Szabolcs Vajas is a vector artist whose work was featured in Drawn Volume.2 and Bézier Volume.1. This resulted in an offer of employment from an advertising agency as an in-house graphic designer and illustrator. We caught up with Szabolcs to find out his latest news
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to talk to us about your creative practice and to give us an update on what you have been doing! We're looking forward to hearing about what you have been doing since we heard about your new job.
Please could you tell us about your background and how you developed your skills in design? Are you self taught, or did you go to university?
I liked drawing in my childhood, though of course not using a computer yet. This hobby did not last for so long. I did carpenter jobs later and I draw their plans in a graphic computer program. When there was no other work at the given moment, I started to prevent boredom by drawing and learning about various graphic computer programs. I never studied it at schools but learned the technics of electronic drawing by myself instead.
You’ve featured in two Capsule Books; Bézier Volume.1 & Drawn Volume.2, could you share your experiences of being a featured artist in our publications?
It really means a lot for me that my works appeared in these books, as I never dreamed of having such an opportunity in my life. I feel really proud of it and me being asked to put my work in these publications gives me such a self-esteem that encourages me to never ever quit this kind of work, unlike I did in my childhood.
You’ve been working at an advertising agency for almost a year now, could you tell us about the projects you are currently working on?
Yes, I am a graphic at a local advertising agency and I like my work very much. It is also very pleasant to work with good and creative colleagues. Every day I do various works and meet a lot of ideas of different realisations, so I work on multiple projects daily but, if I had to name one particularly special project, it would be the graphic work connected to a specific place that is located near us and is in relation to remembering World War II.
What challenges have you faced in becoming a professional creative, and how have you overcome them?
In practical terms I face a lot of challenges even today. As I already mentioned, I did not study graphics at school but I gained my skills and knowledge in autodidactic way. When there is a work that is very difficult for me, I work a lot on it till the end, until it fully, up to 100% gains the satisfaction of mine and that of the buyer as well. In this way I am constantly learning and it is good, since I like challenges as well.
Your work is almost completely made with vector based software. What is it about this method of working that you find appealing?
I mainly find the easily manageable character of it appealing. Since we are talking about vectors, probably the most appealing to me is as well that, it can be realised in whatever size. However, vector graphics is famous mainly for the simple and less detailed character but I try to create work that is not so different from the realistic image, and that is something really big in vector graphics since it requires a lot of patience, attention and punctuality.
A number of your pieces are influenced by pop culture, music and films; what is the creative process when you create artwork for your own pleasure?
Many people would like to be in the skin of others, to play the character of someone else or to try their costumes, so I too, pretty much like to feature myself in place of various characters, both existing and imaginary. Although this is all just a fun, I still like this kind of realisation more than a simple photo. If I come to like a particular character or creature in a film, I find it is worth my effort and energy to realise myself in its place. I do have some works that feature pop idols, musicians and other artists or sports people as well and in fact, these works are meant to be my expressions of respect, remembering and saluting these people.
You live and work in Slovakia. Could you tell us about the creative scene in your local community?
Slovakia is, in my opinion, quite left behind in these areas of work. However, I do know a great painter in Slovakia whose works are on a high level and he is well acknowledged too but, the artistic expressions created in electronic way are not given just credit yet. Since there is a prejudice whereby computer graphics are not even comparable to the works of artists doing all the drawing and painting by hands. If only in Slovakia I were so actively sought after in connection to this work as I am by Capsules Book!
Who’s your current favourite artist, and what do you like about their work?
Shepard Fairey (Obey Giant), whom I already mentioned several times, is my favourite artist. I still like his works very much. In the beginning I tried to create similar work to his and he was the source of ideas for me as well. If only my works were featured on such a big place as his works are, like e.g. on a wall of a building!
What are your goals for the next year, and what can we look forward to seeing from you?
There will certainly be graphics next year. I always strive to find enough time for this as well, beside my job. I would like to further progress in graphics so maybe I will also gain skills in 3 dimensional graphic drawing as well. These are my ideas. And also, maybe a next experience of being featured in a Capsules book as well ;)
Thank you again for your time today Szabolcs!