He started his career as a photojournalist for the Dutch newspaper Trouw. In 1989 he published the book Hollandse Taferelen which consisted of landscapes photographed from the roof of a camper which he pulled through the Netherlands for a year. In 1990–1991 he finished a photo series of East German states. Other photobooks produced by Aarsman include Aarsmans Amsterdam (1993), Een engeltje dat over mijn tong piest (1995), and Vrooom!Vrooom! (2003).
Aarsman also is a novelist and playwright. His debut literary work was Twee hoofden, een kussen (1995) and recently he has been dedicating himself more to writing than photography.