I’ve been away from the blog for a minute but how nice to come back and drop an interview with an artist who’s work I love! This particular artist would be Rotterdam based Danny Rumbl and you can read all about him below!
Hi Danny how are you? Tell us a little about yourself…
Hi Lewis, thanks for having me! I’m Danny and work under the name of Danny Rumbl mostly as an illustrator and mural artist based in Rotterdam the Netherlands. I have been painting for 20 years this year in 2019. What started as a rebellious thing to write my name everywhere has become my job and I’m happy I still can make a living with doing what I love most.
Where does your tag/name come from?
When I started with graffiti I came up with the name Rumble. I took it from the phrase ‘ready to rumble’ which they use before boxing and fighting matches. I just thought it sounded cool. Later my crew mates of Million Dollar Boys where tagging my name without the ‘e’ on the end, Rumbl. And I liked it right away, it makes it more unique, so I started to write it like that ever since.
When did you first start spraying on walls?
I started with graffiti officially in 1999, but before that I was already amazed by pieces and tags and I was always drawing as a kid. So I think my love for what I do now started at a young age.
What was the original inspiration for grabbing a spray can for the first time?
My cousin had this big white wall in his bedroom and my aunt agreed with us painting on it, so we went to the local skate shop and bought some Sparvars. At the time I had zero can control as it was my first time so it looked a bit messy. And in the end I outlined the whole thing with a big black marker. I think that was the first time I painted on a wall and I loved it ever since!
Do you like to work with a sketch or just freestyle?
I never go out without a sketch anymore. I wish I would be able to freestyle a bit more, but I tend to repeat myself and I always want to keep things fresh. So sketching at home is part of the whole process. I do freestyle with colors and try different techniques at the spot.
What’s the inspiration behind your work? A never ending list of things right?!
My inspiration is a mix of popculture, nature and the food industry. I mostly make animal like characters with a human twist. I also love to make classic cartoon characters from the ’60’s and ’70’s and give them some of my own style, it’s good practice and a lot of fun. But indeed, I can get inspiration from a lot of things, also if I see another artist work hard and make nice stuff, I get inspired to do the same.
Is a piece ever finished in your eyes?
Yes I think so. Even if it means I’m not 100% happy with my piece. If I’m not satisfied and there is time I’ll keep coming back to the spot to finish it the right way in my eyes.
Normally I ask artists if they prefer legal or illegal painting but I already know the answer with you! What is it about painting in abandoned/secret locations that you enjoy so much?
It is the best! These location have some much history, you just feel it when you enter these spots. You already have a nice background canvas most of the time. Also painting in abandoned buildings all by yourself or with some mates gives you all the freedom in the world to just make what want to make. Painting commissioned in public space always holds you back a little. Besides that it’s also nice just to paint quietly without people walking by.
You have painted all over the world, do you have a favourite spot or city that you love going back to?
Yes, I love to travel and paint, it’s the perfect combination. I do not really have a favorite city graffiti wise, if the wall or spot is nice I’m down. I do have some ‘secret’ spots here in my hometown where I keep coming back to. Here in The Netherlands there are not a lot of abandoned buildings or trashy spots, as they like to keep thing clean and safe. So if I do found a nice spot, I will cherish it and keep painting there till there’s no room left.
Do you have any crazy ideas/projects that you’d love to do one day?
I would love to do more big 3d projects, like huge sculptures in the public space. The wooden sculptures that I make now are not that big, because the bigger you work in 3d the more difficult it gets technical wise. So it would be cool if I have a team that makes the big sculptures from a smaller version I made myself, like Kaws is doing now. Also it would be great to work with a theme park to make my own attraction with murals and 3d sculptures.
What do you like to do with your non-painting time?
Non-painting time for me mostly means being a stay at home dad, taking care of my 2 kids, doing household chores. But besides that I like to visit museums and go out for some nice food with my family here in Rotterdam. I also enjoy going out on my bike, and explore for new spots to paint 🙂
What’s the ideal soundtrack to a day’s painting?
While I’m working by myself I like to listen to a variety of good music and some podcast talking. I like to listen to art related podcasts but also to social issues discussions, and I’m fan of the NBA, so sometimes I listen to NBA geek talk. As for music, I really like the WEFUNK Radio podcast shows.
If you could have one super power for the day what would you choose?!
I have thought of that before, and it would be flying or time control. All graffiti related of course!
What’s next for Danny Rumbl?
Right now I’m working with (https://chemistrypublishing.com) on a publication of all my recent Hanna Barbera walls. It will be released with some new prints I’m also working on. As for new adventures, next month I will be painting in Germany and after that I’ll travel to Hong Kong to do 2 new shows with drawings on paper. I’m looking forward to that!