Speaking with Belgrade based artist Artez, we ‘ve learned more about the person behind some of the greatest murals. His works always tell a story through a still image. Find out what inspires him, how it all started and what are his plans for the future. His mentality? Hard work pays off – Never stop painting!
-What would you like to drink? Coffee, Tea, Beer, Soda or something else?
It really depends of the mood I am in. Let’s just say that if you want me to talk a lot you would serve me coffee haha
-Introduce yourself to us – as if we had no idea who you were!
My name is Andrej and you will never guess what I do for a living! 😛
-Where does your (tag) Artist name come from?
My tag was created back in the days when I was painting graffiti. At first it was only “Arte” because I loved the letter combination. Later on I added “Z” to make it sound cooler.
-How do you define yourself and why? Artist? Street artist? Something else?
I like to think of myself as a street artist or a muralist, mostly because I would always choose to paint outside rather than indoors. Interacting with the urban environment is very important to me as it is a great source of inspiration!
– How did it all start for you, and what is it nowadays?
My dad used to draw with me since forever. Later on, through tags and graffiti, I discovered the joy of painting in public space and with time it escalated from passion to obsession. Nowadays, painting is part of my everyday life and I enjoy it more than ever!
-What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
If I am not working on a project I usually start my morning with a book in the bed, otherwise I would just quickly get dressed and go out to paint (after a quick breakfast of course!)
-Street art is mostly a visually stimulating form of art. To add one more sense to it, what music would you pick to accompany your artwork?
At the moment I am listening a lot to Chancha Via Circuito, but my all time favourite musician would definitely be Bonobo.
-In all forms of art, inspiration is crucial. What inspires you and how does that end up in your art?
I always try to find inspiration in the location itself and things/people that are around me. Also, while I read or watch movies, I try to document all the interesting thoughts that run through my mind. Later on I use them to create concepts for my artwork.
-What is the hardest part while working on a piece of art?
Creating a strong concept is definitely the hardest part. Telling an interesting story in one still image is always a challenge!
-Do you have any artist(s) you admire? Can you pinpoint what it is that makes them so special for you?
At the moment I find a lot of inspiration in artists that are able to jump out of the box and create something good in a style that is in a way completely different from what we are used to seeing. Let’s say that Aryz would be the most obvious example for this.
-Which cities are the most inspiring for you as an artist?
I fell in love with Madrid, its art scene and people that I met there. I am looking forward to Urvanity Art Fair next year, it is definitely a place to be if you are in Europe around the end of March.
-What other passions do you have apart from art?
I am trying to never grow up – that is why I play a lot of Board Games (Rising Sun at the moment), I practice Capoeira, do free climbing, read books and spend as much time with friends as I can. Lately I am trying to avoid watching movies and tv shows, although I have spent quite a lot of time enjoying it.
-Do you have a special project that you hope to achieve some day?
One of the next things I would like to do is to paint a bridge pillar that is coming out of the water with the use of a rappelling equipment.
-Tell us a bit more about your art; does it include symbolisms, messages or repeated patterns? How has it evolved?
Female figures and floral motifs are something that I paint quite a lot, so you might see it as a repeating pattern in my work. I am trying to create artworks that will communicate with the spectators, in order to inspire them in any possible way. Sending a message is not always a must, but you might find it in some of my work.
– How long time does your art work, on walls, usually survive for?
It really depends on the location, some of the artworks just a few days or hours, while others can be there for 15-20 years. Temporary nature of my work is something I had to accept a long time ago.
-What do you think, people feel or think of, when they see one of your works on the street?
I like to think that my work will inspire those who notice it in any way possible. Also, I am sure that most of the people wonder how I manage to keep perfect proportions on such a large scale.
-What are your creative plans for the future?
At the moment I am making a 4 years plan that should boost my creative output. It involves a lot of studio work and outsourcing for those parts of my creative process that I don’t find challenging anymore. The idea is to keep my focus on the hard part and to try and push my limits a bit more.
-Is there a little wish you have that not many people know about?
I wish I had a twin brother! Just kidding, that guy would be impossible to work with, hahaha! 😀
Jokes aside, I wish more of my muralist friends lived in the same town as me. Sometimes I really miss hanging out with friends that I met during projects and that was one of the main reasons why I am considering moving out of Belgrade.
-Is there a specific thought or message you would like to pass to our audience out there?
Hard work pays off, never stop painting!
Thank you! It’s been great to get to know more about the mind and person behind such talented and inspiring works.
‘’I Support Street Art’’ team.