I wear nice clothes my music becomes better too. It’s really hard for me to make something nice in a crappy space.
















You do illustrations and music. Do you prefer one above the other? What does it mean to you?

I don’t do that much Illustration anymore these days as I’m working more on making my drawings for my own personal reasons. Actually in the first place I was never that much interested in Illustration anyway. When I was studying animation and graphic design in 1997 I saw two guys hanging out at the illustration department; Johan and Bruno and they were having fun!  We got along pretty well and started Antistrot. And now after 14 years we’re still working together, not as Antistrot anymore but we have secret agenda called Pantystort!

I think my music and the art that I work on are both very important to me, it just depends what I feel like working on at the moment. Even if I would get a remix or production job and I actually feel more inspired to work on a painting I’ll find the time to work on that painting.














How do you work? What’s your drive?

I think routine in daily life is very important for me when I work.
It’s pretty hard to get a routine for anyone I think as a freelancer and working from home. It’s good to forget about it sometimes but as a professional artist you should take your work as serious as preparing food. It’s what makes you survive.

When you create what is it that the art work or music piece needs to have in order for you to feel satisfied?

It has to excite me in every possible way, again and again, when I look at it or hear it.
Most of the time I am only satisfied about a part of it. I think it’s something every artist hopes to achieve.















You travel quite a lot. What does traveling do for you?

It gives a fresh perspective on things and it helps me establish contact’s around the world. For instance I was living in Australia for about a year and had not been in the Netherlands for quite awhile and when I all of a sudden was back there as a visitor I actually really saw how the Netherlands and Dutch people are. Before that I never saw it such a intensive way.

















Is there a place where you feel at home or that inspires you? Why?

I can feel at home anywhere I guess, That’s the survival instinct, but I feel at home at London at the moment because I was looking for a change for some time and in London everything seems to speed up a bit more and changes a bit more fast. I also felt at home in Japan but it’s a bit hard to get around when you’re not fluent with the language. After awhile you discover all these things you didn’t see in the first place, the grass seems less green after a good observation.

Do you think the working environment is important? Can it help or block you? Why?

Yeah, a busy working environment is much healthier work place then isolation for me.

















Are you a loner or do you prefer working in groups?

I really need both. I really enjoy working in a group if the dynamic is there like I had with Antistrot.

What is important to you in the making process? The idea, the actual making or bringing it out in the world?

They are all important of course but most important is to find a way to bring it out into the world. Ideas and production time are always around but finding a label or a gallery that actually brings your work to the right people depends on meeting the right people at the right time.

What do you think about the art world? How would you like it be?

I don’t really think about the art world that much that would just kill my work. I like the direction it is going in London. Maybe it’s because I just moved here but it seems like there is a diverse crowd of people that visit shows and the artists seem to take the power in their own hands instead of waiting for a commercial gallery to sell their work. I like that.

What’s the best thing that ever happen to you?

Jo Kang, she is the most lovely person I ever met. She inspires me with interesting ideas and supports the decisions in my life.















Are you a future or past orientated person?

I’m a future orientated person, but I like looking back sometimes at the good things I myself and other people have made. I really like watching old movies.

Is there a place you want to be with your music or illustrations?

Yeah, but that’s just insane, I’m not even going to describe, hahaha.

Where do you think the art/music world is moving towards?

I’m not sure, I’m a bit pessimistic about it. I would love to be surprised by it, unfortunately that doesn’t happen often because I see too many artists with shallow ideas and bad executed shows. There is so much awesome work being done that I never see in shows. I hope that those artists will stick to their calling and not give up because of financial crisis. I think you should see every crisis as an advantage to engage new ideas.














Paul Borchers

Thank you Paul!

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