The Artist

Hi! I'm Eric J. Van Giessen (he/they), I'm an artist, scholar, poet and the founder of Queero Gear. My full-time gig is as a doctoral student studying sociology at York University using arts-based methods to research lived experiences of queer religiosity.

Earlier in life, I was inspired by the work of Robert Bateman and worked mostly in pencil drawings and hyper realism. In university, I took a handful of drawing classes and regularly used my portraiture work as gifts for friends and family. My daily life as a student is very head-focused and so Queero Gear offers a creative outlet and joy-bringing, hands-on task that lifts me out of my academic work.

I grew up the son of a Christian Reformed Pastor and attended Christian schools for most of my life. I came out to my family as queer at 25 and have spent the last 7+ years growing into my own queer joy and expression. My influences today include Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Nikki McClure, Frida Kahlo, & countless contemporary queer artists & photographers. More recently I’ve been astounded by the skill & creativity of fellow printmakers & I’m super excited to continue developing my linocut making abilities.

One pivotal season of my life was walking with my father & family as my he slowly died from acute myeloid leukaemia in 2016. I miss him & his role in my life as a goofy, stubborn man who always believed & encouraged me to use my gifts to do good in the world. The grief that I carry with me from that time still has a profound impact on my day to day life.

I feel so grateful to be in a season of my life where I get to make art and share it with people daily. Thanks for being amongst those who support me & my work of inspiring queer joy in others. With love, Eric.

To learn more about me and my work, visit