The Artist

Getting started as an artist is a journey deeply intertwined with my personal life. Hi, I'm Eric J. Van Giessen (he/they), a scholar, poet, founder of Queero Gear, and above all, an artist. My voyage into the world of art began earlier in life when I found myself fascinated by the works of Robert Bateman. His artistry piqued my interest, and I started venturing into pencil drawings and hyperrealism. While at university, I further honed my skills through various drawing classes, and I found joy in creating portraitures that I often gifted to friends and family. Creating art provided a refreshing contrast to my head-focused academic life, providing me with an avenue for joy-bringing, hands-on tasks, thus launching me into my artistic career.

What inspires me is a rich tapestry woven from various elements of my life. My upbringing as the son of a Christian Reformed pastor, attending Christian schools, and later coming out as queer at 25 have all significantly influenced my art. The journey into my own queer joy and expression has been profound. Today, I draw inspiration from artists like Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Nikki McClure, Frida Kahlo, and countless contemporary queer artists and photographers. The skill and creativity of fellow printmakers astound me, and their work fuels my excitement to further develop my linocut making abilities.

As an artist, what makes me unique is the distinct blend of experiences that shape my work. One pivotal period was the loss of my father to acute myeloid leukaemia in 2016. The grief I carry from that time profoundly impacts my daily life and influences my art in ways that nothing else can. I channel this grief, alongside my lived experiences of queer religiosity, into creating art that communicates with and touches people.

I feel incredibly blessed to be in a phase of my life where I can create art and share it with people daily. The support I receive from those around me inspires me to continue my work of inspiring queer joy in others.

For those interested in learning more about my journey and art, please visit

With love, Eric.