Photographer Marta Ivanova
Hi, first of all, we would like to begin from your introduction. Some time ago you began you interest in creativity from anime, skating and tags and stickers in the streets. Tell us a bit about how you got where you are today?
It’s not very difficult to impress a young person. I was attracted to some things, but at the same time I felt apathy towards things that were alike. I felt the need to rebel and to heighten untraditional ways of self expression. With time the principles wore down, I accepted more traditional ways as possibilities, not as criterions. After stepping these steps, I went on a search to find, what do I really like and so I got here, where I’m now – in the field of graphic.
For quite a long time you were interested in street culture, we can find some works of yours in the cities of Vilnius and Kaunas (Lithuania). Your field has spread to graphic in a wide sense and, as we heard in the meantime, comics? What is your opinion about street culture these days? Did it change from that, which you had, let’s say, two years ago?
First of all, I don’t think that there are a lot of those works. Essentially my opinion did not change: I was and I am for creation in the streets. It’s just that now I see more attraction and meaning in a bit different things than before. The street and the city space, in the wide sense, is a great place to demonstrate and publish, create new relations and contacts. Often it is left uncared for and not a lot of us pay attention to it. But from all of that, sometimes, genuine pearls are born and because of them the mood gets better, digestion, blood pressure sets itself back to normal and life gets better (or at least more fun).
We know that you’re one of those people, who like to know what’s going on around them and who learned a lot on his own just by browsing the internet and looking what’s going on in the world from a young age. Maybe you can comment what influence the internet has given you as an individual and your creation and how could you link that to the fact that you grew up in a small city?
These things can inflame the need to do something but has a negative charge in large quantities. Of course, when I lived in a small city, did not have any other fields of influence apart from friends and school, I took a lot from the virtual space. Most things progress quite quickly and their publishing using traditional means takes time and more often simply falls behind. That’s why I counted a lot on new technologies at that time.
What influence, in your opinion, does piracy has on the Eastern Europe? And where would we be without it?
On one hand, if there would be no piracy, some professions would become harder – designers, architects, advertisement publishing etc. On the other hand, skills of traditional media would get stronger. There would be less specialists, but they would be more professional. To me, personally, programs are convenient but replaceable tools.
Tell us about your recent works and the interest in comics?
In the meantime, I am drawn to comics and zins. We could call it a natural sequence after street art because it’s one of such tools designed to document the same street art that can be quite short – lived and one – sided. On the other hand, a zin or comic shows the other side of works/events/phenomenon, when you concentrate on the human experience, as well. Comics connect literary and visual sides. If there is a certain boundary in a film/video – the amount of information that you can fit in one frame then there really is no such boundary, without the format, in comics. The viewer spends as much time as he fells is needed, when in video this moment takes just 1⁄25 of a second.
You work with a lot of different techniques, so witch is the one you like the most?
A pencil and a sheet of paper. In literal and metaphoric sense.
We know that you studied glass technologies and now you are finishing studies in the field of graphics. How much influence did the academic environment have on your creation?
In the meantime, more and more, for example, from the perspective of discipline and direction. The surrounding people, who work in the same field as I do, give me a lot. Such environment gives more genuine critic and less asseverations.
When looking at your work, firstly, vivacious, unrealistic characters distinguish themselves. How do you think of them, where are those characteristics born from?
Waren Eillis practices such method of writing, during which he absorbs loads of information of various themes and waits till this information sets in to a tangible thread of a story. It’s even easier for me. I don’t have to search for characters and situations from afar, the environment itself exudes them.
What sort of influence do other creators have on you? Do you have your favorites?
Individuals and communication have the most influence on me. Visually I’m influenced by Barry McGee, Steve Powers, Mike Mignola, Mike Giant, White Ninja but usually by single works of various authors or even bit from environment, notes, old advertisements, books.