Saturday, 7 March 2009

Interview with Vivek aka UBIK

q)Please introduce yourself. 
a)My name Vivek aka UBIK. And

I'm an Artist
/ Graphic Designer and also a

very random person.
q)Where do you live and work? 
a)Dubai. The desert turned

city turned Chaos

( at present )
q)How would you describe your work

to someone who has never seen it?
a)Surreal pattern based deconstruction

of perspectives and decorations.
q)How did you start in the arts?

How/when did you realize you were
an artist?
a)After I dropped out of fashion school,

I realized I had to do
something to make a living and keep

it going. So after a lot of
experimentation in fashion , styling

and design, I ended up eventually
coming back to art. Drawing to be

more specific. I was around 18 or 19
when I seriously started to dedicated

long hours just doodling and
drawing on everything and anything

I could find. I was living in India
during this period, so a local coffee

shop was my playground. I would
bump in to a lot of fellow artists ,

and they've all had some sort of
an influence and inspiration in the

early days. From there till now, a
lot of phases and face in my life has

managed to keep me going and
inspired to do what I do.
q)What are your favorite art

materials and why?
a)Pens and Markers. Simply because

they afford me the luxury to detail
my work to the best... I've done murals

just using markers..hehe.. I
guess I just find it very comfortable

to use. Though these days I'm
trying my hand at acrylic and spray paint...

eventually I'd like to
make the transitions to cans.

Surface wise, I love working on wood and
paper. I've tried work on canvas,

but somehow it doesn't go down well
with me. But I guess I'll eventually

try my hand at more new surface
and materials to work with.
q)What/who influences you most?
a)Pop cliches influence me a lot.

Life is and always has been a big huge
cliche. There's always some form of

inspiration happening around me,
some days I happen to catch them

soon enough and exploit it while I
can. Also works of existentialism

and deconstruction have a great
influence on my works. Death and

magic realism is a topic I keep
dealing with in my work a lot.

Other than that there's so much more
that inspires me. Basically anything

and everything that out there..
q)Describe a typical day of art

making for you ?
a)Well I wake up by around 10 or 11,

and usually get to work slowly by
around 2 or 3 in the afternoon ,

and end up working till like 4 or 5
in morning. In between I do manage to

laze around, chat online, etc.
But then there are somedays when I

don’t do any art at all. Those days
I just tend to laze around and doodle.
q)Do you have goals, specific things

you want to achieve with your art
or in your career as an artist?
a)I'd like to keep experimenting with

different mediums as much as I
can. Keep pushing my style to new

levels of visualization. Do more and
more works that are huge in terms of scale.

Basically just keep having
a lot of fu doing what I'm doing right now,

and hopefully get to
collaborate with more new people.

I'd also like to be part of group
shows and expose my work to a more

wider international audience I
guess. Basically just spread

the word about my work and connect with
more like minded people.
q)What contemporary artists or

developments in art interest you?
a)Oh! there are so many of them that

I trip on, though the works of Blu,
Nunca , Jeremy Fish , Anthony Lister ,

Herbert Baglione , Travis
Millard, Sixe, bruno9li, Faile ,

Herakut etc serve as a constant
source of interest and inspiration

for me. I pretty much tend to
follow every possible new age art

movement out there. There's always
something interesting being done by

someone random in some part of the
world. It's wonderful...I'm also am

a huge fan of classic artists like
Klimt , Bosch , Van Gogh , Dali ,

Escher, Magritte etc.
q)How long does it typically take

you to finish a piece?
a)Well it depends, but on an average it

takes me about 2 or three days
to finish a piece, depending on the

size of the work. I also tend to
work on two of three piece a one time,

that way it helps me spread my
idea on to different concepts.

Sometimes I end up finishing a piece in
like a day, but those are normally

stuff that I end not to put too
much detail or mind behind it.

Those are just doodle's I like doing in
between to refresh and recycle my mind.
q)Do you enjoy selling your pieces,

or are you emotionally attached to them?
a)Yes and No. Well I used to be

very attached to my works. But off late
I'm pretty much ok with selling them,

I figured if I have to make a
living out of this, I might as well

be ready to sell. But some of my
earlier pieces that I've done,

I doubt if I'll ever sell them. They
are pretty near and dear to me.

But I think nowadays when I sit down
to work on something, I think sub

consciously I end up preparing my
self to sell the piece off as soon

as I'm done with it. So when the
piece is done, I'm more excited to

find a buyer and pass the works on.
q)Is music important to you? If so,

what are some things you're
listening to now?
a)Oh! yes, music and sound is a very

important aspect of what I do. I
dont think I can ever work without

music in the background, I need
some sort of sound, even people

talking filtered through faint sounds
of music will also do. Well I'm a

huge Pink Floyd fan, so floyd is
like a staple OST to my life. But

these days I've been tripping on The
Roots, Portishead , Dining Rooms,

Herbaliser , Ramallah Underground,
Checkpoint303 , MF Doom , and some

random psy trance.
a)I love em!, But these days I hardly

dedicate time to read, but when I
do and can ,  I'm a huge fan of the

Beatniks, Rimbaud, Derrida, Sarte
Philip K dick , etc, And then a lot of

books on art and design in
general .
q)What theories or beliefs do you have

regarding creativity or the
creative process?
a)Well on a personal level, I find

creativity the best when I'm idle and
bored. But I think the creative process

is systematic and magical at
the same time, It's very auto pilot in

most cases, At-least for me,
when I'm working on a new piece,

in my mind's eye I know how the final
outcome will feel and look like,

but when I start out doing the piece,
I tend to keep drifting in and out

between different ideas and
concepts, adding in a lot of random

elements of visual distraction, to
distort the piece and eventually

come to the final look that I want to
achieve. I tend to treat my patterns

as texture of realism, and apply
that to my work. I get really

frustrated sometimes when I'm not able
to put my ideas down properly.

So sometimes I end up furiously
doodling away anything that comes to

my mind, it's like some weird
recycling process I go through.
q)What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing)

when you're not creating?
a)Well if I'm not working, then I'm mostly

online chatting or just
browsing through random sites...

Shopping for books...Irritating my
dogs..or just simply get drunk. hehe.

But yeah I'm always doodling,
there's not a single day that goes by

without me not drawing for like
at-least 5 mins. It's become a

very healthy addiction.
q)Do you have any projects or shows

coming up that you are
particularly excited about?
a)Well I'm part of a graphic design

group show during the Sharjah
Biennial. I also recently ended up

wining the Diesel art-space project
(Dubai edition ), so I'm kicked about

seeing my work being installed
on a long wall during another local

art fair. Both of these shows are
happening this month (March)...

I'm also planing to do a solo by the
mid of the year ( my first solo ) ,

and also possibly do a one night
only screen print  show by April mid.

I've also got some other stuff I
the pipeline that I'm really excited about...

over all this year
should be fun and interesting.
q)Do you follow contemporary art scenes?

If so, how? What websites,
magazines, galleries do you prefer? 
a)Yes, I usually get my art fix from and But I also

end up browsing a lot of
artist websites and read a lot of art/design blogs.

Like I said
before, there's so much happening around us..

it's just really a visual
overload at times. But a good one always.
q)Ask yourself a question you'd like to answer, and answer it. ?
a)Define Art ? Art is a Speculation!
q)Any advice for aspiring artists? 
a)Well drink lots of coffee. Stay
awake more. Meet new people, and in between all of this, just keep
drawing a lot. Keep creating. And yes don't let critics affect your
work. Do it for yourself and keep pushing yourself, but also know when
to back out of a trip and pause and take notice and observe your
journey. Also go back to the early days there will be so much you've
left behind for you to find again and trip on.
q)Where can we see more of your work online? 
a)Well I've been too lazy
to get a website up and running, but you can find my works here
I should have a website ready soon though. You can also find my group
(UBIK) in face-book and join it to be updated on all my activities.


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