Artist/gallery curator David “Netherland” van Alphen lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. Though David’s family was from Holland, he was born in Toronto, and has been in Chicago for the last eight years. Being a child of the 70′s has influenced him greatly and is reflected in most of his work. Juxtaposing images, his color choices and the new modern context comes through in his nostalgic imagery and helps to isolate and enhance them into a beautiful montage. David does not resize, photocopy or scan any of the images he uses. All images are cut directly from their original source and pieced together to keep each piece unique. David has shown at many galleries throughout the U.S. and sold out his first solo show in January 2008.

Here are the five things that inspire me lately.

Friday Five with David Netherland van Alphen in news events  Category

1. Atomic Ranch
After my first son was born, my wife and I decided it was time to leave the city for life in the suburbs. We moved into 1960’s ranch and have been remodeling it ever since. An illustrator friend of mine, whom also lives in a ranch, told me about Atomic Ranch magazine and has been inspiring me with every issue. Atomic Ranch celebrates mid-century houses — from 1940s ranch tracts to 1960s architect-designed modernist homes.

Friday Five with David Netherland van Alphen in news events  Category

2. Aspire CoffeeWorks
Like many people, I can not function without my coffee. Whether it is morning, noon or evening, I need my cup of java to get my creative juices flowing. My brew of choice comes from Aspire CoffeeWorks. ACW is a partnership between Metropolis Coffee Company and Aspire, a non-profit leader helping children and adults with disabilities. Since my son was born with Down Syndrome, Aspire has been providing him with weekly early intervention therapy since he was only 3 months old. ACW offers craft-roasted coffees while opening new horizons for people with disabilities.

Friday Five with David Netherland van Alphen in news events  Category

3. ISO50
One of my favorite artists, Scott Hansen started ISO50, an online portfolio for the California-based artist’s design and photographic experiments. ISO50 has grown into a full studio and blog of amazing design and music.

Friday Five with David Netherland van Alphen in news events  Category

4. A Good Cigar
Nothing relaxes me more than sitting down and enjoying a nice full-bodied stogie. I always know that when I am able to sit down and enjoy a smoke, there will be no email, no phone calls, no screaming kids. Just me, my cigar and my thoughts.

Friday Five with David Netherland van Alphen in news events  Category

5. Buddhism
This is my Tiny Buddha I have sitting on my desk that I placed in a little homemade terrarium. He’s my little reminder to not break my keyboard in half.

Even though I am a Catholic I have been doing a lot of research into Buddhism and trying to make myself a better person, husband and father. Buddhism’s focus is not on the afterlife but being more mindful on the here and now. With all the stresses in life, Buddhism has helped me learn to be more thankful for what I have and appreciate every day as it was my last, with no ill thoughts or regrets.