By Arden de Raaij

Like I often say, there is a big sea of street artists, and especially stencil artists out there at the moment. Some market themselves like crazy, others just hope their talents get them noticed, and some don’t even care if they get noticed and just do what they love. Puddeneen just does what he loves. From Braunschweig, Germany and Just 20 years old, he’s not planning to quit his day job and does his thing with no pressure at all. Making most of his stencils of his own sketches, the fun and originality can be seen in his work, and we think he has quite the potential! Such talent must be shared.

Where does your name come from?
Some years ago I was reading a book where a speaking frog was called Puddeneen. I thought that name was funny and there was no one else using it so I used it. I wanted to change it later though because it is hard to remember but I decided to keep it because there were some people who knew me with that name already. People keep asking me what it is so I guess it’s somehow a stupid name…

You’ve got some amazing drawings, have you always been creative like that?
Thanks! Yea, I am drawing for a couple of years now but that doesn’t really make me creative. I guess I just like to try and do a lot of things myself. There are times when I’m not motivated at all and I am not drawing a single thing for weeks. But then again I get too many ideas than I could ever realize.

Are there any other ways you show your creativity besides drawing and stenciling?
Hmm, I don’t think so. I’m showing creativity like everybody else in daily life. You get to be creative as a carpenter for example. But everybody has to be in some way.

How did you get into stencil art?
I think I’ve seen a book about street art in a bookstore 2 years ago. And I was fascinated about that technique that lets you put your image wherever you want and as many times as you want. It’s possible to make people laugh, show a message or create depth with just one single-layer stencil. There are probably thousands of possibilities to use a stencil and I have only discovered very few.

Can you tell us a bit about Braunschweig, the street art and graffiti scene over there?
Braunschweig is not a very big city but there are a lot of cool people living here that’s probably why I’m still here. I’m not into the street art or graffiti scene in Braunschweig so I can’t tell you much about it. It’s hard to find street art here though except for stickers I think. I’m keeping my eyes open but that’s about it at the moment. I always wanted to have some good stencils before I run to the streets. I’m still young, no need to rush!

What inspires you?
Books, music, sleep, other artists, riding my BMX, people around me.

Are there any (street) artists in particular you look up to?
Yes, for example I really like herakut and c215 pieces. Also I lately found an artist called dan23 on flickr whose pictures gave me a smile on my face because they looked so full of emotion. And Banksy for his ideas. He can make me laugh with just a few words or a simple stencil painted at the right spot!

Are there any mediums other then stencils you would like to use for your art on the streets? (Paste-ups, installation, free-hand stuff)
I wanted to try to do freehand characters for a while now, I just need to get a little practice. Other than stencils you are doing the main work on the wall, you’re having the fun while painting and not while cutting. I still feel like I’m only discovering possibilities to create pictures, so I will probably try out something else than stencils.

Now you’ve told us you’re on your way of becoming a carpenter, would you eventually want to make a living with your art?
I don’t know really. It’s always cool to be able to make a living out of something you like. But I love to do my thing without any pressure of having to earn money. That allows me to take breaks whenever I want and you’re not forced to cut stencils or come up with new ideas all the time. I’m feeling free like that. Also I like the job of a carpenter. I’ll just see what life brings for me!

What can we expect from you in the future?
I try to make stencils more based on my own sketches not on photographs. You can achieve very good results with the help of programs like Photoshop but a stencil based on a sketch is feeling better for me and I have only made a few so far!