Creativity Kiosk: Interview with Gabrielius Mackevičius

Photographer Tadas Čer­ni­auskas, illus­trated by Gabrielius Mackevičius

Tell us a bit about your­self. What are the first things that come into your mind when you think about what you like and what you don’t?

I prob­ably like water­falls. Some time ago I was in a place, where a little water­fall sighs. The best thing is that you can sit down, so that it’s flow­ing behind you and then you quickly lead back into it. So you will have to go through it and lean back on to a rock, from which the little water­fall is fall­ing. And then you can watch at it from the inner side, when it’s walling on your stom­ach. It’s such a strange feeling.

One very inter­est­ing per­son has told me that there’s only love and fear, and everything else are their vari­ations and expres­sions. I believed. So, I like love expres­sions and I don’t like those of fear.

You are an artist of quite a broad pro­file, when did you get inter­ested in tex­tile? How did you come to the thought to cre­ate such par­tic­u­lar objects?

In Spring, I went to be with dzen Buddhists in this cave, in which they gathered to sit on benches. Then, while sit­ting, I under­stood that I’m going to do some­thing nat­ural and geo­met­rical. Later, in the sum­mer, after sit­ting down on that bench, I under­stood that I need to start work­ing with tex­tile, so I did. To my sur­prise, everything is mov­ing sort of nat­ur­ally.

Motives of wood­land anim­als and folk crafts (cor­rect me if I’m wrong) are close to you. Can you tell us a bit more about that? Why are they close to you? How did you find them?

First of all, I will tell that I think that all of this cre­ation is an expres­sion of god through a man. I can’t talk for every­one, but I sus­pect that people just let the will of god to be expressed through them and then some­thing fun is done or not. And that per­mis­sion is the thing that decides how all of this looks. I don’t know why I’m fol­lowed by animal and folk motives. That nat­ur­al­ness and folk is just unavoid­ably close, beau­ti­ful to me. I can’t tell that I choose on my own. It’s dif­fi­cult to say why I like some­thing or why it’s beautiful.

How does the cre­ation of your tex­tile objects devel­ops? Are they inde­pend­ent or is every one of them fit­ted to a cer­tain single cloth­ing item or maybe to a wearer of it?

The illus­tra­tion is drawn without cloth­ing. Depending on the illus­tra­tion of cloth­ing, the mater­i­als, col­ors are chosen. That’s why the same draw­ing can be on very dif­fer­ent object. I like this sequence: the wearer chooses the gar­ment and I select the mater­i­als of illus­tra­tions. It’s very con­veni­ent this way because the wearer can select gar­ment he likes, with the color, design he likes, to try it on and know that the size fits him and to give it to me. Or he can lift some cloth­ing that’s not wanted any­more which needs life that it could be wear­able again.

What else are you involved in? Are you tak­ing part in social activ­it­ies. You also cre­ate illus­tra­tions and other art­works, right? Do you share it or are you doing all of this just for your per­sonal pleasure?

Of course, I’m involved in social activ­it­ies – I meet people, com­mu­nic­ate, I like games, cinema, con­certs, etc.

Apart from tex­tile, I like to draw. If that draw­ing is being made with a com­puter then it usu­ally stays there, and if it’s done on, for example, a wooden board then it hangs on my wall until it goes off to someone else’s room. I do that sort of for myself, but when I’m done with it then I don’t need to have that near me. I can also look how those pieces are doing, they become like fam­ily mem­bers, whom it’s fun to meet sometimes.

I know that you were the ini­ti­ator of a couple of inter­net pro­jects, maybe you can tell some more about them? Why did you took the initiative?

Some time ago me and Agnė Mackevičiūtė enjoyed Nijolė Miliauskaitė’s poetry. We liked it so much that we hur­ried to scan the pages, recog­nize text with a spe­cial pro­gram and we put it all on the inter­net, so that every­one could enjoy it at any time.

It hap­pens so that I like fonts. There are very pretty ones. Some of them I tried to apply to Lithuanian and used in works of graphic design. Someday the font called Krikštas was born. Then the thought also was born that it would be great, if there was an inter­net site, in which there would be only Lithuanian and applied for Lithuanian fonts. Otherwise, you can find Lithuanian applied fonts in vari­ous inter­net places and works of Lithuanian font cre­at­ors in spe­cial­ized font shops. I thought about such local space to share spe­cific cre­ation – fonts. To graphic design­ers, fonts are always rel­ev­ant, so they could share them. This way the site schrift​.mono​.lt was born, in which there’re some works of a couple of Lithuanians that they decided to share. It would be great, if there would appear more of them.

And some time ago, with Nerijus Rimkus, we had lunch in Bruce Lee bar. And so, from nowhere, word after word, we decided to begin an inter­net fairy tale, in which the whole Lithuania could par­ti­cip­ate – sekuseku​pa​saka​.lt. Later, a tale for the whole world appeared – you can find it here.

What is your opin­ion about the idea of qual­ity that is becom­ing more and more pop­u­lar? I mean the tools that are easier to reach and that make the cre­ation begin­ning pro­cess easier because of the inter­net and tech­no­lo­gies. Doesn’t the cre­ation of the more “ser­i­ous” cre­at­ors become less valuable?

I think that all sorts of tech­no­lo­gies and inven­tions always have their pluses and minuses but I’m for the big­ger space for cre­ativ­ity. Creative people will always take advant­age of new oppor­tun­it­ies and will make our hearts smile. It’s very good that all kinds of people engage in the cre­ation. It gives them joy and their cre­ation are not neces­sar­ily worse than that of so called ser­i­ous cre­at­ors. I often like children’s art­works and it’s just inter­est­ing to see how a per­son cre­ates, who has not been taught how to do it.

I believe that the art­works of the more ser­i­ous artists can not become less valuable.

Are you inter­ested in tend­en­cies of the cre­at­ive world, what do you think about new tech­no­lo­gies in this field? Do they expand the spec­trum of creation?

I am inter­ested in as much as I inad­vert­ently come across and am sur­prised by all sorts of beau­ti­ful inven­tions. I think that everything expands the spec­trum of cre­ation, everything new that we learn every day. It’s beau­ti­ful that some­thing new gives birth to some­thing, so you can­not even ima­gine what con­sequences a word that you said to someone, a shown link or a prank will have.

Another ques­tion about your tex­tile work. What mater­i­als are you using and where do you get them?

When sur­round­ing people found out that I sewed, they began to give the fab­ric that they do not need any­more. This way, sud­denly, I had vari­ous and a lot of it. Now, I am going to fab­ric shops, and I search for jew­elry in mar­kets, flea mar­kets. I like the mar­ket a lot.

Thank you for fas­cin­at­ing inter­view, Gabrielius!

If you are inter­ested to give your gar­ment and have it renewed and illus­trated by Gabrielius, please con­tact us artpit.​london@​gmail.​com.

More tex­tile works of Gabrielius here.

Aleksandr Pasevin
About author:
Aleksandr Pasevin
Aleksandr Pasevin is Art Pit’s strategist and designer, responsible for organization’s creative solutions. Aleksandr is also actively interested in new technologies, their connection with creativity and usage in cultural organizations. Aleksandr dislikes long discussions and considerations, and he mostly expresses his opinion quickly about whet... Read further >
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