FOR YOU FANS & COLLECTORS
JMAMUSE IS GETTING TO KNOW
INTRO AND INSPIRATION
Get to know Alexender’s Talented mind
Get to know Alexender’s Talented mind
Hi Alexander, first thank you so much for taking part of Jmamuse interview. Greatly appreciate it :
No no no, thank you for having me!
Just to know a bit more about where you are coming from, while currently based in Madrid and having grown up in Alicante might or might not be one of the major influences of your use of bright and vibrant colours; it might not necessarily dictate your actual taste for cartoons, superheroes, art books, your father’s adult comics and eroticism. Can you tell us a bit more about how all this beautiful melange reflects into your work and where it is coming from?
Well, this one is “easy”. I was born in 1980 so, as any other western kid, I grew up with pop culture. All the 90’s color explosion (thank you Mtv!) while I was teenager who has just started discovering sex and eroticism (Andrew Blake’s “House Of Dreams” was one of my firsts porn movies) I guess it all comes from there. But, being honest, I don’t know how all of this is reflected in my work, it’s not something I do on purpose. It’s just who I am, the things I grew up with are just things, what’s really important are the feelings attached to them. Objects, colors, etc… are just a representation, in the end it’s all about translating what you feel into an image. When it comes to my personal work I’m trying to express myself and how I see things, I don’t expect the viewers to understand the “right” meaning and catch every reference, I want them to feel something, whatever it is.
In a near future, do you see yourself introducing new interests and influences through your work that could surprise us? Like kinkier, Raw and even more surreal. Taking a collages route or even photo/video… In other words will your current inspirations and growing body-of-work remain magically Grahovsky-like for a long way ahead or do you plan to throw us off, destabilizing your fans and collectors with something completely new?
They will remain “Magically Grahovsky-like” (I love this!) but they will grow. If we are talking about the themes I feel like I’ve just started to build my own world and there are still a lot of things to tell. It will get more surreal and there is gonna be more kinky-bizarre-rope-bdsm stuff. And, if we talk about my technique I’m not planning to play with other media than painting (digital and oils), although most of my initial “sketches” are photo based (I build some kind of rough collages in photoshop) I’m not interested in photo realism or photo manipulation… maybe one day, who knows!
Although your direction and style is quite consistent, you seem to play with different levels of finishing and “final touch”. Some are technically well applied with a slick finish while others, also remarkable, purposely left with a looser finish… Is there specific occasions where you use either one of those Alexander finishing signatures? Is it just about the feeling in the moment, a thought process, or a specific theme?
You just hit the jackpot! It’s part of a “learning to get loose” process I decided to start some time ago. I realized that sometimes I focused too much on the details that the final piece lost something in the process and I even got bored before finishing them, so I decided to start to worry less in order to keep the original feeling (and the fun). I hope It’s something you can see growing in my last works.
You are expanding your reach more and more and getting better at marketing yourself. You’ve been good at posting and placing yourself in best spots like Society6, Saatchi art, just recently you’ve joined Eyes on walls + You’ve also been mentioned in many design, art and illustration specialized e-zines… It feels like your style & body-of-work is a growing venture towards greater career horizons. Is there developing new opportunities for you around and what are your plans to finance your talent growth further down the line?
Yes, it’s slowly growing and I think it’s in the right direction. Some commercial works started to come in and I hope there will be more in the near future, it’s great to work with someone under an art direction who pushes you to do things that take you out off your comfort zone. The “sad” part of this is that the more commercial works I get, the less time I have for my personal stuff. Despite all the social media mentions, posts, likes, etc… my personal work is not my main income so at this moment the plan is really simple: keep painting, keep growing and take every opportunity I can to work and get paid hoping that one day my personal and commercial works will collide.
Ultimately, When Alexander Grahovsky is working on an illustration, and finally reaching satisfaction he is stepping back for a final look… Where are you taking your emotional self and how do you wish people feel when looking at a piece you’ve put all your sweat and passion into?
Satisfaction is the key word to this question, and I’m satisfied when I’m empty. It’s like a game where you have to put all of you chasing something, and the only way to win is emptying yourself. You have to be open, the sketch is like a map but you don’t usually end up where you wanted (or not how you expected), almost every time you discover new paths during the process and things/you change. As I said, I don’t want people to feel in a particular way when they look at my work, I want them to feel. I see art as a mirror, it’s up to you what you see, for example, some girl wrote about “The Bait” that she was the bait.
THE DREAM CLIENT
Along the same vein you are not only promoting and selling self-motivated work, you are also freelancing and taking commissions. Who is your dream client and how does he behave towards your creative vision?
Basically I’ve found two types of clients: the ones who want you to work for them and the ones who want to work with you. The firsts will eventually become a pain in the ass because they don’t want what you do, they rarely listen and they just want what they would do if they have your skills. The second kind want you to do your thing, they listen and are open to your ideas because they truly love your work, these are the ones I want to keep, my dream client.
In one word,
or short sentences,
- 80’s pop culture kid 25%
- 90’s color explosion (thank you Mtv!) 60%
- Planning it 5%
- It sums things up 90%
- It is who I am 100%
J Your 2015/16 favorite Color mix ?
AG Right now Red + Green, but it will change with the seasons.
J What graphic tablet do you use ?
AG You ain’t gonna believe this. An old bamboo (the white ones)
which is almost 8 years old, but I got a 27″ screen.
J 3 top most favorite art softwares ?
AG Photoshop, Photoshop, Photoshop
J Your favorite digital brush (+link?) ?
AG “Thickacrylic Ultratextured” Sorry, it’s been a long time since I started using
it and I don’t know where it came from.
J Your Favorite physical brush (Brand and Specs?) ?
AG Escoda Clasico Number 8, short length long handle
J Best board game played ?
AG Risk and HeroQuest
J Best vacation destination ?
AG Wherever I go with She
J Kids ?
AG Not yet
J Pets ?
AG I love cats but I’m allergic!
Your best advice for eventual success and exposure from a mentor (Feel free to explain who he is) and your own best experienced advice for your fellow illustrators.
I was trying to get into the comic books industry when that artists agent told me after looking at my portfolio: “Your personal works have something, the superhero ones suck. Be honest, do more of what you like” and another one from my oil painting teacher (after years of self-education I decided to start studying last winter) Luisa Pallarés [link] “Don’t forget why you started the painting but be open to what it will become”
A BIT DEEPER
A bit deeper, it seems like you bring up a lot of associations between the animal kingdom, nature environment and human eroticism. Is it also part of anthropological observations, deeper research in the interpretation of the humain nature within his environment? or is this quite far etched and just so much more simple then that 😉
I think that eroticism/sex it’s an important part of life (also the beginning of it) and we tend to forget that we are animals, so it’s not a random thing. Animals and flowers have different meanings for each culture (and they change through time) so I guess I use them to talk about what makes us human, but once again, it will depend on each one what they see there. They also have a learning purpose: painting new and different things is always more fun than doing the same stuff again and again.