Hailing from Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Stephan Brusche is a truly unique contemporary artist whose preferred medium happens to be edible.
Why bananas? Is it because it’s cheaper than canvas?
I discovered I got way more attention for my drawings if I put them on a banana instead of just paper or a (digital) canvas.
If you’re being unique you’ll attract an audience that’s really liking what you do. So the audience finds me instead of me finding them.
Is it hard to find an audience by being unique, as opposed to following trends?
It might be the other way around, if you’re being unique you’ll attract an audience that’s really liking what you do. So the audience finds me instead of me finding them.
What significance has social media played in furthering your career?
Social Media has been essential to that, if it wasn’t for Instagram I none of what I do now would have happened.
Do you solely rely on hashtags and fans sharing your work, or do you use other means of promotion?
Up until now companies have approached me for projects after seeing my work in an article, video or feature about my work online. So I need to stay visible. In the past hashtag’s has helped me a lot to get attention. But at the moment I try to increase engagement with my followers by sharing more in my IG stories and by going live. That will help to stay visible now with the new way Instagram is working.
How did you first get started?
It was a combination of things really that made me tumble into the world of banana art. It happened about 6 years ago. My wife had been pushing me to use Instagram for while, saying it would be great for promoting my illustrations and comics I’ve been doing in my spare time besides my work as a graphic designer. And someday after lunchtime I wanted to experiment a bit with the app, try out the filters and such. But since I was at the office I didn’t really had anything fun or interesting to photograph. Then I noticed I still had a banana left from lunch and figured it would make a fun picture if I just drew a little happy face on it. Discovering how pleasant it actually is to draw on a banana – there is just something about how smooth the ballpoint pen flows on the structure of the banana peel – I made another ‘fruitdoodle’, the next day. One with a grumpy face, for balance sake. And after that I just kinda challenged myself to see what else I could come up with to draw on a banana, and I never stopped since. After a while I also noticed that I was getting more likes and attention for my drawings on bananas than my other stuff. So instead of my other projects I gradually started to focus more and more on the banana art.
Do you have any formal training?
For banana art? No. I’ve had some art classes, giving me a basis in drawing and art. But after that I’ve been mostly figuring it out myself.
Do you ever eat your work once it has been documented?
I usually eat them right after I have a good enough picture actually.
Would you ever consider working with other types of food?
Every now and then I like to experiment also with kiwis, pears and other fruit or vegetables. But bananas will always be my favorite by far.
If you could collaborate with any artist, in any medium, past or present, who would it be and what would you ideally create?
Salvador Dalí. I’d work with him on a update of his ‘lobster telephone’ and create a ‘Banana iPhone X’.