Both hailing from the Netherlands, Telmo and Miel met early on in school and found a common passion for the relentless pursuit of art. With backgrounds in graffiti and drawing, the pair had a natural dynamic between them that lent itself to starting a creative company together. Nowadays, TelmoMiel creates stunning paintings and murals that focus heavily on Realism, but leave room for viewers to all have their own feelings and interpretations of their work.

Can you tell us a little bit about your backgrounds and how you two met?

We’re both from the Netherlands.

Miel: ‘I grew up in Amsterdam, and was drawing all my life. After some small drawing classes in the zoo as a child, I decided I wanted to go to Art school.

In the meantime graffiti caught my eye, and I dove into that world head first. Started doing murals and jams with graffiti crew gatherings. A network grew in Holland, and I started to travel all the cities to paint walls with friends.

At the academy I met Telmo, and we instantly found each other in that relentless drawing and painting lifestyle.’

Telmo: ‘I was born and raised in Rotterdam. After drawing and painting all my younger years, I decided early on that I wanted to shorten my high school days and start with art more seriously as fast as I could.

When Miel and I met at the academy, I didn’t really know all the ins- and outs of the graffiti world, but was more than interested.

After painting together with spray a couple of times I was hooked as well. And we started doing that on a regular basis between classes and on weekends.’

What made you decide to become a creative duo?

Early on we were with three guys. And in our graffiti days we had multiple ‘crews’ or groups of friends we painted with.

After getting more serious, some of those guys went another direction. And we were kind of left with each other.

The dynamic between us two was so natural, that starting a company together seemed the most logical thing to do.

How would you describe your collective style of art?

It’s generally placed within the group of surrealists. But our focus is very much on realism. So we create sketches of cut-up images that combine into one new idea.

Some movement or aspects in composition or lighting that will leave a trail towards the initial concept.

But our experience tells us that viewers all have their own feelings and interpretations with our work.


What does the creative process look like with two artists involved in one piece?

It used to be trial and error, finding common ground on a certain concept. But after so many years, we decided it was better to get away from staining each other’s visions.


What are some of the logistical challenges of working collaboratively?

Right now we don’t really have any. When we do projects together, we just travel towards where we need to be from our homes. Finish the project and return.

Before when we shared a studio space, we had one in Rotterdam. Miel was the one to travel from Amsterdam to Rotterdam, but he already did so since we met at the art academy.

How do your individual styles compliment one anothers?

We work within the same style space. Which is why we were able to work together on the same paintings for a long time.

Nowadays we do everything individually, as we found debating each other’s concepts eventually came down to opinions. And that just clouds the vision of the other.

So conceptually we do our own thing, we just help each other on some projects if it gives an advantage to work with 4 hands.


You have created some massive scale murals, what is the largest piece you have done to date?

There are a lot of big ones, but we don’t aim for those after doing some.

We found that after a certain size, painting in the practical sense just isn’t painting anymore. It’s just filling squares.

And although the size might be impressive, it’s usually less completed due to time/budget issues. Besides that, the viewer has to stand so far that the actual ‘paint’ can not be appreciated.

So we now like to stay between 2 and 8 or 9 stories tops.

To finally answer your question; In 2021 we did a huge silo in Lochem, Holland. This was over 50 meters high, and very scary to paint..

Do you prefer canvas or walls?

No preference. The two create a nice balance. With canvas the oils are a thrill, and we are able to take our time. On walls we are physically much less static, it’s outside and it’s much quicker to get to a result.

What are the artistic tools you work with the most?

In the studio it’s oils and mediums on linen canvas. On the walls we use Acrylic Housepaint and a touch of Spray.

For our design work we use our Photography and edit in Photoshop and Procreate on Ipad.


You have done a lot of traveling in your line of work, what are some of the places that have been the most memorable to you?

Most memorable are probably; Hawaii, New-Zealand, Australia, Refvik (Norway), Iceland, Miami and Eugene (Oregon).

What do you each enjoy spending time doing when you aren’t painting?

Miel: ‘I try to be a good dad to my son. Spending time with my family and friends is most important besides work. Mostly I just like to make stuff, build stuff and do stuff. So I do a lot of home improvement and some Lego sets find their way to our home. That might give you an idea of my vibe. A bit of a non-theoretical nerd, In the sense that I don’t want to read manuals or books.’

Telmo: ‘For me sort of the same, spending as much time with friends and family as possible. Besides that I do travel a lot more for pleasure. Japan is one of my favorite destinations.’


What are your goals for 2023?

One of us is searching for a new studio space, and wants to get that in order this year. Furthermore we are completing our first ever solo shows, separate from each other. First one is coming up next year and the other the year after that.

Besides that we hope to complete a couple more mural projects we have lined up.