artist

Artist of the week IV - an interview with the artist Jon Grypas

4:57 PM

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The "Artist of the week" contest has already closed one month and I'm really glad about this. I'm also very happy to share with you the interview of our fourth winner, Jon Grypas with his winning artwork "Jg 10". Jon is a talented artist from Greece, currently living in Athens, who combines in his amazing work two forms of art, drawing and digital art. The result is a stunning and consciously complicated creation through unique drawings, intense contrasts and infinite repetition that tries to "catch" something from our inner and our outer world.

Art Prints
By jwp. Would you like to tell us few words about yourself and your work for introduction. 

Jon. Yes, I guess I would like to do so, but I’d rather let my work speak of whom I am.


By jwp. What do you think played a significant role to your decision to become an artist and expose your work?

Jon. First of all, I would like to highlight this as strongly as possible. You either allow yourself to express your ideas or you mute yourself and let your fears consume you. Expressing yourself is just a part of the process of becoming wiser and learning the lessons that this life has to offer. There are people who express their ideas without ever producing anything that qualifies as conventional art and there are artists whose work is limited from their inner beliefs and insecurities, never making “that step forward” which could bring feelings of joy and happiness. So, my opinion is that you are an artist the moment you let your shields down and begin to share your ideas with the world, even if you have no real talent in any art form. The way you live your life and act upon it can be your art. I became an artist very recently, even though I always knew I would become one. My decision to shift into an artistic way of being, was influenced by a couple of very humbling experiences followed by a long period of deep thinking and self criticism. Exposing my work was just the next natural step.

By jwp. Do the themes and the mediums you use reveal something about your character and your experiences? Can you explain some of them? 

Jon. Of course it does. As far as mediums, pencils symbolize my true self, while digital media is just my ego having a party. When it comes to themes, my experiences for sure play some role, but only a minor one. If my themes were a screenplay, then the leading role would go to dreams and expectations.  

By jwp. As an artist, what inspires you? 

Jon. COMPLEXITY. The level of complexity everywhere, around and inside us, sometimes is simply mind-blowing. Things, ideas, situations, objects, music, nature, the universe above our heads and pretty much everything I am aware of, the amount of complexity i can observe in it, is usually what drives my imagination and inspires me. At the same time, there are occasions when inspiration "strikes" so unexpectedly that it feels like lightning. In any case, inspiration is a mystical experience, way too big and majestic for my mind to fully grasp. 

By jwp. There are a lot of photographers, painters, artists on the internet and in the market these days, how do you think that your work differs from the rest? 

Jon. Since I am the creator of all of my work, my opinion on this issue could never be objective. I am sure that my work is different in some way, but I can't accurately define that.

By jwp. What is the most challenging in being creative and an artist? 

Jon. There are always challenges when you try something. Sometimes it is the usual ones while other times a new one might come up. Being able to maintain a certain level of quality in my work and not compromising is very tough for me. Also, finding the strength to push myself to improve and not just avoid the things I can't handle is another challenge. However, I find that facing all of the aforementioned challenges is a key process when creating something artistic, and these very challenges are of high importance for the development of a strong personality. In the end, it’s a matter of how you see things and how you choose to live this life you were given. Art can be an exercise for your mind, heart and spirit, just like going for a run is an exercise for your body. When you find yourself in front of a challenging uphill, you have a choice: either accept your present self and find a way around it or make that leap of faith and try to climb it. If you are going for the latter option, more often than the first, then you are on the right track of becoming good at whatever it is that you are doing.

By jwp. Are you extrovert or introvert as an artist? Do you believe that one of your task as an artist is to promote your own work? 

Jon. I am both, depending on how I feel. I don’t have standardized behavioral patterns when it comes to creating art. It's a process I follow in order to feel happy, relieved and relaxed. Since every day is different, sometimes I am an intro, other times am an extro. Do I believe that one of my tasks as an artist is to promote my own work? No, not really. I don't know of anyone that would judge Picasso's work based on his ability to effectively promote and sale. All artists will be remembered as dreamers, as people who passed on a message. That is a duty that holds a certain amount of holiness and it is sacred to the artist. Something like that could never be commercialized. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against profiting from your art. All I am trying to say, is that being successful as an artist is completely alien to being successful as a salesman of your art. The two can co-exist, but don’t necessarily have to. 

By jwp. Do you believe that art of any kind could give answers to everyday problems? In other words, can art make the world and the people better? 

Jon. Here is how I see it. The world we have created for ourselves is obviously sick and full of utter craziness. We find societies all around the globe that suffer from mass depression and people that strive to find the answer to questions like "what the fuck are we doing on this planet" while simultaneously dealing with their never ending material needs. To my eyes, people seem tortured from the systematic abuse that their spirit has suffered throughout history. However, in the midst of all this pandemonium, every now and then, you stumble upon something that makes your heart feel warm. Those things are always artistic efforts since artistic is anything that is pure and honest, coming directly from the source, serving a noble cause and passing a message with a higher meaning. Art is closely connected with all these ethical values. It directly contradicts with all of the dogma and oppression that fills our societies today. So I would definitely say that, yes, art of any kind, can only positively affect people. We need more artistic creations, more artistic acts. We need more dreamers.

By jwp. If you could share the essence of your knowledge and experience to the world, what would say in one quote or phrase. 

Jon. Don't forget to improve yourself every single day. 

Thank you so much Jon for this delightful and inspiring conversation. You can find Jon's interesting artwork in his website: 

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