The Palette: Nathan Jurevicius
“The Palette” is a series of interviews, realized for the Color Issue of Llamas Valley – inspired by mesmerizing and creative world of colors, we decided to talk with some of the most colorful people (in terms of creativity and personalities) of the art and design world. They agree to share their ideas with us and create their own special palettes. Meet Monika Bielskyte, Nathan Jurevicius and Ernest Zacharevic!
How would you present yourself in three sentences?
Highly optimistic (sometimes overly). A constant dreamer and schemer. Very pale (almost translucent)
You have been immersed in the world of illustration and design for more than a decade. What have you learnt during these years and how have they changed you as an artist?
I’ve learnt that you need to constantly evolve emotionally, technically and turn knowledge into wisdom. I think these qualities have helped me grow as an artist, maturing my storytelling abilities and also the content I create.
The incredibly colourful worlds that you draw are made to captivate. Is it correct to conclude that colors play an essential role in your aesthetics?
Vibrant and interesting color choices have always been a signature in my work. The color-moods change as the stories change but there’s a common aesthetic and style I apply to each project. I see my black and white sketches as the bones to what I do but it’s the color that provides the actual body and personality.
In one of your interviews, you mentioned traveling and interacting with diverse cultures among the things that inspire you. What experiences have fueled your most recent creations (or, hopefully, are inspiring new ones)?
My first trip to Lithuania in 2014 affected me greatly. I had always been influenced by my heritage via an abstract concept but actually walking the streets of Vilnius and venturing out into the countryside helped to focus my understanding. Currently I’m working with some Lithuanian production houses on a new short film.
The Scarygirl character has attained international recognition. Do you remember yourself back when you created Scarygirl? What were your biggest ambitions back then?
The Scarygirl Universe began around 2001. Mentally I was at a very different place than I am now. Creating feature films based on my characters were some of my career ambitions. This has not changed (and is becoming a reality) but I’m always looking to other ways to tell stories. I’d like to create some large public installations — like a mini theme park.
Is Scarygirl the character you are the most proud of?
She’s become a living entity and grown up as I’ve grown. I’m proud of her but she’s developed a life of her own, changing visually and personality-wise. There are more people surrounding and influencing her direction, especially now that the creation of a film is in progress. There are two characters from the Peleda project (Mina and Valdis). I see a lot of future potential.
You do not hide your passion for folklore and fables, which may well hark back to your Lithuanian roots. Is it difficult to incorporate archaic motives in the modern art? In what ways do you do that?
I find that many fables and folklore have relevance to any era. You see that people’s hopes, dreams and problems are relatable but their adventures are placed in unusual circumstances. I like to take my own aesthetic and stories and mix them up with old tales, creating a new fable that feels familiar but is actually original.
What are the things that motivate you in your work?
Family, reinventing new stories, becoming better at what I do, travel and adventure.
What colours do you remember from your childhood?
Orange and blue/green (1970’s kitchens and paintings by my father).
If you had to paint your most memorable experience, what colours would you choose?
Gold, orange, white and pale blue (sitting in the ocean mist at sunset looking at the Grande Mosque in Casablanca).
What is the colour of your mood right now?
Light blue (I’m sitting at an airport window heading to Sweden)
Black or white?
What is the colour of creation?
What colour would sum up your whole life?
Which colour would you erase from the palette?
I couldn’t choose. It’s never crossed my mind to get rid of any.
What is the colour of beauty?
Are there any colours that you find appalling?