The art of being yourself
Most of all I’m self-taught. I did finish the Academy of Fine Arts, I also did take some art lessons back when I was a kid and all that was helpful, but I spent more time on learning, training and developing my skills by myself. Reading books, training, exploring the art of other artists, and drawing, drawing, drawing – actually I’m still learning, this process never ends. That’s because I always try to learn new things and just be better than my last artwork.
I draw as far as I can remember and I also listen to heavy music since my early years. I love music so much that I always wanted to do something with it. I’m a shitty musician, so I decided to do what I do best, draw cover artworks, t-shirt designs, posters etc. I started to work professionally. for good, like 6-7 years ago, maybe a little bit earlier – small local bands, nothing really special. But it was Weedpecker’s debut album from 2013 that put me on the map. Since then I work on regular basis, with a lot of great bands, labels etc.
I work both traditionally and digitally. But to be honest, the equipment doesn’t matter, I always try to draw like if it was traditional way, you know. Even if I work on a tablet I try to do it like if I was drawing on paper, with pencils, inks etc. It’s all about setting up your tools. So I use everything I feel good with. I don’t want to waste too much time on talking about the equipment because it’s the results that matter. So you know, I could start listing all the software I use, digital tools, traditional pencils, inks, papers., etc., but is that really important?
I don’t like when directions are too specific and even literal. I prefer when bands give me just some hints and I have more space to be creative. I also like when they give me carte blanche, but it’s very dangerous and you have to discuss with the band every little step you make. Many times bands give me some music samples (for example early versions of songs), lyrics, just to help me to get into the right mood and feel the atmosphere, to understand the theme etc. Yeah, that really helps, actually it helps even more than just simple “draw this and that”.
I don’t have any philosophy besides drawing whatever I want. And I don’t have this so called “artistic vision”. I also don’t have any mission or things like that. To me the most important thing is to draw and create whatever I feel and stay true to who I am, it’s simple as that. The art gives me that kind of freedom, I can be myself. Maybe that’s it, maybe that’s my philosophy.
All art use some kind of symbolism. That’s just the way of saying things, a method of expression. It also gives a viewer many opportunities to have their own interpretation, because to me art is not about trying to figure out what the artist wanted to say but it’s about what you see in it. And symbols, they have so many meanings, they can say a lot, much more than a simple, literal image. That, of course, brings a lot of depth into an artwork. I read a lot of books, comics, watch a lot of movies, listen to tons of music and that influence is absolutely natural. It’s a huge part of my life and my personality.
There is no method, routine or anything like that. I guess I just let it all happen naturally, without pushing it. Actually, you can’t be creative all the time, no matter what. Sometimes it’s good to take a break, a moment of breath, refresh your mind, throw away your pencils, go somewhere, focus on something else, I don’t know, like reading. Sometimes you need to take even few days off, just to go back with new energy. You have to build that need of creating. It’s a bit like with addiction, the longer your break lasts, the more you want it. But I don’t know if that’s the best answer I can give you.
I always try to avoid imitation, so I never look for inspiration in other artists works. That’s a very dangerous thing because there is a thin line between imitation and inspiration and if you get too deep into it, you will lose control. Of course, there are exceptions, like when you look for inspiration in paintings, drawings or graphics of famous artists for the purpose, knowingly. But other than that I seek inspirations elsewhere, in movies, books, you mentioned mythology, that is also great stuff to get ideas. Above it all, the biggest inspiration is music. Music has a huge influence on me and it keeps me creative, I just push the play button, let the music flow and wait until images start to grow in my mind. It really stimulates your imagination, that’s how I found most of my ideas.
As for technique – when I was younger I used to draw and paint in techniques of famous artists, I tried to study the masters, that’s how you learn, but today I try to develop my own style and work on it, to get the results I want (which never happens actually because every drawing starts to live its own life at some point and it can go in directions I’ve never expected it to go). One thing I know for sure – I’m more of a drawer than a painter.
I’ve been involved in some small exhibitions but nothing serious really. No, I don’t have any plans for exhibitions, I don’t feel the need for it now. Maybe someday, later, in next couple of years, who knows. It’s not that important to me. I’ve got some ideas for the future, I would love to make an art book with totally new artworks specially made for this occasion. I think it would be even better than an exhibition. I also work on a comic book and I believe I will finish it around the year 2420. Yeah, I’ve got more, I’ve got a lot of ideas and I try to work on them but there’s always not enough time.
Interview by Alex Milazzo – Copyright 2017 © Heavy Music Artwork. All rights reserved.