Mattijn Franssen, Photographer, Netherlands

“My advice would be… create something original. I see a lot of copying, which is a good way to learn something but … everyone must define and create his/her own unique world.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMattijn Franssen, Photographer, Netherlands

My name is Mattijn Franssen, I live in Hilversum in the Netherlands and I’m a self taught oil painter, photo montage artist and musician. I also make small photo animations and drawings.

I have been drawing since childhood, did some illustration work, from there it went on to (oil)painting and then in 2004 i discovered photography. In 2005 i started creating my first montages using photoshop. My montages i make from photos I take all around my country and sometimes a bit across the border. I create surreal / magic realistic fantasy landscapes with castles , mountains creatures and all kinds of impossible / dangerous situations that me and my cat as the main characters have to face. Since march 2009 I also make photo-animations.

Artist website:

Artist interviews

Is your background in photography? No, my background is oil painting and drawing.

What made you decide to do photomontages? I started using the camera as a tool to help set up compositions for possible paintings. I liked the result so much that I haven’t painted much since then. A friend got me a digital camera and I started taking pictures of everything.

How do you work from concept to creation?   Sometimes I start working from an idea, I make a little sketch and then go out to find the necessary photos. Other times I take photos of an object, a tower for example, and then build a world around it

Do you work with Photoshop exclusively? For the photomontages, yes

Once you are in the digital darkroom, how long does it take to create the final image? It can take a few hours or a few days depending on the number of pictures and the complexity of the montage.

How did you learn the technique? I learned the technique on my own. I had worked with layers for animations I had made with Flash. I did a lot of experimenting and got better at it over the years.

Excerpt, Source

And what about the creative process which runs through your mind while you create your art?

I develop some ideas in my mind and then I make a small drawing about it. Then I go out to see if I can shoot the right photos to bring this idea to life. Sometimes ideas come when I am looking at some of my photos and sometimes I get ideas when I am taking photos.

How has been the effect of your art on your personality?

Photography has made me more aware of myself, how I move and stuff like that, which is good because I had no idea in the beginning. I did not like to take photos of myself and asked others to pose for my works but no one was interested, so I began using myself as a model. In my first montages I looked bored/annoyed but it slowly grew on me and now it seems natural. Making these montages and putting them online have changed my life a lot. I am able to make a living out of this. My works are sold by a gallery in London and a gallery in Amsterdam. I also have had exhibitions in many countries.

Please give some tips to aspiring artists and photographers:

My advice would be… create something original. I see a lot of copying, which is a good way to learn something but how many pictures do we need of a girl in a dress holding a balloon or someone sitting on the wing of a plane? I should say everyone must define and create his/her own unique world.

Excerpt, Source

Artist website:

Gallery 4 – Dangerous Situations

Gallery 3   = Surreality

Gallery 2 – A Unique World

Gallery 1

10 thoughts on “Mattijn Franssen, Photographer, Netherlands

  1. This is absolutely out of this world, I’m so grateful that you bring to light artists of such caliber into our WP world! Love, love surrealism, it is my favorite art period or one of my favorite to say the least and this artist found his spot to fit into it perfectly! His Dali like mood compositions are exquisite, his intelligence shines through and it is most obvious that a lot of thinking, deliberate placing of the subjects or objects is thoroughly thought out and a story of some kind is translated into his photo montages! Absolutely brilliant, brilliant, I could just talk a river over Mattijn Franssen photography, he is certainly one of a kind and he found his calling, as he said ” create something original” and that is a motto I like to live by! Thank you so much for sharing, I must say I really appreciate your hard work and research to bring forward and share all the beautiful artist out there! You made my day!


    • Thank you Eva! Its wonderful to hear from you! I do spend a great deal of time putting together these artists I find inspiring and hope they will inspire and lift up those who read my blogs. I agree with you 100% on Mattijn! His work is exceptional. I am especially partial as I love the old masters and their sly commentary on humanity…. and Mattijn himself admits strong influences from the likes of Bruegel and Bosh etc. (In fact my dog’s name is Bruegel!) Wishing you the happiest of the holiday season. Thanks for your words of encouragement. – Douglas

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Douglas for your holiday wishes, I wish you and yours as well the most wonderful, joyful and happiest holiday season and looking forward to see all your inspiring posts in the upcoming New Year!~ Eva


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