Look J. Boden is a creative professional pur sang. He can best be described as an omnivorous artist, exploring the worlds of visual art, literature, music and design.

Born in 1974, Boden was raised in the raving eighties. Despite the strikes and economic despair on one hand and the Cold War on the other, he grew up in a happy bubble. Aged 5, when his parents divorced, the kid was merely amazed by the glamorous sunshine of television. The mix of fashion, disco, new wave and a dash of rock made him glow incandescently.

It was not until 1989 that he wanted to shake off his childhood. In the very same year that the Berlin Wall came down, he got his first camera and started dreaming of being an artist. When his mother fell ill (due to psychosis), he discovered his path by expressing himself in different ways. He wrote hundreds of stories, poems and songs. Unencumbered by official standards or techniques, he started to design watches, clothes and even houses. He learned to sing and practiced to become a radio host – just in case.

Change

When Boden attended university, everything changed. Reluctant to disappoint his mother, he studied law for a few years. But his heart was crying out for art, and his creative well seemed to dry up.

To avoid intense boredom while studying for a profession ill-suited to his temperament, he set up a literary magazine named Renaissance. From 1996 to 2002, he was editor-in-chief, organizing a number of meetings and two festivals. He tried to achieve his fifteen minutes of fame, publishing his stories and poems in Renaissance and other magazines. Some of his work he showed at festivals, alone or in collaboration with the performance group he founded.

Meanwhile, he left university and had various odd jobs, until he applied for the position of editor at a local newspaper. Although he had no substantial experience, they still hired him. For Boden, it was the first serious step into the communication business, followed by an editorship at a national magazine for independent entrepreneurs and the start of his own company in 2003.

Storytelling

Over the past decade, he tried his hand at writing a novel, which he finished but never published. His mind also found room for some poetry again, which he published in his first book in 2007. Still excited by the joy he could bring with his magazine, he co-organized nine editions of Poetry Day in his hometown and officially became Poet Laureate of Vlaardingen in 2015 and 2016.

Since his first camera in 1989, Boden photographed irregularly. For years, he saw it as no more than a relaxing hobby, taking pictures of nature. Sometimes he experimented with objects, but people were never his preferred subjects until 2008, when he embarked on a new creative direction.

Inspired by a book on portraiture his wife gave to him, he rediscovered his hunger for storytelling, especially through creatively composed photos. In 2008, he decided to develop his visual skills, working with over 100 models ever since.