The Heroine’s Journey of Justell Vonk

What is the best thing that I love about my work? The best thing is the ability to create your own worlds. The possibility to  live many lives, the lives of your creations inside of a certain work and the lives of works themselves. It’s always so exciting to know that my art travels throughout the world and already been to far away places I’ve never been personally too. It’s like a creation of life. I think that my art feels pretty much like strings to me, that travel throughout the world but still are connected to me.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? I’m not sure whether the feeling of happiness can be perpetual. Sometimes I have those moments of overwhelming love to the whole world, the excitement of being alive and at same time perfect calmness. I’m not sure whether it’s happiness. In my opinion the perfect happiness is to see the world meets your expectations and gives you the response.

What is my greatest fear?  My greatest fear is losing the reason to wake up and to move forward. To feel weak and to to be able to create anymore. I personally believe that even if your art is very personal, if you show your fears you are still strong being able to face those fears, to show them to the world. As soon as your fears begin to reside solely inside of you they make you weaker. So yeah, I guess my biggest fear is to feel myself completely weak and useless.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Sometimes I tend to put myself under too much stress, beginning to worry about things that do not worth that. I think that being worried too much is not a good thing for anyone.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? There are so many artists who inspire me every day. I’m blessed to have many of them as mates on social media, and to be able to follow their progress. Probably I’ll just name three of them: one painter, one sculptor and one ink artist. There are many of them, can name Odd Nerdrum, whose paintings are absolutely absorbing and surrealistic; I love highly detailed graphic works by Dan Hiller, creepy and strange creatures by John Kenn Mortensen. Among 3D artists Emil Melmouth’s works are very appealing to me.

What is my greatest extravagance? That’s a difficult question to answer. As something I can see completely normal, might look absolutely extravagant for other people. I believe it’s a question my friends and family should answer. Actually, for them, my creations are already a great extravagance.:)

On what occasion would I lie? If I would feel that truth would make it only worse for someone else, I guess. I would prefer not to lie though, at least to someone close to me. I’m not sure I would be able to keep and to support those lies in my head all the time.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?  That’s a nice question..I’m analyzing my works all the time..the toughest part is to realize you could do better.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? I’m happy creating my worlds, being there with my mind, to go into ecstasies realizing I am able to put all the feelings and visions on to work. To bring it to life and to make the work live. Those are wonderful moments.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I would make myself more productive, I’m trying to improve that already.

What is my greatest achievement in work? Comparing my older and newer works I can definitely say that I grew as an artist. My greatest achievement is being able to convey my ideas better and better to paper and to the canvas, to know that I’m still able to evolve. I’m happy people from all over the world are intrigued by my art. That’s the greatest achievement for now.

Where would I most like to live? I believe that place where you live should add harmony to how you feel about yourself and the world. Definitely your surroundings influence the way you perceive the world. Currently I’m feeling like moving somewhere in Northern Europe. That’s my current state of mind.

What is my most treasured possession? There are many small things that are really treasured by me. I think I am bipolar in a way. It’s always difficult for me to get rid off of old worn out clothes that I love, but at same time I realize that I can always bring same life to other, new things.

What is my most marked characteristic? I guess I’m pretty chaotic. Probably this is the most marked characteristic.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?  Currently I reside in Moscow, Russia. There are several places I really love in Moscow. Most of them are calm old  side streets in the city center, with very few people and gorgeous architecture.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? There are many places with fine food and drinks in Moscow. I really love all kinds of ethnic restaurants. Japanese fast food chain Marukame is really nicely represented in Moscow, we have cosy craft-beer bars. I like an amazing place where they serve breakfast from all over the world 24/7, whenever you come they always greet you with “Good morning”.  I also like to grab a bottle of wine and spend some time with friends at one of beautiful old cemeteries in the city center.

What books influenced my life and how? There are several books I read being still a teen, I think that they influenced my perception of the world heavily. And those books are still my favourites, I re-read them many times.:) Funny thing is they are of a completely different genre but that only adds interest to my vision of the world. Those are: The Lord of The Rings by J. Tolkien, The Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, 1984 by George Orwell, Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, Generation P by Victor Pelevin. Of course fairy tales from all over the world also played a huge a role.

Who are my favorite writers? I like both serious and entertaining books. As in previous question I was talking about serious books mostly, here I’d like to share a couple of my favourite writers who always make me laugh: Teffi – Russian humourist writer from early 20 century, Neil Geiman, Vladimir Sorokin. And a bit more from serious literature: Marcel Proust, Jean Paul Sartre, Arthur Schnitzler.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Probably it’s trivial, but listening to Symphony 9 by Beethoven would be just fine for me.:) Performed by a symphonic orchestra preferably.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?  I can’t name someone in particular, mostly they all are warriors, string people. Not necessarily on a battlefield, in any sphere of life.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? My best imaginary friend is David Bowie. He had so many different artistic periods in his life. He is great. Whenever I need to take a serious delusion I always try to imagine what David Bowie would do if he was at my place. That usually helps me to take an easy decision.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? Withnail and I. Amazing movie about friendship, great cast and play, fantastic soundtrack.

What role plays art in my life and work? Art is one of the real treasures of this world. Being creative is one of the most important things for me, it equals feeling alive.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?  I don’t think I can name one person who unites all these roles in him/her. There are people who inspire me and spark creativity in me, other people support me in a financial way. I’m truly grateful to any kind of support they all provide.

Whom would I like to work with in 2017?  I constantly discover new artists and get involved into different projects. Right now I have already several new collaborations/bigger projects I began to work on. I’m always open for new ones. So there is no someone in particular I can name now.

Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2017? Anyone I can get inspired by or learn from. 🙂

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? There are several projects I’m really excited to work on this year, all of them are quite new to me: I’m working on a dark graphic novel “The Nightwalk” together with a German writer Morten Rolfson. Recently I, together with Gavin Sodo, a great graphic artist from Manchester, UK, and a computer genius James Sodo began to create Point & Click computer game, working title “The Alchemist”. This game is going to  be based on our artworks, representing dark metamorphose of the main character. We are almost done with setting up the story, as soon as preliminary sketches are done we are going to start Kickstarter. 😉

Where can you see me or my work in 2017? I’m planning to relocate to Hamburg soon. And one of next shows I am participating at takes place in Hamburg, as well – Darkerkant on 13-14 October, 2017. I will also show a couple of my works at Horror Business Show, Left Hand Black, San Diego, CA. My works are also represented by The Dark Art Emporium, Long Beach, California and Hamilton Gallerie d’Art, Belleville, Illinois.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? I hink one should be always honest with oneself and follow your passions, to do what you love. To stay inspired and to inspire others. Passion is the engine of life!

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? It would be great to read stories of Lisen Haglund – the person behind powerful Nattskiftet graphic works and Yara Hindawi a really interesting artist from Jordan.

How can you contact me?

I have a webpage www.justellvonkart.com

Most updated social media account is my Instagram @justellvonk. You can always find me on Facebook: Justell Vonk.

Feel free to email me to justellvonk@gmail.com

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