The Intrinsic Fantasy Board of an Artist!

The Intrinsic Fantasy Board of an Artist!

Marko Slavkovic’s artwork is highly reflective of his ever-growing practices of Eastern Philosophy, spirituality and the mystical power of self-conscience. Let’s walk through this transcending tête-à-tête with him.

Minerva
Minerva
Q

What in Psychedeliac-fantabulous piece of godly art is this? This was the first impression of your artworks as we clicked on your portfolio...

As an artist, how would you define your work in 5 words? 

A

Visionary, Spiritual, Transcendental, Mystical, Metaphysical.

Marko Slavkovic - Lyrian Purple
Marko Slavkovic - Lyrian Purple
Q

Your major artistry developed during the pandemic. Yet, finding your own peculiar artistic skill and niching down can take up to several years. Was becoming a digital artist (and now, the art director) a lifelong dream or does it only evolve into a passion because of quarantine?

A

Indeed, that is correct. I commenced my artistic pursuits during the pandemic while serving as a full-time art director in graphic design and advertising.

My tendency for creative expression was ingrained in me from a tender age. I indulged in various forms such as painting, sculpture, and analogue photography, culminating in an academic pursuit of architecture for which I obtained a master's degree.

Gaia recreation - Beginning of the New World
Gaia recreation - Beginning of the New World

The flexibility inherent in creative work allows for exploring diverse fields and mediums, and I am continuously in awe of the ingenuity that abounds within every individual. After all, we are all creators who can generate remarkable ideas.

Q

Can you walk us through your introduction to NFT world and what has been the experience so far?

A

Certainly, NFTs hold enormous potential within the digital art realm, especially regarding copyright regulation. I have created NFTs of my artwork and uploaded them onto platforms such as Rarible and Open Sea. The idea that my artistic creations can persist in perpetuity within this digital universe is, undoubtedly, rewarding.

Marko Slavkovic - Rhino Beetle
Marko Slavkovic - Rhino Beetle

While some of my NFTs have been purchased, it is crucial to acknowledge that the achievement of recognition that artists such as Beeple have garnered is exceedingly rare.

Marko Slavkovic - Rhino Beetle
Marko Slavkovic - Rhino Beetle
Q

Your artistry has a touch of Art Nouveau architecture and spirituality. How do you conceptualise your illustration before you start drawing?

A

The approach I take to my artwork varies depending on the project. In the case of commission work, the foremost consideration is always the client's specific requirements. My experience with commission work has mainly involved collaborating with musicians, DJs, and singers, entailing a comprehension of their vision, music, and perspective, which I, then, translate into my creative world.

Marko Slavkovic - Horse Pink
Marko Slavkovic - Horse Pink

On the other hand, I begin with a black canvas for standalone art pieces. Rather than starting with white, I view the black canvas as a symbolic representation of darkness, which I seek to illuminate with my art. This creative process lacks any preconceived concept or plan. Instead, it is akin to a state of heightened consciousness in which I am entirely absorbed at the moment, with the sensation that an external force is guiding my hand.

Marko Slavkovic - Sirian Green
Marko Slavkovic - Sirian Green
Q

A Concept Art is described as roleplaying artwork, where the artists themselves become one with the art, playing a kind of role. As a Digital Artist, does this resound with you? Which of your artworks reflects you the most?

A

As I noted earlier, creating is profoundly significant to me. During the creative process, an artist experiences the pinnacle of vitality and a sense of fulfilment of their purpose as a human being. This experience is characterized by a seamless flow between the artist and the art, resulting in an all-encompassing sense of oneness and love.

Marko Slavkovic - Pleiadian Red
Marko Slavkovic - Pleiadian Red

These moments of profound connection with my artwork are, undoubtedly, the most cherished parts of my artistic journey. Each art piece embodies a part of me and reflects the unique state of mind I was in, at that particular moment. As such, my artwork serves as an ever-evolving reflection of my personal growth and experiences.

Q

Can you spill the beans on your childhood? How do you represent you homeland through your art?

A

My childhood was a formative period that played a crucial role in shaping my artistic journey. Growing up, both my parents were highly creative individuals, which profoundly influenced my development as an artist. From a young age, we constantly engaged in imaginative play and created various objects, from homemade toys to furniture designs.

Marko Slavkovic - Radiant Body Silver
Marko Slavkovic - Radiant Body Silver

I, vividly, recall participating in the design of our family home. My mother continues to practice embroidery and knitting, and I have inherited her penchant for detail and patience in art forms. My father, an engineer, instilled a strong sense of structure and method in me, which has translated into my approach to artistic pursuits.

Beyond the influence of my parents, I am also drawn to the idea of returning to childhood to connect with my ancestors, mother earth, and the origin of civilization. These themes are recurrent motifs within my art, constantly reminding me of my journey and the roots of my creative passion.

Q

What is your daily ritual to keep yourself motivated?

A

My creative process is fueled by a deep curiosity and appreciation for the natural world, mythology, human history and spirituality. In pursuing knowledge, I have found a wealth of inspiration in various digital platforms, such as Gaia, a comprehensive resource for information on spiritual practices, ancient philosophies and other enlightening subjects.

Marko Slavkovic - Gaia Gold
Marko Slavkovic - Gaia Gold

Through my exploration of topics such as the universe, stars, solar systems and other beings, I have found a rich source of inspiration that enriches my artistic expression. Additionally, I draw from the wisdom and teachings of various gurus and mediums, which help to expand my understanding of the world and its many mysteries.

Marko Slavkovic - Gaia GoldUltimately, pursuing knowledge and integrating that knowledge into my artwork is a fundamental aspect of my creative process.

Marko Slavkovic - Pleiadian Silver
Marko Slavkovic - Pleiadian Silver
Q

Self-Inquiry and Existentialism are recurring notions among creative individuals. Do you prefer to represent the chaos of your headspace through the threadwork of your illustrative designs? Which of the characters from your artwork comes close enough to reflecting your vulnerable self? 

A

In today's world, where art is produced and consumed at an ever-accelerating pace and can be quickly forgotten due to the increasing presence of AI, I aim to shift the focus back to the value of the creative process itself.

Marko Slavkovic - Mama Africa Pink
Marko Slavkovic - Mama Africa Pink

My artwork demands a significant investment of time, meticulous attention to detail, and a steadfast commitment to completion. It is a form of meditation that requires patience and persistence and allows me to alter my brain waves and find a state of relaxation. My art embodies the philosophy of Daoism, which emphasizes the importance of balance and harmony in all aspects of life.

Marko Slavkovic - Radiant Body Blue
Marko Slavkovic - Radiant Body Blue

In contrast to the fast-paced and masculine world of Yang, my art reflects the principles of Yin. By adopting a passive, slow, calm, and feminine approach, I aim to counterbalance the frenetic energy of modern life and create art that encourages reflection, introspection, and appreciation for the beauty and serenity of the natural world. As the Daoist saying goes, "Nature doesn't rush, yet everything is accomplished."

Radient Body Gold
Radient Body Gold
Q

Your work of art has been heavily influenced by Eastern Philosophy, mystical and mythological inferences. How does these inferences separate the art from the artist? Or, do these philosophical additives comes from your personal introspective experience?

A

I am receptive to acquiring knowledge, including incorporating Eastern philosophical principles into my work. While residing in Dubai for the past eight years, I have had the privilege of experiencing diverse cultures, religions and philosophies. Through this exposure, I have gained a comprehensive understanding of the science of Vedas, Chinese Medicine, Daoism, and more, which has significantly resonated with me.

Marko Slavkovic - Mama Africa Orange
Marko Slavkovic - Mama Africa Orange

I actively practice Yoga, identify my Dosha, visit an acupuncturist, and integrate various herbal remedies from the East into my daily routine. The integration of nature within Eastern philosophies, which is often disregarded in Western society, is particularly captivating.

Marko Slavkovic - Gaia Silver
Marko Slavkovic - Gaia Silver
Q

As much as your work displays unique characteristic and authentic penwork, where do you find yourself with the digitalisation of art world when an artist's creation is easily recycled and reinterpreted?

A

My current work is a digital creation. It is all drawn on my iPad or computer. As a creative, these tools are incredibly effective in achieving my objectives. The evolution of art and its production and consumption methods in today's world have undergone significant transformations, and I am keenly attuned to the opportunities that come with these changes.

One such benefit is the ability to reach a vast audience through social media platforms effortlessly. Knowing that my artwork is being viewed and appreciated by such a wide-ranging audience brings me immense satisfaction.

Lemuria
Lemuria
Q

When it comes to character design, what is the deciding factor for your illustrative portraits?

A

My sources of inspiration are diverse and often unexpected, ranging from documentaries, literature, and music to natural surroundings and historical knowledge. I believe that inspiration can originate from any source, and I remain open to discovering new and varied sources of creativity.

Lyran
Lyran
Q

As Hashtag Studio comes into play, how does a brand campaign originates - the ideation, mind maps and implementation?

A

I have transitioned from my previous position at Hashtag Studio, where I worked in the advertising industry. The advertising sector requires a unique mindset where one must consider various aspects such as client requirements, budget constraints, social context, and all stakeholders' opinions.

In contrast, creating art, even in the case of commissioned work, offers greater freedom without many limitations. While there may be a brief provided, the client's choice is ultimately influenced by the artist's viewpoint, artistic expression, and world perspective.

Aphaea Green
Aphaea Green
Q

If you had to choose between two themes, Spirituality and Philosophy, for your next art genre - which one you'd pick?

A

Can I pick both, hehe? For me, they are all one; we are all one, expressed through different religions, spiritual practices, cultures, social contexts and philosophies. At the core, it is all love.

Gaia recreation - Beginning of the New World
Gaia recreation - Beginning of the New World
Q

As a freelancer, how do you manage creative block at times and peculiarly, if it happens within a project timeframe?

A

When it comes to the projects (not standalone art), I approach it as work. And this helps a lot. It means sitting in front of the computer and entering the research process, browsing ideas, reading, sketching, and analysing before jumping into execution.

Spirit of Lady Gaga
Spirit of Lady Gaga
Q

We are living in an integral period of portfolio and personal brand? For an artist who has a remarkable presence on digital platform, what is your word on your personal branding when introducing to newer clients or audiences in general?

A

The significance of branding cannot be overstated, as it represents the essence of an artist's creative identity and serves as a gateway to connecting with the audience. It reflects the artist's unique style, tone of voice, brushwork, and colour palette that evokes emotion and creates a recognizable aesthetic.

Each detail makes a cohesive and distinct brand easily identifiable and associated with the artist's identity.

Tree Spring
Tree Spring
Q

Presenting an ideology or mental paradigm is crucial to artist, whether revealed in bold letters or conceited through velvet brush strokes. What message would you likely be putting out into the world through your creations?

A

In today's fast-paced culture, I believe it is essential to prioritize moments of stillness and quiet contemplation. Despite the trend towards creating art quickly, I firmly believe that taking the time to indulge in the creative process for countless hours can yield rich and meaningful results.

Marko Slavkovic - Arcturian Teal
Marko Slavkovic - Arcturian Teal
Q

Digital art is a vast community. Being a part of this community, do you have artists who inspire you or who assist you as a mentor for feedback and criticism?

A

While numerous artists have influenced me, my sources of inspiration are not limited solely to the digital art field. One prominent figure who has significantly impacted my work is Alex Gray, despite working outside the digital medium.

Marko Slavkovic - Arcturian Teal
Marko Slavkovic - Arcturian Teal
Q

You have applied philosophical, spiritual, fantastical as well as mystical themes. Any new themes that you would embark upon, moving forward?

A

During my creative process, I maintain an open mindset and remain receptive to inspiration from diverse sources. In particular, I am intrigued by the richness of cultural diversity and seek to integrate elements from various ethnic traditions and destinations into my future work.

Q

Which is your favourite book that has helped you through your journey so far?

A

Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch

Q

Which one of your artwork do you find the most challenging?

A

My first artwork was a significant milestone in my artistic journey. Although the experience was daunting, given the vast black canvas and my initial uncertainty, it was a crucial turning point in shaping my artistic style and viewpoint.

Marko Slavkovic - Sirian Pink
Marko Slavkovic - Sirian Pink

It was a moment of self-discovery where I could identify my artistic identity and vision, making it easier to create and express myself through my subsequent works.

Q

For freelancers out there who are just getting started, what is the one piece of advice you can give for the artistic world of our generation?

A

The global landscape is continually evolving, and this is mirrored in the changing work environment. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the feasibility and benefits of remote work, which has become increasingly popular. The future of creative work is likely to be freelance, as it offers flexibility, diversity, and adaptability.

Establishing an online presence showcasing your skills and abilities is essential. Creating a professional website, a comprehensive portfolio on platforms such as Behance and Dribble, and maintaining an active social media presence can significantly enhance your visibility and enable you to connect with potential clients.

Q

In contemporary cyber advancement, AI has totally intervened itself in all professional fields. How do you find AI amalgamated with artistic space?

A

The concept of Artificial Intelligence overtaking creative industries, including art, is a prevalent concern among many artists. However, coexistence is possible when we use AI as a complementary tool rather than a replacement for human creativity.

Marko Slavkovic - Gaia Silver
Marko Slavkovic - Gaia Silver

AI can significantly enhance the creative process by enabling greater efficiency and accuracy, for instance, when producing fast sketches to communicate with clients. Nevertheless, it is crucial to recognize that AI can never replace the complexity and depth of human thought and emotion, essential elements in artistic expression.

Q

How has the year 2022 been for you? And, what exciting projects and illustration shall we look forward to in 2023?

A

In 2022, I experienced significant professional growth, as I began to receive a substantial number of commissions for my artwork and expanded my social media following.

As of this year, I have decided to resign from my corporate position, which I held for the past eight years, and return to my homeland in Serbia to pursue a new chapter in my life. This decision will enable me to dedicate myself entirely to my artistic endeavors and freelance work.

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