Serbian artist Dragan Djurdjevic (born 1979) has a degree in graphic design but his amusing black and white illustrations fill the viewer with a chill running through spine. Inspired by the events of daily life and surrounding, Dragan creates his art in an exaggerated manner by adding fantasy and mysterious elements to his illustrations. The depth and concentration of his line and detailing give an unusual air to facial expressions that portray complex emotions and state of mind. Dragan also puts himself as well as members of his family and friends in his drawings and creates vivid imagery using mostly ink on paper. His style is hurried but distinct and confident. Our Q&A with him:
I’m an artist living in Serbia, it’s a country with a colorful past and lots of world famous artists and galleries. I graduated from the Serbian Faculty of Applied Arts. I’ve been moving a lot, living in different cities. Presently I’m situated in Belgrade. I like to draw, watch old noir movies, read books and graphic novels
I started to draw when I was a kid. I learnt how to read when I was 4 years old began browsing through comic books that my brother had in his collection. I used to only see the pictures and later began trying to copy them. Time after time I start to draw my own novels and got rewards. My art is the mirror of my personality. I like to explore the different kind of emotions in every person including me, and then put it in the weird environment and situations by making the unique dark theatrical atmosphere. I like them black and white with no influence of digital coloring.
Your are grim and bleak with unusual elements and creatures. Where do you get your ideas from?
I just want to share a story in my head influenced by some things that happened from a usual daily life or some book or a movie or something that I saw in my dreams. Sometimes it comes directly. Usually it’s a long process with lots of sketches.
I use different kinds of pens on white large paper. Sometimes I color them on Photoshop and illustrator, but mostly I like them black and white.
Do you have a favorite piece of work?
I don’t have it. Every drawing is the other story.
What are your views on contemporary art and social media?
With Internet and social media lots of things became more accessible. Now we can connect with other artist, dealers, and lots of people who really love things that you create every day, so you stay inspired and influential in many ways. Old days were so hard but artists were appreciated more and used to look at them with a lots of admiration and respect.
In last 8 months my work has been published in over 30 art magazines in the whole world. I have had lots of exhibition in Serbia for the past years. When I was younger, I was awarded for the best graphic novels prize couple of times in Serbia. I was also a part of a couple of art organization like “Tezak Art” and “Kombinart” but that’s a different story.
My favorite author and artist is Jean Giraud Moebius. His work always inspires me. I also like other old artists like Hugo Pratt, Gottfried Helnwein, Vladimir Velickovic, and many more.
Say something to our readers:
It sounds like a catchphrase- relax, be yourself and create. Smile a lot. You are in a happy place. Love.