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) . The desert turned
Dubai Construction 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
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 juxtapoz.com and fecalface.com. 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 http://www.flickr.com/photos/ubik21/ 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.