Creativity Kiosk: Interview with Tadas Šimkus

Photographer Tadas Černiauskas

Hi, Tadas, it’s great to talk to you a bit more. What are you doing at the moment? What are you inter­ested in?

Hey, it’s also great for me to answer your ques­tions. Recently, I had a very inter­est­ing chance to cre­ate brand­ing of a bar and I was involved in everything from its name to the interior. So I spent the last moth sketch­ing logos, draw­ing in the interior and look­ing after the whole course of the pro­ject. There was a lot of new exper­i­ence. It’s really great. And on the whole, I’m still throw­ing myself from cli­ent to cli­ent but a need for a more con­sist­ent busi­ness is already brew­ing. In addi­tion, I am inter­ested in street art and more pre­cisely I’m inter­ested in draw­ings — paint­ings of big/​huge format in city spaces. I am try­ing to under­stand how and where from they get the funds and how and who is organ­iz­ing this.

Last time we met was when you were just fin­ish­ing your stud­ies. Almost two years have gone by. Can you tell us what changed? Did you man­age to find what you were search­ing for?

The field itself found me more than I found it. I am happy about draw­ings on walls and interior art the most. But there are more wishes as well. It’s just that, for now, I am only build­ing the found­a­tion and the stairs for it. You won’t get to the top right away but it’s import­ant to move for­ward. What changed after the academy gradu­ation? Well, when I was fin­ish­ing the stud­ies, I was full of enthu­si­asm. I cre­ated huge paint­ings on walls, thought and planned what people need and what art gives to them and so on. I believed in deep and mean­ing­ful ideas. However, after gradu­ation I was thrown into a more real­istic life, where par­ents don’t sup­port you fin­an­cially any­more and you need to stand on your feet your­self. So I needed to work and all of those sens­it­ive ideas about art col­lapsed for a while. I did not know how to make a liv­ing from art. We were taught to cre­ate art in the academy but they did not teach us how to bring our ideas to mar­ket. So, after gradu­ation I am still learn­ing and com­bin­ing work with art. Now I am a lot more calm and hap­pier because I dis­covered that everything is pos­sible only by hav­ing per­sonal exper­i­ence. And I also under­stood that dreams come true only if you don’t for­get them long enough and con­stantly devote your atten­tion and your energy to them.

How do you think art­works of a young artist dif­fers in Eastern Europe and in Western Europe?

How do they dif­fer?.. Eastern European artist’s pieces will mostly be more sad, grey and more con­strained and depress­ive. Though, on the other hand, they can also be way more calm, real, deep and basic­ally more mean­ing­ful than the Western major­ity and its super­fi­ci­al­ity. I can see such tend­en­cies. With loads of exceptions ;)

Would you say that artists copy way too much nowadays?

Every artist is dif­fer­ent and every­one is excep­tional. We all copy on a cer­tain level but def­in­itely not all of them can be called artists. It’s import­ant where that copy­ing takes you.

We know that earlier you were work­ing with minus­cule graph­ics, street art and dec­or­at­ing. Are you still using dif­fer­ent tech­niques and expres­sions or can we say that you chose one technique/​field that is the closest to you?

I am still using vari­ous tech­niques. I make money for liv­ing out of wall dec­or­at­ing but my heart is lean­ing towards street art and huge drawings/​paintings in the city.

We heard that, at the moment, there is no short­age of com­mer­cial orders for you as well. Is it dif­fi­cult to com­bine per­sonal wishes and cre­at­ive goals with work? Are there any inter­est­ing pro­jects that you are work­ing on?

As I told in the begin­ning, I work with bar interior and this job is inter­est­ing and rich. It’s rich in the artistic, cre­at­ive mean­ing as well as fin­an­cially. On the whole, there is always some work to do, though the situ­ation could be a bit more stable. However, I am dream­ing about a one huge cre­at­ive social street art pro­ject. I want to organ­ize a move­ment of big format paint­ings on walls in Lithuanian towns and cit­ies. I would like to cre­ate huge paint­ings not only in Vilnius, Kaunas or Klaipėda but also bring art to smal­ler towns. I want to begin to revive pub­lic art that is access­ible to every­one and free. I am look­ing for sup­port­ers and ways to do it.

Where do you get your inspir­a­tion from? What has the most influ­ence on you?

From other people’s cre­ation and energy but the biggest inspir­a­tion is to ful­fil your­self, when you do it you become very happy and calm.

How would you describe the influ­ence of new tech­no­lo­gies and the Internet? Is this import­ant to you?

The Internet has a huge influ­ence on me. If there were no Internet, I would not have chosen visual arts because I only decided to go to an academy after see­ing draw­ings on walls on the Internet. And now it still often helps me, although often it’s just in the way. It’s a truly great tool but you have to be care­ful with it. As much the Internet encour­aged my cre­ation in the begin­ning, that much it is des­troy­ing it right now. When you are cre­at­ing some­thing of your own, you become very picky and often begin to copy without real­iz­ing your­self and later you under­stand that this is a copy, not your idea. All in all, you need to keep a clear line between your­self and that massive source of thoughts and inform­a­tion. If I give in to it, I can’t keep track of my thoughts. I am really not a fan of tech­no­lo­gies, although I keep see­ing a grow­ing tech­no­lo­gies’ influ­ence on people. It’s quite a con­fus­ing. There is also a grow­ing tend­ency to copy and mix everything. You become the Internet DJ. All in all, my job would be way more dif­fi­cult without the Internet, though maybe more ori­ginal. Who knows..

What do you think about inter­dis­cip­lin­ary work prac­tise and art com­bin­ing vari­ous disciplines?

I know that it’s import­ant, a lot of people say that, but I don’t use it that much while work­ing on my art. Maybe I should… Sometimes you don’t want to run around dif­fer­ent dis­cip­lines, or how folks say – “nine jobs at the same time and the tenth are fam­ine”. I want to be a pro­fes­sional of my field.

If you had to describe your dream, where would you like to see your­self after five years? What would you do and with what ideas would live?

Hmm… Good ques­tion. But I could not really answer that because it might just go ahead and come true. It’s import­ant to know what you want. So, I am still going to think about it.

Gintarė Žitkevičiūtė
About author:
Gintarė Žitkevičiūtė
Gintare Zitkeviciute is Art Pit’s thinker and doer. In her work practise, she values lean approach, creativity and quick decisions. She doesn't like working with random people and thinks that a team is a heart of successful project. For that reason, she carefully picks people she works with on everyday basis. She is mostly interested in innovatio... Read further >
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