Meet the tutor

Meet the tutor: Maarten Bel

Wed 10 Jan

Maarten Bel, a graduate in Autonomous Art from St. Joost in Breda in 2011, pursued a Master's in Define Arts at PZI, completing it in 2014. His multidisciplinary approach spans drawings, booklets, photos, and educational projects. With a humorous touch, Maarten has been a tutor at WdKA for the past five years within the Teacher training department. Specializing in image-related subjects, he guides students through their projects, fostering creativity and experimentation.

What is your artistic focus / subject of knowledge?

My personal life is a significant inspiration for my artistic practice, especially after becoming a father this summer. I aim to be both a human and an artist integrated into daily life. I'm interested in storytelling and finding visual language that induces movement. As an educator, I advocate for playfulness and experimentation, encouraging students to break away from fixed processes and create freely.

What led you to work at WdKA, and how does your artistic practice align with your role as a tutor?

After completing my Master's, I started teaching at Inholland's creative business program. I enjoyed it alongside my autonomous work, which often involved educational projects. I find dynamic, unconventional forms of education intriguing, using it to guide and deepen the audience's understanding. I believe in sparking movement, planting seeds in people's minds, and challenging assumptions.

Can you tell us some more about your own artistic practice?

Working with children is a recurring theme in my work. I think the playful and open perspective of a child is very valuable and special. I'm currently developing an 8-part series for children with VPRO about the value of creating and giving handmade gifts. In this series I want to emphasize on the fact that the process of making a gift is more valuable than buying one, emphasizing effort and thoughtfulness. Recently, I was asked for an episode of Klokhuis (a Dutch tv show for children) that was all about my artistic practice in which a lot of my projects were shown. This was a lot of fun and meant a lot to me, since it brought me a lot of positivity and acknowledgment of my work.

You can view the Klokhuis episode here.

What do you love about teaching?

Witnessing transformations in students over four years is truly rewarding. Teaching keeps me connected to different perspectives, helping me evolve both as a creator and a person. I learn from them, and it's crucial to break out of my generational bubble. Being an ambassador for art's accessibility is also significant, ensuring students thrive and become advocates for their passions.

How would you define your role as a tutor, and what sets you apart?

I would have wanted a tutor like me during my art school days—a vibrant, colorful personality. My goal is to bring that energy into teaching.

What is something most students don't know about you that you would like to share?

I’m quite open towards my students. But maybe not everybody knows that my studio at de Keileweg burned down last year, losing everything I had accumulated in 15 years. This coincided with becoming a father, marking both birth and loss. While challenging, it also opened up new possibilities. I now have a beautiful old studio in Rotterdam West, offering a fresh perspective. I use whatever comes my way to create something new. Working with a handicap can be interesting; it demands creativity. As an artist, I strive to be flexible and adaptable.