Ill(ustrate) At Ease

The first thing about being an illustrator is that you must deal with the content that you illustrate (usually it’s the text) in somewhat hierarchical way — i.e., you have to decide, which one is complementary: the content, or the illustration. Usually, you won’t get in the middle, unless you draw comic strips or posters. And usually, the drawing will always be complementary in magazines.

So, having said that, I started making some critical points about the cultural environment around me by creating some self-contained works — the drawings and texts meet there  in rather eaqual parts. Of course, these things ended up looking like posters. But believe me — there are NO such posters in the streets of Lithuania. There is no “conceptual street art” here whatsoever. So you enter the scene without competition… and leave it without any  response.

Oh, and the second thing is, that you should decide, whether you are an illustrator with, or without opinion. And the third thing is — how about relevant topics? And an adequate visual form. And money. And cultural intensity. And you have to get mad sometimes. And… stuff.

So here’s the deal:

Thanks to my dear friend Yuri Dobriakov for the title “Homo Litteratis” and thanks to Kurt Vonnegut for inspiration — title in the footer (“JIS STENGĖSI”) says: “HE TRIED”. Do you remember “Breakfast of Champions”? Exactly. So I moved on and caught myself drawing another Lithuanian “wannabe”:

The title of the… lady says (of course): “Culture”. So, they look like posters, they act as posters and I shouldn’t deceive myself: it makes me want to print them as posters. But where would I put them? Well, for the time being they reside in www.karasas.lt/potencialus and “Homo Litteratis” is also in this new publication about Lithuanian culture, “370”, which is so devoted to contemporary culture, that it still doesn’t have time to develop its webpage. Shame, ’cause it’s not so bad at all.

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2 thoughts on “Ill(ustrate) At Ease

  1. maantas says:

    Hey Tomas, I like homo litteratis. for what did u made it? i mean is it for iq magazine? 370? is it somewhere in a street as a street art? what do u do with your “posters”?

    • Hi, thanks for that. Homo Litteratis was made in an outburst of creative anger, so to speak, and at first it wasn’t meant for any context. But soon me and my colleague developed a more elaborate concept (you’ll find more details in http://www.karasas.lt). The idea was to make posters to be shown as a conceptual street art which reflects on the state of public mind and Lithuanian culture in general. Homo Litteratis is some kind of symbolic alter ego for me and my friends who still struggle to participate in Lithuanian cultural life despite the ridiculous rewards for our creativity that we invest.

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