On The Loop: Young & Sick - Local Wolves
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Young & Sick by Ashley Seryn
Music

Musician and visual artist Nick van Hofwegen, better known as Young & Sick, draws us in with his upbeat music, distinctive imagery, and compellingly quirky personality. We caught up with him to talk about his creative inspiration and and his brand new Side of Relief EP with his tour with the Knocks wrapped up, here’s an image recap of his infectiously fun and colorful Los Angeles performance at the Novo.

How would you describe being both a musician and a visual artist? Do they play into each other at all?
Young & Sick
– It’s what keeps me sane in a way, I constantly switch between the two. I never get stuck for long because I just go from  music to art of vise versa. On top of that it’s super lovely to be able to make my own art.

What made you drop out of design school? When do you think formal schooling is good for an artist?
Y&S
– I stopped because I was ready for “real life” experiences, I was already making a lot of art for US indie bands and was focussing less and less on the school-tasks at hand. I was/am obsessed with making art for bands. Art-school can we super helpful for sure, all my friends there where into illustration and art and it gives you plenty of time to work on your style and give you all the materials you need to get started. I also had a great teacher that always pushed me to be myself and work on my style.

I heard you’re wrapping up your N. American tour with the Knocks. How was that?
Y&S
– It was incredibly fun, I made a lot of new friends and grew closer to old ones. The Knocks are an unbelievable band I loved watching the show every night and even sing a song with them every show. I hope to go on the road with them again one day!

Tell us about your new single “Ohh My Ghosts.”
Y&S
– I’m a terrible sleeper, I don’t do it enough, rarely as deep as i‘d like. My mind doesn’t go quiet just because I’m tired. My past and the uncertainty of the future is what spirals before shut-eye. I found the main sample while in bed and decided to get back up and make this song about the ghosts that prevent me from REM.

How do you approach designing covers? Your design for Foster the People’s Torches is so iconic.
Y&S
– Thank you so much! I love making album covers a lot, most of the bands I work with are so different so I usually try to listening to their work while making the art and really try to understand the act. Plus every client is different, Mark Foster (the people) for instance is super hands on and thinks very visually. So we usually get together and talk through the whole process.

Where do you find inspiration for your art and music?
Y&S
– Inspiration comes to me from so many different places, I try to pull myself out of my studio space as much as possible to absorb the outside world and the city i’m in. I usually listen to a lot of Audiobooks and podcasts while drawing, they feed me more than listening to albums these days.

I love seeing your Instagram stories of people who have your art tattooed. What’s your first tattoo story?
Y&S
– It’s wild to see people get my work tattooed as someone who has quite a few myself I know the feeling of getting someone else’s work on you so I’m super flattered. My first tattoo is the symbol for the planet Jupiter. It’s situated to the left of my belly button haha. I got it with my brother in Berlin, we both Illustrate a lot so we kept liking each-other’s Ideas and not our own. Then we looked at planetary symbols and liked that one, after that we found out that Jupiter is the planet of brotherhood whoohoo!

If you were a cartoon character, what would be the one outfit you wear on your show?
Y&S
– I have this dream every now and then of having these “boots” that allow me to slide across roads and stairs and cities. I they are Manga style big and off-white and light up. I would not go anywhere without em in my series.

Any nods towards your new EP, Size of Relief?
Y&S
– As it stands there are 5 songs out right now with 2 more to come, the songs where all made close in time to each-other right before the Knocks tour… they are likely the most uptempo and dance-floor appropriate songs I ever made. I hope you enjoy ‘em!

Connect with Young & Sick: Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

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