Hoogerbrugge’s monochromatic online animations have earned himself a huge following as well as commissions from MTV, Sony and Mitsubushi.
We caught up with Han at Offf in Barcelona for our August issue, but just in case you missed it here’s an extended version of the interview.
What did you study in terms of design?
I studied painting, I did sculpture and many conventional techniques.
Your fantastic animations are very lifelike. How do you go about producing them?
I film myself, or my characters, I take out the stills I need for my drawings, print them on paper and then trace them by hand. I scan them and then start working in Flash – I don’t really work in Photoshop. I vectorise the drawings and add the colours, always in Flash.
For every drawing I make, I usually have a photographic reference. Anything I draw is based on a photograph or picture, from people to chairs etc.
When did you start drawing yourself and characters in suits, and was this part of a wider statement about the corporate world?
Sometimes the animations do weird things and I think it works better on a guy that looks very formal. It's also a combination of how the characters look in Reservoir Dogs, and I'm also influenced by an artist called Robert Longo who has a series of drawings called Men in the Cities. It's a combination of these things, that made me decide on this style.
How do you find talks? Are they something you find natural?
It’s not my hobby (laughs). It’s very interesting to do talks about your work, because you get invited to see interesting places, and I’ve been around the world doing this. But it’s not my main thing.
The people here were very friendly, there was a lot of applause, and they really liked what I showed. A positive reaction on Twitter too, it gives you a good feeling that you’re doing something right.
When you publish on the internet, you push a button and it’s online; you have no idea how people react to it. I have a counter so I can see how many people watch it, but I can’t see how they feel about it. When you show it to an audience you have an immediate reaction to what you’ve done, which is nice.
How did the amazing Pet Shop Boys video come about? Did you have a lot of creative freedom in making it?
Yes. They had seen a previous video with a bouncing ball with a head on it, so they wanted this [for their video], they wanted some sort of repetition for the chorus and they wanted faces with some sort of lip-syncing.
Is the commission work something you’re looking to do more of?
I don’t have a specific plan. I’d love to do a video for Nick Cave, but it’s not like I’m actively searching for that. I would love to do a music video every once in a while, and they are important, but my personal work is the focus and the main goal.
Book illustration 2007