name: Svetlin Velinov
job: concept artist and illustrator
education: National School of Arts Dobri Hristov, Varna; profile fine arts
where are you now: Varna
MOKUSO: Let us start with the classics. How did you decide to do painting initially?
Svetlin Velinov: To many people this is a blur moment in their lives but not in my case. I always felt connected to art but the idea itself started long before starting school where most kids play outside. I didn’t miss that moment of my life but I definitely had an art projection on my mind. I was
М: Do you have favourite art tools that emphasize a specific art idea?
S.V: Fav no, but definitely different thematics require selection of tools and materials. I count on everything I can think of and I have a big range means of expression.
М: Does one need an artistic gene to become an artist?
S.V: When it’s there it helps but not obligatory. More important is if you have a bent for this job, if you do it without efforts and inner opposition. The gene is something determinant and even if I don’t have it nor do my parents, I am very grateful to them for what I am. I think one of my great grand grand dads was a musician. Did I mention I sing very well!
М: The general public in Bulgaria supports the opinion that digital art or graphics are the product of good knowledge of the programs that are used for visualization. What do you think on the subject?
S.V: Of course good knowledge is important but this doesn’t exhaust the creative proccess of doing an artwork. It is alarming that people have the false belief that knowing how to work with some software is the only duty of a digital artist. A larger part of this opinions, without wanting to insult anybody, are based on lack of information and ignorance. Do we have to renounce an architects work just because he used a specific software to create the project? Or the doctors for conducting bloodless surgeries? To me using brush, pencil or tablet and a graphical software to create an artwork is the same. The computer, tablet and graphical software are just means and the artist tools. There is a derogatory claim of the “high” arts that all created with a digital program “is a matter of buttons” but I always say it’s a matter of a behind-the-buttons-device. I am surprised this belief still exists. I can define it as conservative atavism and showing bad taste. It’s not insulting if that kind of opinion is a product of lack of information and regard on the subject, but it’s not acceptable if it’s artists’ opinion towards their colleagues.
М: Do the atmospheric, political and personal conditions affect your work?
S.V: Everything around us that directly or indirectly concerns us affects us. It is important to channel the energies that the world sends us and make them work for you. The arts is very motley and is created thanks to a lot of different inspirations. When it comes to creating an artist can be inspired to do a painting, a song or a play both from good and bad. This is a privilege that not all have in their lives.
М: Is there something that you would like to change in your everyday life?
S.V: To all that work on a chair all day! Do sports! One must be moving. It’s late for a career for me but I love tennis.
М: With your work admired and recognized in Bulgaria, abroad, through many publications, in magazines, comic books, what is your next goal?
S.V: Appetite comes with eating. I have a special folder where I write down my ideas. Some are new, some are old and some are unfortunately realized by other people. If you have a good idea you must try to realize it because it can come to somebody else’s mind. I cannot go into specifics about my future artistic plans and in this way I can also keep the privilede to surprise.
М: What would be the best evolution of an artist?
S.V: To have a brother like Van Gogh or a rich philanthrop
The best evolution of an artist is the purposefulness, belief and the feeling, he/she is doing what is right for her and is doing it for the people. Self-extoling, with unending self-satisfaction and messianistic people, even if they are harmless to art, influence the environment badly and somehow define the level of art in it.
М: Do you have any preferences for your clients? Have you declined an offer or task and why?
S.V: When it comes to work for me it always means team work. There must be a very good teaming up and synchronization. My only condition is when making an inquiry the client to be aware and sure that I fit this job best. This is defining for all aspects of the work flow – from start to final.
М: Does your location affect your work? Does geography matter? Have you thought about emigration?
S.V: According to my work location doesn’t matter at all, as long as there is electricity and internet, but since I have a family I had some moments thinking about where my child can have a better life.
М: We are highly interested in your connection with the Universe. In your job we find a lot of fantasy, stories of future and past. Do you have your own theory of spacetime, parallel realities and space flights?
S.V: Oooh, I am so conventional, even boring. I am still interested in the question of what comes first – the chicken or the egg. Of course I had my fads on religions, mythical doctrines, satanism, but I left them all behind. My power to create art makes me the master of my life and a God in my own Universe. Every person is a Universe and life is beautiful like the night summer sky with all bright stars. This poetry is also a parallel reality.
М: The weirdest moment of inspiration?
S.V: I have to take myself too seriously to remember something like that.
I just draw without pathetic m
М: Do you miss something in your job?
S.V: The lack of time. I want all the time in the world…
М: What do you do in your spare time? Do you have additional time for side activities (like being secretly an astrophysicist)?
S.V: I am not a person of science and I cannot be one. In my spare time I do bbq. I love to see people around fire even though I am not a pyromaniac.
Of course in my spare time I paint. It is strange maybe but this is how I relax. These moments are very important for me because aside of an assigned job and its theme in my own paintings I can unleash and show myself. Even if these works also are signed by me they have very different emotion compared to my assigned works.
М: Can you give an advice or recommendation to the people starting to work in the area of digital arts, fantasy illustrations or comic books now?
S.V: I will never get tired of saying this anytime I can. Work, work and again work. The starting artists now have great advantage and starting opportunities coming through a lot of channels. The general level and expectations are higher that’s why we see 17-18 year old artists who do things I had no idea how to do at the same age. Of course this is not by accident. There is a beaten track, resources with easy access and tutorials, but nothing comes without making an effort. One must work very hard, suffer privations and be devoted in the name of being very good at what you do and successful at your job.
more at: www.velinov.com