My name is Falco Verholen and I'm an artist from the Netherlands.
It took me quite a while to realize my true passion was to tell stories, be it through film, art, graphic novels or writing. When I had finished high school I wanted to do something 'useful' and 'practical'. I spent some time studying Psychology and was even trained as a nurse for a while. But I never felt satisfied.
I attended Art school for a year and realized that this was not my calling, either. I wanted to tell stories and make use of as many media as possible: images, sound and the written word. It was then that I decided to opt for film school. At last I had found a medium that I loved and wanted to learn more about.
In August 2013 I graduated from the Utrecht School of the Arts as a video designer with my final project 'Honeyblood', a surreal music video that shows the fears of a young man when it dawns on him that he might be gay. It's a very personal and visceral story which I hope will touch not only those who are gay themselves but also the people who are, for one reason or another, wary of homosexuality.
For 'Honeyblood' I did the screenwriting, direction, art direction and editing. The music comes from two musicians I have admired for years: Oneiroid Psychosis and Asmorod. Feel free to watch the entire video.
Though I graduated on a video project I'm pretty polyamorous when it comes to creativity. I've always loved to draw and paint. From childhood on I spent hours drawing tigers, birds and anthropomorphic characters, already showing a love for nature and its inhabitants. Later on I discovered the Japanese aesthetic of manga and anime and went on to create a dozen mangas and comics. These days I believe I have found a style that truly suits me and that I can call my own.
I love creating my personal body of art; however, I recently I realized that working on assignments and commissions not only challenges me to expand my horizons, but is also very satisfying. Creating a piece of art or an illustration tailored specifically to a client's wishes is quite rewarding.
So what are my desires for the future? I'm determined to work in more than one medium - I want to create video projects as well as illustrations, paintings and graphic novels. And for a few years I've been courting my newest love, game design - being an admirer of art and indie games myself, I truly believe this medium has great potential.
In short, I do not want to be limited to one specific form of creativity. I want to grow and explore and captivate.
If you have an interest in my work and would like to get in touch, or talk about a commission or assignment, feel free to message me at firstname.lastname@example.org - I would love to hear from you.
Take care and thank you for reading!
As you can see I'm primarily a visual artist. However, I find that writing gives me a lot of joy and satisfaction too.
English is not my native language (I'm from the Netherlands) and I have no education in the art of writing short stories. I have attempted to write in Dutch and even German, but I'm much more at ease with English.
If you are a native English speaker and you'd enjoy proofreading my work or give me pointers, you are most welcome to contact me! I would love to improve my writing skills and I can't do that entirely on my own.
Naturally, if you invest your time in me you can count on receiving something in return. A free print of pre-existing work or even a commissioned piece will be no problem - I'm sure we can work something out!
You can get in touch with me through email - email@example.com
For inquiries about commissions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For prints of my work, please visit my Society6 account.
I'd been following the stream westward for miles. All that time I expected some fundamental change in the forest around me, but it never came. What seemed so astonishing and brilliant at first, the way the sunlight dripped off emerald leaves and bathed intricate formations of rock in its fierce embrace, slowly turned into a tapestry of predictability, never changing its intensity or rythm. I became bored with it as soon as the pattern became apparent to me.
When I came upon the steak I almost felt like a secret, mischievous wish had been granted: that of the broken pattern, the repetition undone. It was a magnificent piece of meat. It lay there in all its resplendent glory: shiny and succulent and untouched. No flies had discovered it yet; I was the first to lay eyes on it. And the longer I stared at it the hungrier I became.
Of course I knew better than to shove flesh of unknown origin into my mouth: years of unsafe sex had taught me. Still I prowled around the meat like a famished predator chancing upon his last meal, wondering where this sudden treat was coming from. Who had put it there, and to what purpose? I decided that if I weren't to eat it, I could at least cup a feel.
The meat felt smooth and supple to the touch, as if it had come straight from the butcher's. But something was off: its core was rock hard, as if some part of it had turned to stone over the course of ages. Curious, I took out my pocket knife and sliced the thing in half. In the middle of the steak discovered a cubic formation of some unknown material: bronze perhaps, or impure gold. It was shiny, not just from the juices it had been covered in but also of its own accord: the sunlight cast a brilliant reflection on its smooth surface. I turned the steak around and around, looking for a point of entrance by which the cube had entered it, finding none. I was puzzled, but also positively electrified. I wondered where the thing came from and who was responsible. Perhaps someone was playing their very own game here and I had become part of it. It could have been some artists project or a prank; hell if I knew. I decided to take the steak and the cube with me for closer inspection and made my way further downstream, wondering if there might be something else in wait for me.
The waterfall didn't surprise me; I had been hearing its tumult for several minutes as I walked down the stream to the west. When I arrived at the little lake that the waterfall connected with I sat down for a while, weighing the steak and cube in my hands (now covered in a plastic bag), asking myself what was going on. I reached no satisfying conclusion but tried to enjoy the trip nonetheless; now that I was here, deep within the outskirts of these woods, I might as well have fun. I looked around for clues; there might be other parts of this weird project lying around...
A few minutes later a loud snap broke my concentration. I turned around to see a middle-aged woman, her honeycolored hair tied back in a bun, her face a strange mixture between gentleness and austerity. She was standing between two large trees, overgrown with parasites, staring at me in silence. I hid the steak in my backpack; it was mine. When I stood up to greet her she simply turned away from me and began to walk with a fierce, determined stride. I stumbled across a rocky outcrop, trying to catch up with her. I needed to ask her if she was part of all this; I needed to play along with the game. She seemed at odds with her surroundings; her stylish suit, an agressive carmine, stood out between the soft greens of the forest. And damn, was she quick!
She strode out into a large clearing, still walking away from me. But something wasn't right; the faster I made my way toward her, the more the distance between us grew, until she was only a speck among the trees that marked the border of the meadow. I decided to give it my all, feeling a rush of adrenaline surge through me, the intense red of her suit my sole focus. Then I lost sight of her. As I sped across the clearing I felt a strong, almost dramatic sense of loss: it was now or never. I had to keep track of her.
Back in the woods she was nowhere to be seen. I almost yelled for her, suddenly alarmed and frightened in this uncharted territory. I was a grown man, I worked out on a weekly basis and I was armed; there wasn't much to be afraid of; yet a sense of unease had begun to spread in my chest like rot on fresh fruit. And as if to confirm my gut feeling that something was fundamentally wrong, an unearthly sound emerged from the forest around me; a reverberating, piercing orchestra of a dozen machine guns and bones being broken, snapped in half like moldering twigs. I ran like my life depended on it.
Then I saw her. She had been cut into two pieces, neatly separated at the waist, her blood soaking the thirsty ground beneath. An insane, tranquil smile graced her red lips. I stood beside the body, not daring to kneel to take a further look, but not exactly eager to go any further into this accursed forest either. I was about to push the limit and examine her body more closely when a sickening, rythmic motion in my backpack grabbed my attention. What the hell was happening? Disgusted and terrified I flung the bag off my shoulders, staring in disbelief at the echo of movement coming from within. It was the steak; it had to be. It was moving of its own accord, dancing to music I was unable to hear. Horrified, I realized it was trying to escape, moving towards the body of the cleaved woman. I left all my notions of manliness behind and began to run as fast as possible. This was no art project, this was a nightmare, and soon I would have to wake up.
I didn't. I never woke up, as I hadn't been asleep. I recall hearing a second sound, ghostlier and sloshier than the first one, as the fabric of my backpack ripped and the thing inside broke free. A third sound, high-pitched and grinding, pierced the forest as whatever happened back there took its course.
he could draw breath but he draws veils
with hemoglobin draperies
He never killed anyone. No matter how fierce the urge, no matter how harsh the vibration of his heart, he never took a life other than the little ones inside his head. But years and years of fantasy without enactment have taken their toll (on him, mind you, not on the ignorant bypasser)
Tonight he's going to make it happen. His very own world made flesh. His private party, so to speak.
The object of desire resembles a lithe male human being, honey-haired and fair-skinned, with huge doe-eyes and a pretty nose. He looks at it his creation with admiration and satisfaction: his handiwork, finished at last. He can almost feel the blood pulse underneath: his blood, blood drawn over the course of years, enriched with just the right chemicals to prevent that abhorred, heartless coagulation. He is ready.
Knife slices thighs, ripe skin splits, steel forges new pathways through as of yet untravelled hillocks. The blade separates all, blood gushes out into the open world, is burnt by red hot tears of frustration. He figured he could do without the screams and spams, but finds he can't. It's not the real thing, no matter how beautiful. It's fake, it's fucking fake, as is his entire outward life. All the smiles and the hugs, all the heartbreak and rendition. It's all a bunch of fucking nonsense.
He throws the lifeless figure away, steps under the shower, frees himself of his own blood. He promises himself that he'll figure it out, find a way out of this mess, then stashes the treacherous blade in a box destined for the secondhand shop.
Maybe someone else, someone more thorough and efficient, will find better uses for his slice of steel.
he stumbles forward through the snow, face and hands caked with crusted ice, eyelashes black as coal, his hair looking good even in war. a last remnant of beauty, a fist against any Opposing Regime(tm), he wanders from hill to hill, from tree to tree, dripping rich red wetness wherever he goes. he won't survive - his flesh will, oh yes, and his mind, but his heart is lost with every subsequent drop. he doesn't falter, he simply fights his way through the endless recesses of forest, of splendid white wilderness.
he leaves a trail of fruit, abundance, hope. every step of the way he covers in ripeness, bursting forth from despair and death. we are besieged, we are almost lost - we won't give up. he bleeds light into blackness, he carves new words into the frost. and everything he does, he does for us.
all hail the strawberry trail.
The pride's bloodlust had settled down. With their freshest kill amost entirely devoured, they hadn't much to do besides lying down and starting to process the entire mess. An African moon was wedged into the clouds almost seamlessly, reflecting wayward sunlight onto the ripped and shredded carcass. A lioness yawned, her teeth glittering with the moon's nocturnal glow.
It was in the early morning, in the darkest hours before sunset, that the triangles appeared. They were a startling white, small at first but rapidly increasing in size, and cast no shadows. The big cats dozing on their grassland territory were roused from their blissful sleep by a sense of alarm, of wrongness. The male, being of the especially lazy kind, left it to his harem to find out what was going on, turned around a few times and settled down into slumber again.
A cub, too lighthearted to know of the dangers of his new world, playfully dashed towards one of the formless pyramids. He was swallowed by the glaring whiteness in an instant - his mother being just a tad too late. Her paw met with the triangle between the weeds and grasses: searing pain, an immolation of her sensitive nervous system, torture. She hissed, growled, jumped away, but the colorless shape had taken hold of her, consuming her as the other predators recoiled in terror.
It left nothing behind but a collection of perfect, perfect triangles, torn from sandy fur and glorious mane. In the light of the setting sun the vultures eyed their potential prey warily, ultimately deciding to stay away from the pyramid flesh. For several days the savannah was adorned with the ghost of a triangular constellation. But even pyramids wither away in the end.
I've been running for hours now. I wonder why I don't tire at all - on the contrary, each step only invigorates me further. There's no end to this hallway, to this maze of wooden flesh and peeling paint. Carmine strips of sinew, gossamer bone - this house-hallway-hell breathes oxygen, exhales dust. I wipe it off my face but to no avail; my face is caked with yet another layer just the same.
The first door was revelatory.
The second door was shocking, in a perverse, cheap sort of way.
The third door was just that - a third door, nothing behind it.
The fourth door was me in another time and space, but just as fabulous.
The fifth door - locked.
The sixth door: sounds and lights and screams and tiny pinpricks of white
The seventh door -
damn that #5
The seventh door shows lions, a glorious golden pride, fighting over rotten flesh
The eight door doesn't hold a candle to the others - it's white, empty, unremarkable
fucking hell Nummer Fuenf what are you hiding from me?
The ninth door opens a portal into a world of keys, dangling and clattering, but irredeemably broken, beyond repair or hope. I couldn't care less. I want to know the secreths of the Fifth - I try to run back, fail miserably, my feet only able to carry me forward and forward and ever forward - there's no stopping this ----
number 10 to 47 are rooms, living rooms, dead living rooms, not my business. One day i'll return. I'll come back to this dilapidated mess and this time, I'll halt in front of Five, smash the door in, and find what I've been looking for.
I'm looking forward to it.
There is this wondrous beauty in stillness. Nothing in the woods moves, nothing stirs. All has fallen silent, all have fallen silent, including myself. I have nothing to say nor any desire to speak my mind. I have no more mind.
Mind is overrated. Air is underrated. This essential thing that keeps all living things alive, it is never seen nor touched. It moves of its own accord and stops for no one. How I admire its mercilessness. How I wish I could be like that.
I am not. I wander the forests aimlessly, seeking nothing and finding so much in return. A fallen leaf, crispy at the fringes, rotten at the core. Bones of decaying prey, decadent and blistering. Still waters, utterly motionless save for one single drop of h2o falling from a thin, snapped twig. I am the twig, I am the drop, I am the receiving body of water.
Then: a sound. A screech, a pained foghorn - a vibration hard to describe. But I am furious. Something dares disturb my peacefulness. I am drawn to it, reluctant to admit my hunger for anything other than silence. I abhor it - I devour it. There's no escape now, the sound emanates from the east to the west, as unrelenting as the air itself. I begin to run toward it, breaking brittle twigs, crushing succulent moss, falling to my knees in the cold mud.
'WHO ARE YOU?'
Is that me who screamed? Do I still have a voice? Why in the world did I break the soundlessness of my sacred forest? I must be insane.
But then the sound comes to an abrupt, cruel halt. It is utterly silent again, still and stifling and uncompromosingly cold. I hug myself for warmth, for comfort, but the sound has passed and so has hope; I am alone again.
I wander these forests still. Sometimes I hear that sound, far away, in the distance. I have abandoned the hope of ever meeting its source. Ages ago I chose silence - now I will have to bear the consequences of that thoughtless, silly choice.
I breathe in, breathe out. I hear nothing.