STAG PADS/ART PROJECT #1: JURAJ MESZAROS

It's with a great excitement that we introduce you to SP/AP: STAG PADS/ART PROJECT, a series of limited edition art prints by some of the best emerging artists and art directors. Each print will be available on stagpads.com. Signed and numbered by the artists, each print is available in an edition of 50. The first artist to kick off the series is Slovak artist, art director and graphic designer JURAJ MESZAROS. 30 years old, born in Bratislava, Juraj lives in Prague and has worked through the years at several the top advertising agencies in the country. 

We chatted with Juraj about the collaboration, his work, his inspirations, and a whole lore more.

What originally made you want to become a graphic designer?

I started doodling in my early childhood (which is nothing extraordinary, I guess), but later, I started to make my own magazines. The first one was entirely handmade and all about me (LOL). As I continued, the content and form started to develop, and I began to think that I could go my own way from there. I entered art school, and things started moving. 

Who or what has been the biggest single influence on your way of thinking and designing?

It’s really hard to pick one name. Definitely my teachers at art school, later on colleagues and friends who pushed me further, and always people whose work I am fascinated by. The key activation-point for me is when I’m fascinated by something, and I try to observe and discover how that one thing was prepared or produced.  From concrete “art celebrities” I can say: Duchamp, who inspires me by changing the meaning of how we think about art; Sagmeister, with his approach to visual identity in graphic design; and Erik Kessels because he’s funny, and he can bring sarcasm to advertising or beautifully sell absurdity that he found somewhere on the internet. 

You are extremely skilled in drawing and painting as well as computer design, which of the two mediums do you enjoy the most?

Well, I don’t think that I can look at the two separately. Many times, the form of sketching precedes the digital process, and after a sketch, you end up with a digital logo or poster that has a totally different character than the one on paper. I like the ability to think about which form fits the material the best.

4. What was your inspiration behind your artwork (the one we are making prints of)?

This specific aquarelle came into being as part of a quotation series from the work of Austrian expressionist Egon Schiele. It was at a time when I was charmed by his drawing stylization, as well as his self-disquisition. He displayed intimacy quite radically but gently at the same time. I think it’s a nice parallel to today. We use social media as part of our public image box, and we show moments of our intimate lives through this medium. In a wider frame, however, we try to manipulate this public image of ourselves into something quite unreal, because sometimes we are truly afraid of what we really are. And other times you just take off your pants and let people imagine what is going to happen out of this exposed frame. I’m quite fascinated by this fact. There are a lot of games going on.

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What are you currently fascinated by, and how is it feeding into your work?

I love to see art school exhibitions and young students of art who are not really being profiled yet. I am a “youngster vampire” (haha). Not really, but there’s a lot going on right now in the world, and everything is quite easy to find. It seems like nothing new is really happening now, but I think it has been like that forever (when you really look back at history). Once you start to work on something, you realize it was at the base of something that already existed. I like to remix and collect impressions, while trying to somehow use it in a different meaning. I was thinking this way a lot while I was a student, and I think it’s still an ongoing process in my work today.  

What's your advice for young designers and artists? 

Collect your impressions and notice them in the moment you find them. Take pictures of random things you like. I have my sketch-diary with me all the time, even if most of the first ideas end in a phone call. When the time comes, you will use it in some context, and then it’s done. And don’t just try to be cool. Be super cool. Or no… just think about what these concrete steps will bring to your life. Be down-to-earth but uplifted by common things at the same time.

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