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SADDO

don’t ever think that anyone owes you anything

The Romanian artist, illustrator, and muralist, started his artistic career as founder of one of the first Romanian street art collectives, The Playground, in a time when a freshly graduated artist didn’t have other possibilities than to be a graphic designer or a teacher. His street art activity brought a fresh fun vibe to the whole way of perceiving art and the world, and opened a door to many projects and commission for galleries, advertising agencies in Bucharest, Vienna, Berlin New York, Los Angeles and more.

 

 

What Influenced your creativity the most?

Discovering graffiti and street art, I started doing street art after graduating from Art University. I was in a creative block back then? I don’t know, probably I didn’t even know what being creative was, while in University, I’ve lost all the sense of fun in drawing, the fun I had when I was a kid drawing Ninja Turtles, robots, spaceships, and monsters.

So street art kind of loosened me up a lot, and I rediscovered the fun of doing stuff, and being part of a group, a community. So I guess my creativity is very connected to being at peace with myself, bonding with other artists, collaborating, getting to know stuff about other people’s creative process and work ethic, travelling and experiencing other cultures, going to museums and bookstores, and of course, the internet, which helped me connect with other people and also get some feedback and having an idea about where I stand.

How has your contribution to the creative world impacted Romania? Has there been an upsurge of artists and creatives?

There has been a definite upsurge of creatives and artists, but I don’t think I had any influence, maybe I am part of a bigger group of creative people who are constantly doing stuff, and also have an international presence in shows, mural festivals and stuff, so I guess that might be inspiring or challenging for younger artists and illustrators. But personally, I am myself struggling, with anxiety, self worth, staying relevant, you know, the stuff every creative or artist struggles with and feels very special for doing so :)) So even if I knew for sure that I did have an impact, it would be hard for me to admit or accept that.

Is there an undercurrent meaning regarding the many themes (naturalistic illustrations of plants and animals, Islamic miniatures, pop surrealism, religion, mythology.)  is there an underlying message to be had?

 

Nope, no underlying message, just me being random and having random taste in art and everything, and sampling bits and pieces from everywhere, subjects, symbols, graphic elements, etc. It’s mostly visual, but sometimes for me, just putting together different elements that normally wouldn’t meet or go together, means something, I don’t really know what. When I say this I always think of a Thomas Mann novel, Joseph, and his Brothers, where he would deliberately have things confused, mixing together in a character or situation, features from different cultures, geographical areas, or times. I remember I was fascinated by that. It could be some sort of laziness, to not get very thoroughly into one subject, and only surf on top of many things. For me it’s a bit liberating, relaxing, cause I get bored very easily.

So is there an undercurrent, no, there’s  alot of random undercurrents :))

When you first started were you supported or discouraged to pursue art?

Initially, when I actually thought hey I could do this from now on – I was discouraged. I was just a kid, in a small town in Romania, I was drawing sci-fi and horror stuff, and I wanted to go to art school, and this old drawing teacher told me that I have no chance of getting in, because I don’t know the basics and I can’t draw a wooden cube or some shit like that. So he didn’t really see or care about my creativity and passion for drawing, and I’m not the kind of person who gets stronger and more motivated when discouraged, I can really lose my confidence and just give up. Which I did, for 4 years I think, but slowly I rediscovered my passion for drawing and I was finally encouraged so I went to Art University. Which kinda killed my joy and my self-confidence. Again. But then I discovered street art, and slowly I got into the art world, and illustration and street art scene, kind of slowly, timidly, through a back door. 

Do you want people to get something from your work?

I don’t know, maybe a few years ago I did, when my work had this mythological, religious undercurrent, and I was preoccupied with death, and the way it’s personified in culture. Now I’m more into illustration, into exploring new shapes, compositions, styles, color combos, my art is a bit more decorative, but also more fun, so I guess what I’d like people to get from it, is a sense of looseness, joy, a smile, maybe inspiration to try new things?

What advice do you have for young creatives?

Oh, I don’t know, I’m bad at advice, I would never follow my advice. And they would be pretty basic advice, like…. if you love doing art or illustration, then keep doing it, no matter what, stick to it, be a bit crazy and weird about it, be patient, and also put yourself out there, show your work, in a nice way, get in contact with other artists or creative people, don’t ever think that anyone owes you anything, just do what you love but don’t like wait for shit to happen ( like I do ), you gotta also work for it. Or find an agent.

Has the internet created an opportunity for you and how?

Oh definitely yes, everything I did, I owe it to the INTERNET. That’s how I started getting my work out there, through Fotolog and Flickr, that’s how I met people, that’s how I got to collaborate with artists whose work I love, that’s how I got invited to be part of shows, that’s how my work got noticed by galleries, advertising agencies, mural festival organisers, by other artists, and by all the people who appreciate what I do.

Has the internet created an opportunity for you and how?

Oh definitely yes, everything I did, I owe it to the INTERNET. That’s how I started getting my work out there, through Fotolog and Flickr, that’s how I met people, that’s how I got to collaborate with artists whose work I love, that’s how I got invited to be part of shows, that’s how my work got noticed by galleries, advertising agencies, mural festival organisers, by other artists, and by all the people who appreciate what I do.

If not art what would you be doing?

When I was a kid I loved to write stories, sci-fi, horror, even some weird industrial poetry. So maybe that.

And I also dreamed of being a movie director, I still love movies, I love storytelling in general. So maybe also that, or something related to stories. But I guess I’m too lazy for that, rather than thinking of a story that makes sense, I’d rather just do a painting or an illustration that seems like it’s part of a bigger story, and let the viewer fill in the blanks.

What do you least admire about the art world?

I don’t really know that much about the art world so I can’t really make a judgment, I haven’t really had much contact with it, just sending pieces to group shows, I had two or three solo shows, I’ve been in a couple of auctions, stuff like that. Pretty random experiences that I can’t really extract any general judgment from. When it comes to money, and selling, and evaluating – which, I’m aware, they’re an important part of the game – it kind of makes me wanna take a couple of steps back and hide somewhere and not be part of it.

Is there anyone you want to create with?

Oh, there’s lots of artists whose work I love, and I love collaborating with other people, so any of the amazing artists and illustrators whose work I follow on Instagram, I’d be more than happy to work with.

From my fellow Romanian artists/friends, I’d love to collaborate again with Pren and Kitra, or with both at the same time.

Learn more about Saddo and connect with him on Facebook.

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