Ruben de Bruijn is an artist and illustrator. His works stand out because of their richness of colour, eye for detail and take you on a journey into a utopian world. You can look at his work for hours and still discover something new. He became well-known locally through his project ‘Tilburg Topia’ and he has been tasked with designing the new Tilburg Leesplankje. Inspired by 013 Straatjes, he has designed the cover of the 5th City Guide in the same style. He moved from Tilburg to Amsterdam but called Tilburg his base and home. We spoke to him before he left.

How did you get the idea for the cover?

“It’s like going from one world into another. The zip design was inspired by a landscape architect I admire a lot, Marieke Vromans (she designed the large sculpture in the same form in the Spoorpark – ed.). I made the zip into a railway line, literally connecting the urbanized Tilburg with the opening to the green space you walk into. It’s a similar story with the city: things overlap with each other. As I see it, that is the whole idea behind 013 Straatjes and the city, that it all becomes one thing. In the rest of the cover, you see how the city exists as if it were a festival terrain with different areas and different details. You can see how the city has developed in different areas.” 

Cover 5th edition 013 Straatjes Tilburg City Guide

What are your favorite places in Tilburg?

“The LocHal is really cool. And Gianotten Mutsaers of course! They have a great second-hand corner – I always used to sit on the ground there. Being surrounded by stories and potential wisdom gives you a really homely feeling. Books are just there; they don’t demand your attention like digital media.”

Where can we see your work?

“I have had several exhibitions in recent months, but I also present a lot of work on Instagram Rubentopia. A book of my work is now also available at Doloris. I made a mural for Poke bowl restaurant Hoki Poké in Tilburg. I also make about twenty illustrations for ‘et nuuw Tilburgs leesplèngske’ for the Library. This autumn the presentation will take place in the LocHal.”

Artist Ruben de Bruijn