Thursday, 30 November 2006

Interview with Jeremy Forson

Q)So, can you tell me a little about yourself? Full name, age, some background info, etc?

A)Jeremy Walter Forson, 23 years old, Born in Reno, Nevada U.S.A., currently living in Oakland, California.

Q)How did you get started making art?

A)I always made art, since as far back as I can remember. I always loved drawing, and I've always been very competitive about it. If a saw a drawing that I thought was above my skill level, I would become distraught and try to replicate the drawing, dissecting it, and trying to figure out how I could get to that level.

Q)How would you describe your art?

A)I think my art is pretty dark and emotional in a way that's off-putting. I read a lot of blogs and whatnot about me that say my art is creepy, and I guess I'm O.K. with that, it's just not what I'm shooting for. I try to make nice pretty things, and somewhere between my brain and my hand they seem to become corrupted. I think a lot of the "creepy" look has to do with the colors I choose, which tend to be on the dirty side. I like my art to make you feel a little uncomfortable, to give you a nervous feeling in your stomach, but I never want to be weird just for the sake of being weird, or to try to make images just to shock people. I have no taste for gore or violence, and I try to keep myself separated from the kind of art you might see on a CD cover for a metal band, where it's all a bunch of people torn apart with blood and guts everywhere. I'm often grouped with that kind of art and I'd rather not be. I want my art to be more introspective than that.

Q)Who is your biggest influence, both art and non-art related

A)Art related: I can't choose one, so I'll have to name a few. I'm really influenced by the art of the late 1800's - early 1900's. Klimt, Sheile, Harry Clarke, anything with excessive attention to decoration and detail wins me over. I'm also influenced by comics artists, Mike Mignola, Travis Charest, James Jean, Ashley Wood, Kent Williams, and Bill Sienkiewicz. Also an instructor I had in college made a big impact on me, Barron Storey, whose complex ideas I'm still coming to understand even after I took 4 classes with him. Non-Art related: The Punk/Indie music scene has made a lasting impression on my creative life. Their outlook on life, band art, music, and lyrics often inspire me. I suppose that's why most of the artwork I've done has been for those kinds of bands, it just seems to go together so well.

Q)How do you approach the creation of a new piece... how does everything come together?

A)Often I try working out ideas in thumbnail form just to get things rolling, but usually something just comes to me and I see clearly how it should look. When that doesn't happen I resort to thumbnails. If nothing is coming I might look at photographs in old books until I get an idea. The kind of pictures I look at depend on the project. For, say, a hardcore band I'll look at old war photos or old medical books. I also have a large collection on national geographics from the 50's and 60's that I like to look through for ideas. Google image search is good too, but it's hard to find old pictures, which are what I like most for some reason. Once I've got an idea visualized I plan it out in my mind and I see what different kinds of media I'll need to use to create effects in different places. This part of the process often keeps me up at night because my mind is racing. Then I might take photo reference if needed, or google images, or just start drawing and so on....

Q) What's your favorite medium to work in, and why?

A) Right now it's acrylic. I struggled with it for years, and it was never easy for me to use, but I kept with it and now I'm comfortable with it, and it does what I want it to do. I found that watercolors and oils were much easier to use right off the bat, but I didn't continue to use them. I still work in watercolor sometimes, often I'll start in watercolor and paint acrylic over it. But I haven't used oil in years, I just don't have to ventilation to use it and I don't like the difficulty it has with mixed media. It's not very flexible. I've started doing things digitally, or I should say, I do an ink drawing and color it digitally, and I like the way it comes out, but I get the most enjoyment out of painting, I like the hands on approach, and physically working with something. It's very satisfying for me.

Q) What is your favourite art related web site?

A) I guess that is my favorite. I haven't been going there a lot lately, but when I do I'm always impressed. For a while I was posting things from my sketchbook in that section until someone commented that it was a site for people who want to work in the video game industry and it's for concept art blah blah. I stopped posting, which was lame of me because aside from that comment I had gotten a lot of encouragement. I just checked it out and found this Emmanuel Malin guy, wow, that stuff really blows me away, I love it. I've had that reaction to a lot of artists on there, so that's why it's my favorite art site. I did a competition on there once, and I can't believe that I won. It was the first weekly competition for industrial design, the idea was a brain powered tank. There were so many awesome designs. Me and this other guy were neck and neck the whole way, but far ahead of the rest. In the end I won by 1 vote, but the whole affair was so nerve racking that I haven't done it since. I think I will again soon, I want to try my hand at character or creature designs.

Q) Is your work all hand done? Or do you use any computer tools to help out?

A) I prefer things to be hand done, but I often use the computer too, mostly to enhance the colors. If you make a watercolor piece it tends to look washed out, but in photoshop you can easily pump up the colors and make them look as saturated as an acrylic painting.

Q) What, in your opinion, are the best and worst places to exhibit artwork?

A) Best places, gallery's and websites. Worst, coffee shops and restaurants. That being said, if you're exposing people to your work, that's all that matters. Even if your art is in some dark pizza parlor, that's 100 times better then letting it sit in your closet. The reason that those areas are worse is because there's a high chance of it being damaged or stolen, and it's not very likely that you'll actually sell anything, or that interested people will actually see it.

Q) I'm always interested in where an artist find their inspiration. Where do you find yours?

A) I think I covered that in question 4.

Q) How are the reactions on your work in general?

A) Mostly people are impressed with the skill level, but are not into the subject matter. It's too dark for the general public. So I appeal to a certain niche of rocker types and people who are into the macabre. That's O.K. with me. I would rather have a few very strong fans than a mediocre mass appeal.

Q) What are you doing when you are not creating art?

A) When I'm not making art I'm usually doing my day job which is web design. I try to revolve everything in my life around art, so If I'm not making it I'm looking at it or talking about it or thinking about it. I don't watch T.V. at all, I think it's a waste of time, movies are O.K.

Q)What are some of the greatest challenges that you think artists face today?

A) Making a name for yourself has to be the hardest thing. Getting your name out there, getting people to know who you are and hire you. People are so saturated with junk goods and services coming at them from every direction that it's hard to get through to them. And to make it as an artist you have to be a salesman as well, which is an area that I fall way behind in. Going out and selling myself is something that I really struggle with, and I think that other artists do to, it seems that creativity and business sense don't ever coexist.

Q) Do you believe that a person is born with a talent to produce art or can anyone can be taught?

A) I think you are born with an aptitude for creativity. There are lots of artists, though, who are doing just fine but are not creative. Anyone can be technically excellent and be taught to reproduce photographs exactly with artists tools.

Q) Are there any particular works you've done that stand out as your favorites?

A) The tentacles piece is one for sure. I knew when I came up with the idea that I had something. It's has been chosen by many others as their favorite. It was simple and I did it quickly. The idea I was illustration was genetically modified mouth bacteria to abolish the bad bacteria that make plaque and gingivitis etc.

Q) What are some current/upcoming projects you are working on or excited about?

A) Right now I'm working on a CD cover for a rap ground from Oakland called Unified School District. I've also got a couple t-shirts to do, but for the most part things are slow right now, and I really need to get things going. I hope to do some comic book work, and posters for rock shows soon.

Q) What advice would you give to younger up and coming artist?

A) It's hard for me to answer this question, because I think I AM a young and up-and-coming artist. But my advice to anyone who's maybe a little behind me career wise is; Go to art school and don't mess around, if you're serious about it then don't go party all the time etc, you have to buckle down and be totally encapsulated in your studies.

Q) Who are your favourite artists & Your favourite galleries?

A) Well, I talked about my favorite artists earlier in the interview. Favorite galleries.... You know, I don't get out to galleries as much as I should, there are lots here in the Bay Area, but I don't go to them very often. I find that when I go to gallery shows I'm usually disappointed in the art. I plan to get out to more galleries, maybe be inspired, meet some people in the scene. The truth is instead of going out to galleries I usually am at home working on my art.

Q) Do you need others to tell you they like it before you feel validated?

A) No, If I'm happy with it that's all that matters, but if I don't get the kind of reaction I want or expect from people I tend to think that maybe I've lost myself and am going down the wrong track. That usually doesn't happen. People around here don't say when they don't like something, they always just tell you it's great no matter what. I wish people were more critical, but that's just not the way it is around here.

Q)Tell us a little about some of the different types of jobs you've had over the years, before/while doing what you do now. For someone who is starting out in art, how would you recommend they go about making a career out of it?

A) I was a car washer, then a table buss boy at a restaurant or two, and now I do web design. I'm still not a full time artist, but I have a job right now where I make enough money to take long breaks to just work on my art, so it's good. I don't expect to be a full time artist for a few years. If you're just starting out, be persistent, because it will probably be a while before you can make it your career, you just can't give up.

Q)Your contacts….E-mail…links

Write me with any questions or comments or if you want to have me in a show, or whatever!

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

Interview with ''Cirque de Pepin''

Q)So, can you tell me a little about yourself? Full name, age, some background info, etc?

A)My name is Pepijn van den Nieuwendijk (Alias Cirque de Pepin), age 36, I live and work in the city of The Hague (Den Haag) in the Netherlands.

Q)How did you get started making art?

A)I come from an artistic background, my father is a retired art-teacher, and he paints as well, so at a young age I had access to paint and other materials. I loved drawing very much. I studied Graphic design at the Royal Academy in The Hague, and I found out that Illustration and painting was what I liked most.

Q)How would you describe your art?

A)Contemporary cartoon icons and imaginary heroes encounter one another in a nostalgic surreal world. Painted little stories on canvas, or sculpted in clay. I use to call it Artoonism, because of influences from both “High” art as “Low” art (comic, cartoons etc.).

Q)Where do you get the inspiration for your art?

A)Inspiration for my art comes from many different sources. But mainly from old children books, religious art, and decorative art. I love old nature prints like the Audubon-bird prints, and the Dutch “Verkade” books (The Dutch cookie-factory Verkade, made a beautiful nature-book series in the early 20th century, you could collect the pictures for these albums by buying the Verkade cookies. It was a great success). I love 17th century art a lot. Especially the Spanish masters, like Velazques and Zurbaran, and the Dutch masters like Vermeer and Rembrandt.

Q)What are you working on now?

A)I work on four large-scale ceramic relief’s. It is a commission for a new building-project, these relief’s will be placed in the walls of these buildings. And I am working on several new oil paintings.

Q) How do you approach the creation of a new piece... how does everything come together?

A)Starting out with many small sketch ideas that often develop over time, I try to pick out the best one and do some extra visual research in the Library, or through Google and so on. And than I start to paint.

Q)What's your favorite medium to work in, and why?

A)Oil paint, because of the depth in colour and how I like to work with different glazing mediums, I actually like the smell too. But nowadays, since I’ve been working more and more with ceramics, I think clay must be my second favourite.
Q)Do you collect anything?

A)I collect many things, mainly things that has some historical background, especially books, magazine’s and other illustrated printed matter from around the year 1900, and quite important in this collection are many covers from the weekend edition from the Dutch newspaper ‘Nieuwe Amsterdammer’, dating from the World War I era. I’ve been collecting animal skulls and stuffed animals since my childhood.

Q)Is your work all hand done? Or do you use any computer tools to help out?

A)I use the computer (Photoshop) mainly for sketching purposes, and for illustration. My sketches are often quite detailed pencil or ink drawings that I scan in the computer.

Q)What, in your opinion, are the best and worst places to exhibit artwork?

A)The best: Museum, professional gallery and Art fair. Worst: A Gray office building in the suburbs of The Hague.

Q) What are your artistic influences?

A)Illustration, comics, 17th century painting, and many different art styles from different times.

Q) How are the reactions on your work in general?

A)Positive most of the time, but some people find it a little weird or disturbing, but I don’t agree about that at all.

Q) What are you doing when you are not creating art?

A)Spending time with my wife and my son, making long walks in nature, read a book, meet some friends, watch movies, nothing very special actually.

Q)What are some of the greatest challenges that you think artists face today?

A)Try to be original in this overwhelming world of visual entertainment, and still try to remain a personal touch.

Q) What is freedom to you as an artist?

A)To have the freedom to express my personal visions, and to do something that I really like and make a living from it.

Q) Are there any particular works you've done that stand out as your favorites?

A)Heinzelmännchens Wachtparade, Vliegenpaus (painting and sculpture), The girl from… (sculpture),

Q) What it the coolest thing you have seen recently while wandering the streets?

A)I saw a Cormorant bird in the middle of the city, and that’s quite unusual.

Q) Do you carry a notebook? Do you draw in public?

A)I have my notebook always with me. But I only draw in public in the train, sometimes, when nobody is sitting next to me.

Q) Who are your favourite artists & Your favourite galleries?

A)Difficult question, there are so many great artists today and in the past. I already named a few earlier. Some well known artists that I like from today are: Chapman Brothers, Maurizio Cattelan. I love the works from Henry Darger and the work of many of the artists presented in the American Juxtapoz magazine. I am a fan of Walton Ford and Julie Heffernan (but I only saw their work on the web). And I have to mention my great fellow Artoonist friends, Luuk Bode, Hans van Bentem and DJ Chantelle. My favourite galerries are: Kochxbos in Amsterdam and MAMA in Rotterdam.

Q) Which do you think make good art good? originality, or style? And, why?

A)For me originality counts most, but a good idea in a not so good style isn’t very good either.

Q) Do you get emotionally attached to your work and do you miss your work when it is sold?

A)Two years ago my painting “Kaptein Evol” was stolen at a show, it hurts when that happens, I worked pretty hard on that piece. I still wonder where it could be. But I like to sell my work when somebody really likes it.

Q)Your contacts….E-mail…links

A)My own:
My friends:

Monday, 27 November 2006

Interview with Ruth Gwily

Q)So, can you tell me a little about yourself?Full name, age, some background info, etc?

A)Ruth Gwily, 32 years old.Born and raised inTel-Aviv's suburb, in Israel. Studied graphic design in "Bezalel" - academy for art and design in Jerusalem. I've been living in Tel Aviv for the last six years. Working as a full time illustrator and doing my own work.

Q)How did you get started making art?
A)I've been drawings and paintings since I remember myself. Me and my twin sister use to draw as children all the time. We also went to art high-school. But for me it was only after I finished the academy, and found myself doing things for myself, only because they were ideas that I had to see how they turn out on paper -that's what I consider the beginning. It had to start from an idea, for me.

Q)How would you describe your art?
A)Maybe a combination between theatre and illustration.

Q)Who is your biggest influence, both art and non-art related…?

A)Eli Petel (my partner for life). I learn from him so much, as an artist and as a human being.

Q)) How do you approach the creation of a newpiece... How does everything come together?

A)I start with an idea. I never approach the work before I have something to say. I am a big believer in stories. Eventually that's also what puts everythingtogether. I do my best to put my vision as I had it in my mind - on paper. It usualy involved with directing me and others and taking pictures of the scene. Other times I use images from the internet.

Q) What's your favorite medium to work in, and why?

A)My mane medium is carbon paper. It has the quality of etching, that I love. and watercolors - because of the mistakes potential.

Q) What is your favorite art related web site?

A)I am not such a web-surfer. But "Google" images never stop amazing me.

Q) Is your work all hand done? Or do you use any computer tools to help out?
A)In my editorial work I color the illustrations digitally. In my personal work I use the computer only to arrange the composition.
Q) What, in your opinion, are the best and worst places to exhibit artwork?

A)Best places are, for me, still, art galleries. I love clean white walls.And I also think that for some works - the internet.The worst place would be a dark bar.

Q) I'm always interested in where an artist find their inspiration.Where do you find yours?

A)I think I find it in my friends, people around me. I am intrigued with human behavior and relationships.

Q) How are the reactions on your work in general?

A)People tend to be touched and disturbed at the sametime.

Q) What are you doing when you are not creating art?
A)Anything indoors.

Q )What are some of the greatest challenges that you think artists face today?

A)I think it was always, and still is, how to deal with themselves, and their choice to be an artist.
Q) Do you believe that a person is born with a talent to produce art or can anyone can be taught?
A)I strongly believe that anyone can be taught. you have to really want it. That is the first step.

Q) Are there any particular works you've done that stand out as your favorites?

A)All of my personal work is my favorite. Each one of them is special and rare for me. But from the recent stuff I really like the dance comics (with my friend Niv Sheinfeld), I think the option to do comics thatcombines dance is something that I would love to explore some more.

Q) What are some current/upcoming projects you are working on or excited about?

A)I am working on a mime abc. Every letter is a noun that I relate to as a mime. But the mimics are very casual, not at all dramatic.

Q) What advice would you give to younger up and coming artist?

A)(Something I heard in a lecture by David Carson)everything has been done before, you are the only original thing you can offer to this world.

Q) Who are your favorite artists & Your favoritegalleries?

A)Henry Darger
Francesco Clemente
Joseph Beuys
Kathe Kollwitz
David Hockney
Frida Kahlo
Sue Coe
George Gross
Brian Cronin (an artist among illustrators)
lately I saw and loved Marcel Dzama
my boyfriend Eli Petel.
This is, of course, a very very basic list.I don't have a favorite galley.

Q) Do you need others to tell you they like it before you feel validated?

A)not so much, any more.But it is always nice to hear it from people you appreciate their opinion.
Q)Tell us a little about some of the different types of jobs you've had over the years,before/while doing what you do now.For someone who is starting out in art, how would you recommend they go about making a career out of it?
A)I was lucky to start working as an illustrator very soon after graduation, so the work and the art kind of combined. But I use to work in a video store in the beginning. I loved it.I think in every country it is different, in Israel there are not that many options for a career in art or illustration. But I think creating a web site and sending it to people can't hurt.You should also try to and believe in yourself, or at least look like you do. The people you work with don't need to know your hesitations.And don't be afraid to talk about money. It is fine to work cheap at first, but when you start getting some experience - stand up for your self.Another advice would be to try to do your best in every job. Challenge yourself, it will always move you forward.

Q)Your contacts..E-mail.links

Sunday, 26 November 2006

Interview with Naomi Devil

Q)So, can you tell me a little about yourself? Full name, age, some background info, etc...?
A)I use the artist name Naomi Devil, which is the translation of my Hungarian name. I was born in March 1987 in Budapest Hungary. I will be twenty in a couple of month. I think my family backgroud has played from several points of view a decisive role in my development. To explain it I have to talk about the family members’ professions and about the way we have lived since I was six month old.In my mother’s family nearly everyone is a mathematician, while members of my father’s family are artists. These are the two professions I have grown up with. When I was a little child I could watch my grandfather paint and I got used to the atmosphere of an atelier. My grandmother on the other hand used to take me to the museum to see the old masters’ work. My father had studied at the academy of applied arts and is an industrial designer. He has always taken great care in my education. We would draw or build a model together when he was at home. In the morning he used to chat with me and taught me that way how to understand important questions of life, how to look for connections where most people do not see them etc. Mornings are always a bit philosofical in our home. J My mother, on the other hand, thaught me abstract, organized and clear thinking. These are the impressions I got from the family.I got decisive impressions during our travels as well. My father has been working in Germany since I was six month old. Since I began studying in Vienna my time is divided between three cities (Budapest, Vienna and Stuttgart) nearly equally. It has the advantage that I can experience and understand different cultures and I’ve had the chance to discover the natural and human-made beauties in and around these cities.

Q)How did you get started making art?

A)If you wish it is a long story starting at the point I was able to take a pencil in my hand, if you wish there was a clear start not long ago. My father kept my drawings from the nursery for a very long time. I am not sure they were excellent drawings but my father was proud of the way I drew animals with one single line beginning and ending for example at the tail. Still, no-one ever thought at the time I was going to be an artist, not even myself.The story of the real start begins in the gymnasium. It is not too courteous to admit that I did not like my school but it was one of the worst choices we have ever made. Hungarian school system is very strict anyway. My gymnasium was a private school where parents expect to get best teaching for their money. Teaching was, of course, not a bit better than elsewhere, only teachers expected more from the students. I was really suffering and could get on nor with my teachers nor with my class-mates at the time. I have good relationships to them however now after a couple of years. When my parents saw that I was beginning to sink in complete depression I left school and became a private student. I studied at home and went in the school only to take exams. I finished two classes in one year and made my A-levels when I was seventeen.It was not a normal life to study at home and never to see children of my age. That is why my parents decided to send me to the International Summeracademy of Fine Arts in Salzburg during the summer holidays. They wanted to cure my solitude and they hoped I would find friends that way. I of course found some friends there and was happy but something even more important happened. I found out how I would like to spend my life, what I would like to make out of my life. I decided in 2002 in Salzburg that I would like to be an artist.

Q)How would you describe your art?

A)It is difficult to talk about my own art. I think my pantings can be described as a kind of realism but, I know, there are people who won’t agree. It is partly because of the free handling of colours but there are even more arguments. For example some people think to dicover the influence of pop art and a tendence to hover between two and tree dimensional thinking. It is true that I concentrate on the figures and leave the background very simple while there is nothing more to say with the background.Anyway, I would like to develop my technique and I try to aquire the skills that the great old masters had. In that sense I would like to achieve a high standard of realism. On the other hand I do not want to be the slave of reality and I freely distort my subject according to my intentions. The most important question for me is the message of the artwork. If I feel that I have to tell something to the world than I can start painting. Otherwise there would be no sense in it. I would like to talk about the present for the present and for the future.There is of course the big dilemma artists have to face. There is a big difference between art that sells and between art that has a lasting message and becomes in the end an eternal masterpiece. I am sure there are priceless works in museums that ordinary people would find disturbing in their own homes even now when they are in the end appreciated. There are masterpieces that couldn’t be sold at the time they were painted. But what a pity it would have been, if those artists had given up their ideas and had painted something less disturbing that goes well with the wall-paper. I wish I should never have to give it up.

Q)Where do you get the inspiration for your art?
A)When I started to paint in Salzburg I was very young. Like other sixteen years old teenagers I was interested in extrem vogues of fashion and in relevant lifestyles. I was impressed by goths, rockers, etc. I used to go to parades to take fotos and I used to surf on the Internet to find my models.It has become different now. I am studying at the academy, I am visiting a lot of exhibitions, I am reading a lot, I am travelling a lot. There are so many influences. I have begun to form my own opinion about different questions. I draw my inspiration from the process how my opinion crystallises. I feel the need of selfexpression during this process.I still use fotos but rather to my digital works. I have begun to look for models and to build a scene with them according to my ideas. I still need the foto because one can’t expect the model to stay there for a week or two in the same position but I try to imprint the real scene in my brain.

Q)What are you working on now?

A)There are a couple of actual problems I am interseted in. One of them is the change in human relationships, the alianation we experience nowadays. People are getting more and more isolated, real friendship is hard to find. It has the negativ effect even on the realtionship of the two sexes. It has ever been hard to find a fitting partner but nowadays it seems to be nearly impossible. It is shocking that even the most beautiful and valuable young people are complaining about not beeing able to find a normal and steady realationship. While we experience a substantial drop in childbirth in Europe (in Germany for example 1.4 child/family), we are still occupied with the fight for the rights of same-sex couples. The isolation of young people has been enhanced recently by the reform of the educational system. The new credit-system at the universtities has the effect that there are no more groups of students that study together. One is surrounded with different people on every lesson.On the other hand globalization is making everyone faceless. Clothes, furniture, mobile phone, car… everything comes from the conveyor-belt. There is not much left to make someone special in the eyes of a potential partner.These are the problems I am intent to express with my new paintings. One of them represents a young couple in the act of following the assembly instuction of a baby found in the box they bought in one of the well-known furniture-warehouse chains.

Q)Are there some web sites that you would like to recomend? Artists, art communities, xxx,...!?
A)There is a collection of interesting links on my web-site: There are very professional web-sites that every artist and collector should know, for example, or These are comprehensive databanks. There are further links to art communities. The most interesting, may be, is It is an American site where everyone can load pictures and comment the works of other members. Since it is a very popular site counting innumerous members with more than 28 million pictures loaded it is excellent for researching actual trends. There are a couple of art communites I take part in. DeviantArt is one of them. It is really interesting to analyse tastes based on comments.There are a lot of artists I like and appreciate. It is impossible to name them all but here is a short list just to give some examples:I love:the stupendous visual thinking of Istvan Orosz and Escher,the melancholic vibration of Odd Nerdrum`s paintings,the wild coloure handling of Xenia Hausner,the incredible percision of Gottfried Helnwein and Ron Mueck,the surprising speed of Lászlo Fehér,the delightful sensuality of Juddy Fox, Dave McKean,the philosophical thoughts of Alfredo Jaar,the strong expressive power of Jenny Saville,the exciting personality of Louise Burgeois,the wide technical knowledge and selfmanagement of Salvador Dali,the wild fantasy of Leigh Bowery and John Galliano,and most of all: Sparkling Ideas.

Q)What's your favorite medium to work in, and why?

A)I work with oil on canvas. It is a traditional medium that has already proved that artworks of this medium can last for many hundred years. An oil panting has a lasting and ever growing value. On the other hand oil is a very fine material with all the best qualities. It spreads easily, takes a long time to dry and leaves the chance to correct mistakes. The surface is elastic while on the other hand acrylic paint is rigid. Oil is a slow medium, of course, counting all the drying periodes. I enjoy sometimes working digitally which is a totally different world. Foto helps to document quickly a fleeting moment or impression and then there is a vast pool of digital tools to create a new image based on fotos taken in different times and at different sites.

Q)What advice would you give to younger up and coming artist?
A)I am myself a young and upcoming artistJ. I can talk about my experience and give the same advice I give to myself.It is a daunting task to try to step into the footprints of the great masters of arthistory. It is more difficult than it seems at the first sight because one has to make a living in the meantime. There is the dilema I have already mentioned: whether to concentrate on the main goal or to give concessions in the direction of art that sells better. I think one has to try to minimalise these concessions but is is idealistic to think that they can be kept to null.It is even more idealistic to think that a talent is necessarily discovered and appreciated. Artists have to make their way in a semi-rigid system between innumerous obstacles. Since there are sometimes faboulous capital-gaines achieved by collecting artworks many con artists are attracted to the artscene. It is absoltutely desillusioning that they are most of all specialized to young victimes. Still, one has to go on after every set-back and keep the illusions.I think on the long term hard work is going to be rewarded. One has to concentrate on work but mustn’t forget PR in the meantime.
Q)What is your personal definition of life and art and everything else in between?

A)Young people tend to be idealistic and naiv. They tend to imagine a world that is properly functioning and is teeming with nice people. Experience however teaches otherwise. After a while one has to reassess the situation and form more feasible ideas about the world in general. I am in the act of redefining what the world, what life and art means for me. I still haven’t formed a solid opinion. I can only say that it is a pity that one is bound to loose the childish illusions.

Q)Take us inside your process a little bit. How do you begin a piece? What inspires the concept?

A)The physical process of painting is always preceded by a long brainwork. The painting is like an embrio. It is inadvertently concieved in my brain and has to develop for a periode. It is unforeseeable how long it is going to take. I am musing about the picture, I am holding it before my mind’s eyes and I am contemplating it for a long time. I begin painting when the thought is ripe. When I strech the white canvas for a new painting I already know exactly what is going to be painted on it. I already see the picture on it.

Q)What are your artistic influences?

A)I am trying to go my own way. I am visiting a lot of exhibitions and I am intrested in other artists’ work. On the other hand I don’t let myself be influenced to the extent that I begin to imitate successful or charismatic collegues. When I am painting and have to face a new challenge I try to remember whether I have seen the same problem solved by some other artists. If it is possible I go to see how they have done it. I have for example studied how different artists painted glass. I learn a lot that way, but it is far from imitating someone totally. It may sometimes be luring to follow a fashionable trend or someone’s style but it is a dangerous pitfall.

Q)How are the reactions on your work in general?

A)I have a lot of positiv feed-back. I have heard several times that my work is fresh and wild. Many people like the vivid colours but sometimes the same people won’t necessarily hang the picture in their homes exactly because of these colours. It is probabliy going to take time until my paintings are bought more easily. It is funny how different tastes are. Everybody would choose another painting as my best. It is very fortunate at the same time because every painting attracts someone. There are, of course, people who expect something more abstract and are not attracted to my pantings at all but I am satisfied anyway.

Q)What are you doing when you are not creating art?

A)Parallel to my studies at the Academy of Fine Arts In Vienna I have recently begun to study architecture at the Technical University. This is my first semester there. It takes a lot of time and is demanding a lot of effort. At the moment it is nearer the truth to say that I am painting in my free-time.Sport is very important for me. I like jogging at least 2-3 times a week. I read a lot. I like magazines like Spiegel or GEO and I am interested in sociology. I like books analysing human nature. I enjoy surfing on the Internet. I browse art web-sites or work on my own site.I don’t have much time left for friends but enjoy beeing with them. I have some very good old friends but it is really difficult to find new ones.

Q)What are some of the greatest challenges that, you think, artists face today?

A)I think the greatest challenge is to build up a new dialogue with the audience and reapair the harm that has been done. As a result of bad art management and theoretical artistic trends the vast audience has lost contact with the contemporary artworld. Apart from a few collectors hardly anybody is prepared to invest in contemporary artworks. There are a couple of big names with soaring prices collectors are interested in but the supply in general is far greater than the demand. However it is another big challenge to restore quality on the side of supply. I think the artworld has to build on the interest of a vast audience. If it looses contact with the masses it is bound to show up all signs of ailing health. In my opinion art has to react to everyday’s life. It has to look for answers to actual questions. An artwork without a message is only a decoration.

Q)What is freedom to you as an artist?

A)I don’t think an artist has more freedom than other people. An artist has the same responsibilities and has to make a living like other people. To tell the trouth, it is not easy at all. For me the advantage is that I don’t have to begin work at 8 o’clock in the morning if I don’t want but on the other hand I am very often painting till midnight.An artist is seemingly free to go around the world and spend working periods in different countries but it is only without children and family possible. I am not sure a solitary life is too attractive on the long term.

Q)Are there any particular works you've done that stand out as your favorites?

A)I like every painting I have ever painted. I never forget that even if I find some of them less good now I liked them most when they got ready. It is always relativ whether a painting is good or bad. Even the weakest ones were some kind of achievment at a certain point of my life. Some paintings are decorative but lacking a serious message. These are easily sold though. Other paintings are more serious, even wild sometimes, and people may find them startling or alarming. Still, those paintings are my favourites that were born from strong personal experience or deep feelings even if these are the less mild ones.

Q)Last Books you read?

A)Ráth Végh: Human stupiditySebastian Brandt: Ship of fools (Das Narren Schyff)(Illustrations: István Orosz)(Borda Publishing Company Hungary)

Q)Last records you bought?

A)I don’t buy records. I prefer to listen to the Internet-radio:

Q)Who are your favourite artists & your favourite galleries?

A)There is a long list of links on my web-site.

Q)Which do you think makes good art good, originality or style? Why?

A)Not only originality and style is needed but quality and message as well. For a lasting success it is unbearable the lasting medium. It is very fashionable to experiment with material but it has the result that even works of living artists are already decaying. I am not sure it is wise to expect artists to have one single characteristic style. I can’t resist the feeling that it is the sign of poor fantasy. I think an artist has to find the appropriate style to every message. A forced style is a kind of prison that is only impeading selfexpression. I like to experiment freely. I find it annoying that I have to produce similar works in order to have my own ‘signature’. It is a kind of trend to expect artists to produce clones of their own artworks but it is very unhealthy. Every talented artist would revolt against it in my opinion.

Q)Do you get emotionally attached to your work and do you miss your work when it is sold?

A)Yes, I am emotionally attached to my paintings. I miss them often when they are sold, most of all when they are sold for a lower price or simply given away for some reason. My father is used to saying:-‘Who has ever seen a baker who keeps his bread?’- That is true and is somewhat comforting, although the baker bakes the same kind of loaves every day. Sometimes I am really happy that my painting has found a good owner. There are some of them that have found someone really careing who enjoyes and loves them. It is a good feeling and satisfying.

Q)Your contacts..E-mail.links

Robert Steven Connett

Robert Steven Connett