Interviews

Featured Artist Interview – Dominik Jasinski

When I stumbled across artist Dominik Jasinski I immediately reached out to the Polish native to be a Featured Artist on OiOi Arts!

I love his unique style! His paintings bring such a warmth of energy with them, and then of course there are the florals! Anyone who knows me personally can tell you I’m a sucker for anything involving florals!

Dominik took some time out from his busy schedule to answer my questions. Continue reading to get an insight into this incredible artist and find out what he’s up to!

all images courtesy of Dominik Jasinski

I love the vibrancy and colours you use in your work! How long have you been painting for? has it always been something you’ve been drawn to?

Thanks! Yes, I’ve been painting for as long as I can remember. Mostly on books to begin with, which we had a lot of at home (my mother is a librarian). I am very lucky to have amazing parents – they always gave me freedom of choice regarding what I would like to do. They encouraged me to paint from childhood and still give me a lot of support.

The way you paint your subjects really stands out, how did you develop this very distinctive style?

I graduated Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts but I studied graphic design, so there weren’t a lot of ‘painting hours’. I always felt that my way of painting style was lacking, so I decided to teach myself. When you are doing etching or lino prints you use mainly black, I think that’s why on canvas I tend to use every colour I can think of. For years I painted without using any black colour, only recently have I started introducing it back into my work. I think I’m still influenced a lot by graphic outlines, but I am always learning and hope to never stop.

all images courtesy of Dominik Jasinski

One of the things I like most about your work is that so many pieces feature a floral theme. It works so well, but why flowers?

I like decorative forms and plants are the obvious choice. There is a period in Polish art history called Mloda Polska, a sort of Polish response to Art Nouveau. Very intense, very decadent and very floral. I was always strongly inspired by painters and writers from that period. Both literature and visual arts of that era made my imagination go wild, and up to this day I find it most amusing.

Two years ago I moved to the Portuguese countryside and having my own bit of land inspires me now. I grow all those amazing plants and get to see them through different stages of growth. From the initial explosion of greenery and colour, to when they die and dry out. All of these stages are highly attractive and give me a lot to work with. I rarely paint from imagination, observing nature gives me energy and makes me want to work more.

There’s so much going on in each piece, how do you go about planning a piece?

I do a lot of sketching, concentrating more on composition than on colours. I think there is so much going on in my head that I find it difficult to edit the outcome! It is a process I will never understand. I always have the painting more or less planned out, then pick up the brushes and all the plans dissolve. I start slowly and then comes that moment when I just cannot control the ideas… But I like it – it makes me discover more and makes the entire process of creating a painting more free and dynamic.

all images courtesy of Dominik Jasinski

How do you decide on colour schemes for each work? Is this something that evolves as you paint or do you know what you’ll use beforehand?

I never decide on colours before starting a piece. Usually I create a very colourful background and paint over it. Some of the original colours I deliberately keep, but most of it I keep changing and adding… I like to play with my paints.

Have you ever been creating a piece but felt it wasn’t working and changed it completely?

Oh yes. A few times it happened that I would work on a piece for several weeks thinking ‘that’s my best painting ever’. Then I would step back, look at it and think ‘how could I not see the amount of rubbish I’ve just created?’. So I would put it in a bath tub, wash it down with turpentine and start over. And because I was filled with such frustration, I would produce something interesting in a matter of hours. I think it’s the adrenaline!

Nowadays I don’t do that anymore. I would rather leave the painting as it is – a reminder that I don’t always have to produce pretty things, a reminder that I still have a lot to learn. That is what painting essentially is for me – a learning process that I don’t want to stop.

all images courtesy of Dominik Jasinski

The models you use, are they people you know or are they taken from found photos?

Both. I much prefer working from live models but cannot always get them – especially now, living in the middle of nowhere. At school we had a lot of anatomy classes and I always liked it, the knowledge a human body gives you – as an artist – power to imagine, adjust and create. That was always my big inspiration and if I were not a painter I would definitely have been a doctor.

I don’t mind working from my imagination but it is much nicer to have a person in front of you. To study the movements, to talk to – all of that gives me, as an artist, another and very important layer. So I always paint people that exist.

Do they factor in when you create a painting? (Like if you know them personally do you paint in a way that gives a bit of their personality? Or if you don’t know them, do you choose models with a certain look, that will work well with a certain theme you have in mind?)

I always create a painting around a person, but I have to admit that perfect models are more difficult to paint, in a sense that I have to try harder to make them interesting. For me it’s the little imperfections that make people interesting.

all images courtesy of Dominik Jasinski

Do you have any favorite paints or mediums that you like to use?

I always worked with oils. My first paintings aged 9 or 10 were in oils, and that medium stayed with me all my life so far. If you asked me that question two years ago I would answer that acrylics are for less skilled artists as they are a less demanding medium (technically). Nowadays I tend to mix acrylics with oils and it gives me more possibilities. There is more depth to the painting. At the end of the day it’s not the materials you use but the joy of the process that counts most.

I love researching patterns and floral arrangements, where do you draw your inspiration from?

There are so many great books and attractive buildings around – you just have to look around and it’s all there. I had a great privilege to live in the Middle East, in Kuwait. For me as an artist it was like a bottomless well of Arabic mosaics and geometric marvels. Now in Portugal I have the rich tradition of ‘azulejos’ on my doorstep. Combining all of these with my love for traditional Polish folk art gives me the tools to express what’s in my head. I like to play with things, mix them together. It’s really interesting to take elements from all of those cultures, then adapt for a more personal use.

all images courtesy of Dominik Jasinski

With quite a following on instagram, are you selling work online or do you stick more to galleries and in person exhibitions?!

I am reasonably new to Instagram but yes – a lot of my business comes from social media platforms. Mostly Facebook, where I have a nice group of followers (still trying to get that on Insta😊)

Nothing will ever replace live art shows, both for the artist as well as for the viewers. I work closely with a couple of art galleries, both stationary and online. The beauty of internet is that you can instantly share your art with a larger crowd and it does generate interest. Starting my FanPage on Facebook gave me a massive boost of confidence because people are commenting, sharing, liking it.

Where can we find your work? Do you have any upcoming exhibitions?

At the moment I have an art show in Dagma Art Gallery (Poland), inspired by Greek mythology. I have another later this month in AMARISTO Galeria Przy Teatrze (Poland) and another one planned for March 2019 in Quadrilion Gallery, also in Poland.

Need to see more?! You can find him on: 

Website

Instagram 

Facebook

If you like what you’ve seen, leave a comment and follow OiOi Arts for more…

**All images are owned by the artist; Dominik Jasinski. They have granted permissions for their use in this interview. They retain full copyright.

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