John Willems is a well-known contemporary Belgian artist who was born in Ghent, the capital city of East Flanders, Belgium. His whole life was dominated by art, the advertising world and education.
John holds a degree in Photography, Advertising Design and Fine Art from the Graphic Arts Department at the St. Lucas Institute for Higher Education in Ghent, where he specialized in etching, linocut and woodcut prints.
As a young artist, John quickly gained respect and recognition during and immediately after finishing his studies. He was frequently invited to participate in both national and international exhibitions of painting, graphic arts and mixed media. He was recognized as a contemporary artist in the official reference compendium: “The Belgian Visual Artists of the 19th and 20th Centuries”, by Paul Piron.
Initially encouraged and destined for a career in the art world, from 1980 onwards John was given the opportunity to completely devote himself to an international advertising career as a freelance designer combined with a part-time job in education as lecturer in descriptive geometry.
In 2012, John Willems founded the Art Graphics Media Group, a global network of freelance photographers, art directors and copywriters. The creative freelancers of the Art Graphics Media Group use their artistic talents either individually or in teams on commercial or artistic assignments worldwide for advertising agencies, publishers or for clients with strong in-house marketing departments. John works in this group of course as a senior art director / graphic designer and photographer as well as serving as coordinator for the Group.
However, John will never turn his back on the world of Fine Art. His rich life experiences and his knowledge of numerous media disciplines have produced an unstoppable flow of artistic energy in conceptual art & photographic expressions.
He prefers to describe his own free-jazz Art & Photography style as: “My Style is a NO-Style”.
With this thought in mind he hopes to be able to practice his art in freedom and without any restrictions.
Sources: Art in Belgium - Paul Piron - Friends: Doug Wilkening (USA) - Thijs van Dorssen (Germany).