For this weekly interview series, we have the awesome Egle Plytnikaite answering all of our art-related questions and sharing with us her beautiful art series!
Eglė Plytnikaitė is a freelance illustrator based in Vilnius, Lithuania. She has worked on a number of social and editorial projects with her clever and colorful style. Her goal as an illustrator is to create works that catch your eye and make you think before scrolling down.
You can find out more about her on her website: http://egle.plytnikaite.com/
And here is her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/egle.plytnikaite/
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Anna (Your Art Bud): We are so glad you are here with us today! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Egle: I’m a freelance illustrator living in-between capital Vilnius and a little cob house deep in the woods of Lithuania. I have studied architecture at Vilnius Academy of Arts and worked in the sustainable architecture field. Luckily, I understood that it’s not for me and started to illustrate and work on various creative projects.
A: Have you studied at an art college/university? How important do you think they are?
E: As I’ve mentioned, I have studied at Vilnius Academy of Arts and I must admit that it was a truly great experience which deepened my knowledge about art. However, I believe that studying won’t make a great artist but working hard, challenging yourself and loving what you do will!
A: Who are your biggest inspirations?
E: Everyday life, the times we live in and the challenges we are facing.
Art Series: How Much Water Do You Eat?
As the record-setting California drought continues, everyone is encouraged to reduce the water footprint. Numerous experts tell us to think twice before taking a hot relaxing bath, to install low-flow shower heads, to purchase water-efficient toilets, and so on. It’s all very nice but hardly anyone knows that “the food we eat makes up more than 2/3 of our total water footprint,” as the GRACE Communications Foundation has reported. So, if we really want to make the change, we have to change our eating habits. You may ask how to do that and the answer is more than simple – eat more plant-based food.The Guardian says that “meat production requires much higher amount of water than vegetables. IME state that to produce 1kg of meat requires between 5,000 and 20,000 liters of water whereas to produce 1kg of wheat requires between 500 and 4,000 liters of water.” Ecology explains that the difference is so radical because “you have to account for the water the animals drink and also the water that goes into growing their feed.” Even California’s Governor Jerry Brown claimed that “we should be eating veggie burger” in an interview with the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday night.As Ecology says, “you might be thinking, ‘But the beef at the supermarket have already been grown. That water is already used, so we might as well eat it.’ However, if we buy and eat water intensive foods now, the food industry will continue to grow or even increase growing them in the future.” That’s why the best time to change our eating habits is today.If you are still not sure whether it’s worth it to cook beans instead of beef tonight, scroll down and check out some statistics.
A: A lot of your series are speaking about environmental issues. They are so deep and even a bit uncomfortable to look at ( and that’s a great thing in this context!). How do you think an individual should act to change the effect we have on nature? Even if just by a little bit?
E: There are plenty of small things that can change the effect we have on nature and reduce our ecological footprint. The main ones would be eating less meat, buying local products, recycling, choosing more ecological transport and riding a bike or walking more often, avoiding cheap, low-quality stuff and choosing things that last longer or second-hand goodies instead. Every single action matters and if each of us would think about our choices more often – we could change our ecological footprint dramatically.
A: What do you find to be the hardest part of being an artist of the 21st century? What about the best thing?
E: The best thing is internet which allows you to reach an international audience in one second. The worst thing might be a feeling that everything is already created and you are just repeating the same things all over again.
A: What’s the process you usually go through when creating a new art piece?
E: I start with sketching and brainstorming ideas. Usually, it takes pretty long, as I’m always trying to visualize a message in a new, unexpected way. When I finally have an idea that works I develop and minimise it, trying to make it as readable as possible. Then I sit down at my computer and start working on shapes and composition. After that, I basically play with colors, textures, and details until I’m happy with a result.
A: I had goosebumps all over my body when looking through your “If Animals Could Talk “series. How do you come up with such strong ideas for your work?
E: In Lithuania, we have an old belief that animals can talk at midnight on Christmas Eve. I remember that it was few days before Christmas – the time of joy, spending time with your family and being good to each other. Meanwhile, I saw everyone cooking loads of meat, showing off their new fur coats and doing other similar stuff and it sickened me. Somehow, it gave me so many emotions that I just had to express them somehow and then I remembered the tale about talking animals and created “If Animals Could Talk” in several days. It was my way to express all the emotions and confusion I had during Christmas when everyone was trying to be nice to their families but at the same time kept torturing others.
A: What is your biggest Art Goal you are working towards?
E: To make this planet a better place. I know it sounds cliche but I believe that art is an insanely powerful tool which can make you see things differently and have a strong effect on ones’ actions.
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Good luck on Your Art Path,
Your Art Bud 😉