Rob Severein is born in 1964 in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in the famous but also notorious neighbourhood ‘De Pijp'. He goes through primary school and has his secondary education (VWO) at the Waterlant College in the north of Amsterdam.
After a long-held childhood dream to become an architect, he is admitted to the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU) in 1982. He wants to study interior design. However, it doesn’t bring him what he had hoped for for so long and after the first year he decides to give up. He starts to follow a course in design and typography at the same institute.
After a break for a year abroad he graduates in 1988 and starts working as an art director in Dutch advertising. He rises to fame quickly and on the age of 30 he is invited to pick up the role of creative director for the first time.
Successful years lay ahead. As a creative managing director he works at several major advertising agencies and his work receive numerous awards at home and abroad. In 2004 he starts his own company: &KoenseSeverein.
Through the years that follow, his work slowly starts changing. It’s becoming more documentary. People and stories are playing an increasingly important role.
While travelling Mali in 2011 he decides to finally give in to a growing desire to tell these stories in a different, more visual way. After 7 years he leaves the agency and continues as a freelance art director. He enrolls at the Amsterdam Photo Academy.
In 2014, after 3 years he finishes his master studies in photography and settles as a freelance documentary and portrait photographer, in addition to his work as an art director. He works for agencies and directly for clients. His artistic work is published in magazines and newspapers including VICE Magazine and NRC Handelsblad.