Belgian artist Steven Van Hasten grew up in Courtrai, an ancient commercial town in West Flanders. He drew and painted on everything as a child, and created his first illustrated story – about a knight - at the age of six. His parents knew he’d grow up to be an artist. Now he’s a successful illustrator working across children’s books, editorial and advertising, he still has that passion for drawing. Each week he and some friends practice life drawing with a nude model.
Based in Gent, he goes hiking in Scotland every year, owns over 10,000 comic books, and – as he should – enjoys a good Belgian beer.
As a boy, Steven went to his local art academy to learn drawing and painting. He later completed a Masters at the Sint-Lucas School of Arts in Gent, where he studied graphic design and illustration.
Steven’s preferred medium is acrylic paints. If he’s illustrating a book, he’ll read the story and let it settle for a week or so while he thinks about it. After playing with the ideas, he’ll start sketching. Paintings begin with him blocking out the composition in opposing shades – a dark purple versus a paler green, for instance. He’ll then paint on layers to create depth and texture.
Steven has a unique, painterly style that’s perfect for picture books, advertising and editorial commissions. Strong contrast, plenty of detail and a variety of brushstrokes are characteristics of his work, while his characters have plenty of oddball charm.