It’s a wrap! After waiting in suspense, it was finally Sunday the 16th of September. The day on which the winners of the coveted Street Art Awards 2018 Benelux Edition would be announced. After receiving 626 submissions of which no less then 483 where valid, it was both exciting as relieving for the winners to finally be announced. Read more in this interview with Street Art Award winners BonBon and Studio Giftig in this first part of our interview series.
There were 10 awards to reach out in the following categories: Young Talent, Most Inventive, Global Mural, Best Artist, Best Message, Local Initiative, Benelux + ABC Mural, Greatest Gallery, Best Photo/Videographer and People’s Favorite. Curious about how the winners feel after receiving their award and what their next plans are? Continue reading!
We continue the Street Art Award interview series with Daniel Mac Lloyd and Leon Keer. Winners of respectively the award for Young Talent and Best Artist Benelux. Haven’t read our interview with winners BonBon and Studio Giftig yet? Check it our here!
Daniel Mac Lloyd is the winner of the Young Talent Award 2018. Born in 1995 in Luxembourg, he’s a self-taught artist. After joining several exhibitions, he’s fully concentrated on his biggest passion since 2015.
Congratulations Daniel! How did it feel to win the award for Young Talent from so many submissions? Did you expected to win?
It was such an amazing feeling, I was really speechless and my heart was beating like crazy. I actually never thought about the moment the winner would be announced, I was just happy being nominated and meeting all those amazing people at the event.
You won a big mural in Heerlen, The Netherlands. Do you already have an idea what you are going to paint?
I love working as spontaneously as possible, I still have no idea what I’m going to paint in Heerlen!
How did your career started?
Since I can move my arms, I’ve always been painting or in the very early days playing with paint. It has always more been a hobby, even though I had already a few exhibitions and art projects beside school. I was at the university for civil engineering in Aachen when I realized that was not the right way for me to go and how much I need art in my life. So I decided to completely focused on my passion: making art!

Octopus and Bird by Daniel Mac Lloyd

Do you have the feeling in a time where street art is getting bigger and bigger, you have to prove yourself more? How do you stand out from all the other artists?
I don’t really think about proving stuff. It’s more that, now Street Art is getting bigger and bigger, you are more likely to get the chance  to really realize your ideas.
I wouldn’t say outstanding. I just love what I do and I’m really dedicated to it. Often I get up at 4 or 5 in the morning and work till late at night to bring my ideas to reality. That feeling and satisfaction of seeing your ideas become reality, to create something from your mind to something you can see, touch or hold and the way how people react to it makes me never want to stop ‘working’.
You make studio work as well as murals and projects outside. What’s your preference and why?
I love both the same and it’s nice to be able to switch your working environment so easily. I love being in the studio, playing with new materials and messing around. Trying new things is just pure fun. But I also love painting murals. To see your ideas become reality on such a huge scale and to see how big you can work is so satisfying. And I always like the interaction with all the people around, painting in the streets literally makes people come out of their houses and talk to you about what’s going on.
What is your biggest inspiration and once you came up with an idea, how do you proceed?
I think I’m inspired by life itself and my great love for details. I’m trying to find the beauty of life in everything and try to recreate that magic into our daily life.
What are your plans in the near future?
I just opened a gallery together with Raphael Gindt. But there are also lots of other projects going on at the same time. Currently I’m in berlin for a project. I really love traveling with my work and being inspired by all those different places. The idea is to paint all around the world and to paint as much and as good as possible. I only started yet!

Daniel Mac Lloyd and prize made possible by Gemeente Heerlen

Thank you Daniel! Check out Daniel’s Instagram and website to see what he’s up to. 
Leon Keer always shows a message in his work, sometimes clear but often by a metaphor. His paintings are inspired by current issues and his own thoughts. With commissions worldwide and including different art techniques in his work, it might not come as a surprise he won the award for Best Artist.
Congrats Leon! You were nominated for Best Message, Global Mural and Best Artist Benelux + ABC, from which you won the last one. Sounds like the most overarching award. Did you expect to win this one or one of the others?
I actually never have an expectation of a prize or appreciation. I focus on my work and try to get the best out of it. Of course, it’s nice that there’s appreciation, but above all I have imposed myself as my biggest criticaster, sometimes it even gets annoying how I can criticize myself.
I also did some judging before and I know it’s not an easy job. Everyone is always trying his or hers very best with their own talent and capacity. There surely are some differences, but everyone absolutely deserves that appreciation.
You make paintings, prints, mixed media and murals but you’re most known for your 3d art and always inspired by current issues and your own thoughts. What inspires you to elaborate a certain idea in a certain way?
What I prefer to do, before I make the art work, is to wander around the area, to feel the atmosphere and emotion from the street (where I’m going to make a mural). To hear the stories in the local café. To hear what’s happening in the area and to know what’s on the minds of the locals. That’s the best inspiration I can get. This way I can also make the mural or work special and most convenient for the specific area.

3D mural of 725 m2 in Den Helder The Netherlands by Leon Keer

Do you have the feeling or do you know that your work has an impact on people and inspires them to think about current issues?
I never try to tell or decide what people have to do, see or feel. My work is always open for interpretation. Also, I never want to participate in any kind of discussion. I have respect for other opinions about my work, because I expect the same from others. I think you can see my art as a kind of spark to start a discussion and conversation.
You won several prizes. One of them is a year license for Virtual Reality Gallery by  IkonoSpace. Very different from the way you usually show your work. Do you think you can achieve something different by showing your work via a virtual reality gallery?
That’s very interesting. In my work I’ve often used Augmented Reality to make my work even more lively. I’m aware of the fact that the virtual world can give a nice extra contribution to the presentation of my work.
Do you already have an idea for the exhibition for the Virtual Reality Gallery?
I haven’t studied yet, but I’m in the fortunate position to have a great partner in crime who has the ability to focus on that a little more. If we have more time for it at the end of this year, I would like to come back to that.

Leon Keer and prizes made possible by IkonoSpace and MTN

Another part of the prize is a trip to Barcelona including a visit to the MTN factory. Are you looking forward to the trip to  Barcelona and the MTN factory?
What a beautiful city. Barcelona is always worth a visit. We’ll probably have a look around town first and after that check out the rest of the schedule.
What are your plans for the future? What kind of current issues would you still like to point out of what you haven’t done so far?
I would love to see it happen that one day of the year will be International Creation day. A day where everyone brings something into the world in an artful way.
For myself, I will continue to surprise people with optical illusions, ‘nothing is what it seems’ concepts and will continue to have a modest attitude towards every environment where I’m invited to spread my art.
Thank you Leon. We really like the idea of an International Creation day. Want to see more of Leon’s work? Check out his Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


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