Famke Rousseau(Maastricht, 1983)
Graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Maastricht in 2004. The paintings of Famke combine an innocent quirkiness with a cheeky Pop-Art feeling. Blurring the borders between Figurative art and Abstractionism, the characters are rough, charming and amazingly vivid. Her artworks are booming and already been sold in Nepal, London, Panama, Norway, Brussels and Amsterdam.
If you walk in on the Rechtstraat 84, you might be confused… this is a gallery, right? Or a house? So both! Artist Famke lives here with her family. And here is also her studio. And her gallery. Is that possible, combining the creativity of being an artist with a family? Famke laughs. "And I am also a part-time teacher!" Time for a conversation at the cozy table in the middle of the gallery and in the middle of the studio.
“I always wanted to be an art teacher,” says Famke. “So I went to art school and became a teacher immediately afterwards. After 11 years of full-time education, I started working part-time, so that I have more time to paint myself. ” It all started in the studio in their previous home in Rijckholt, where Famke painted portraits of and for friends and acquaintances. That spread and she soon received more and more requests. Hubert Kalkman of Kalkman Vinyl Records & Art also 'discovered' her and her work. “Hubert has helped me enormously,” says Famke. “He has a large international clientele and taught me to determine the financial value of my own work. The fact that I have painted the city prince of Maastricht every year since 2013 also turned out to be a good move. I am still approached for portraits of the Prince and since 2019 I have been making the Vastelaovond poster on comission of RTV Maastricht. I think that is wonderful to do, because as a purebred from Maastricht I love carnival! ”
In 2019 they moved to a beautiful monumental building at 84 Rechtstraat in the center of Maastricht. The spacious ground floor where she can both work and exhibit turned out to be a hit. The big advantage of having everything at home is that the youngest can join in to paint eighter.
Not only the space, but also Famke radiates tranquility, which seems difficult to reconcile with the works on the walls where the color and sometimes even the glitter splash off.
“I am very structured, can plan well and have a lot of discipline. That makes a difference. In the morning I work at school. Then I am not necessarily creative myself, I also teach art history, for example. But that variety actually helps to switch off. And by the way: the school pays a lot of attention to music and theater, for example, and the students and my colleagues are very inspiring. I am home in the afternoon and then I am very productive. That’s a 'must'. Not only because the assignments have to be completed, but especially because my work has to 'get out of my hands', that is such a strong drive, almost an addiction! ”
Fortunately, husband Remy and the children know very well when she is busy. And that in one-hour phases. Those breaks help Famke to gain new inspiration. “So I keep on working, but I can also interrupt very well. Unless a work is almost finished… then I can still lose myself in it.
Then it has to be finished, even if it becomes night work. Fortunately my bed is not far away! ”
That Famke certainly belongs in the list of Maastricht entrepreneurs at their best, is evident from her plans for the future. There is the wish for one day, in the basement, place an 'old school' printing press and teach etching, one of the other techniques that Famke works with and can talk about enthusiastically. In short; this seemingly quiet building is buzzing with creative ideas!