|Everyday Hero: Jan Kasparec, Artist|
Jan Kasparec, Visual Artist
You can check out his art at www.facebook.com/jankasparecpaintings
You can reach Jan:
cell: (+1) 778 926 7775
You can check out his art at www.facebook.com/jankasparecpaintings
A: Tell us about your studio?
J: I was very lucky to get this studio, not that I believe in luck:) It is almost 100 years old building used to be a wood working place and a warehouse I believe, and now it’s a gathering place for all sorts of artists. The price is very reasonable, and the landlord is nice.
A: I have been here once before for the Eastside Cultural Crawl, had a lot of fun looking at many different mediums of art.
J: I have participated in the Eastside Cultural Crawl before, it’ll be my 3rd time participating at the end of the month this year. The quantity of people and feedback I receive each time is overwhelming and makes me very grateful. It makes me realize how much people just love art.
A: Which pieces jump out at people?
J: There is different audience for each piece. It is very exciting to be a witness of how different people relate to different paintings. I would have never believed how deep of an impact a painting can have on a person if I did not see it happen many times.
A: Who’s attracted to the railway painting? Is it all men? Vs female clients to your hummingbird paintings?
J: It’s quite a niche market indeed but it's not about male vs. female. It is about personal history of each person. I paint railways because I have been attracted to railways since I was a little boy. The vision of going somewhere unknown was very exciting for me as I was watching cargo trains pass through my hometown. Sure enough, I ended up living my life like that. I traveled the whole world and lived in different countries without a destination or fix itinerary.
A: Please tell me about this piece with European ships with elephants? It is very surreal.
J: Did you see the little Buddha on the left of the riverbank? He’s meditating. The elephants are playing but suddenly the ship arrive. There is a message in this painting, the European ship represent colonization. Despite the common belief, I think we’re actually living in the height of colonization. The message is we have to return to enlightened state of being. That we can enjoy the life, represented by the playful elephants. This comes through coming back to our real nature, not the ego-based society which reigns the world now. I believe true joy of living can only come through enlightened state of existence in harmony with the rest of the life forms. If we remembered our real essence, this world could change overnight.
A: I’m very confused with this painting, because those trees look like they’re from Africa?
J: I don’t try to figure it out. I just paint. This came to me in a vision. Painting is not meant to be rationalized by human mind. Painting isn’t supposed to be understood. Art isn’t supposed to be understood like a mathematical formula. For me, it’s about feeling. When I first started painting this piece, I didn’t know there will be ship, I had no idea there would be trees, the progress happens in the present moment, it’s not a planned thing. Meaningful painting always unfolds in the present moment. Worrying about result only spoils it. Sometimes, I open my eyes after a yoga or meditation session or at any random moment and I know exactly how a painting should be. I don’t even like to call the paintings mine because I’m just a channel, a creative tool.
A: What is your creation process? Do you get visuals in your mind and you translate that onto canvas?
J: It can be that way. There are so many different ways. I don’t process it with my mind. Inspiration comes to me. As Einstein said, “None of my theories came through thinking about them”. It’s a channeling, an openness to something bigger than me. I just need to acquire the necessary skills to express the message adequately.
A: I see you paint a lot of Buddhas?
J: That’s recent work. One day, I felt like painting a Buddha. I painted one Buddha painting, put it on facebook and it sold right away. I keep on getting tremendous response and orders. Up there I have an unfinished commission of a huge Buddha painting surrounded by floating spirits of animals. I like the idea that people like Buddhas, it reflects the ripe for change in society.
A: Do you have a message?
J: I wish that my art would stop people from thinking and get more into their hearts. State of no mind, return to the source, which is beautiful beyond words. We are radiant creative beings, just our mind produces so much smoke that we forget our inner abundance.
A: The feeling I get from all your painting is that there is a sense of mystery.
J: Everybody will analyze it differently, of course. Most of my buyers have told me that they get the sensation of “peace” or “love”. I appreciate it, but it’s up to their own interpretation. I don't take things personally – both praise or negative feedback. My goal is to stay authentic, true to what I feel.
A: How long have you been an artist?
J: Professionally 3 years, seriously painting for about 12 years. Practising painting and going to art schools since I was a little kid.
A: Have you done other professions?
J: I performed jobs that surprise many of my friends. Remembering them is like remembering a movie about a different man. My past professions could not be more distinct one from another but they had one common denominator- they were very far from the dream of my heart. I believe there is a purpose and time for everything. Your life situation always reflects truthfully the energy you give out to the world. I feel better being a painter and a yogi than I felt being a soldier.
A: So you have created these pieces in the last 3 years?
J: Most of these pieces in my studio were painted in past few months. I have sold many pieces but I paint faster then I sell, so paintings accumulate. Fortunately there's no shortage of places which want to showcase my work, so I can keep on creating without restrain. I work 7 days a week, minimum 12 hours a day. I come to my studio in the morning and go home at 1 or 2 am, sometimes later. I wish I could only paint, but there's a big amount of work around running the studio. I might be called a workaholic, which is an oxymoron because I love what I do. Work then becomes play. I wake up in the morning and I can’t wait to be back in my space of creativity. I spent most of my time by myself, but I never feel alone.
A: Are there things you envision for your artistic career in the future? An exhibition in a famous museum maybe?
J: No, I don’t think about that at all.
A: Is it a certain impact you want to create?
J: My past vision was to become a famous rich artist. That vision has shifted so much that I feel like a different person. Right now, my vision is to use my art as a leverage to awaken people. If my art is successful, then I will use my reputation to that end. Success might come, but it's not my goal anymore. Real success is to feel richness in my heart in every moment regardless of outside circumstances.
A: But if you get your art into a big museum, wouldn’t more people see it? Wouldn’t that be faster?
J: Yeah, of course. I don’t plan these things. I do my best in the present moment, that’s all I have. If I’m spending time to plan the future, I’m losing my present moment. I’m wasting the time I was given on this planet.
A: Is there anything consistent with you? Didn’t you just donate money to Yoga Outreach?
J: Yes, I just donated to Yoga Out Reach and to Callanish society. I really like those two organizations. They are helping people on transformational level rather then just providing a symptomatic kind of treatment that never heals the root cause of problem. I also donated to Strathcona Elementary school twice because it's in the neighborhood and many families struggle here.
A: Is this an annual thing or you live via fly by the seat of your pants?
J: I'm acting out of presence as much as I can. I improvise a lot. If I said I constantly live in the present moment, then you’re talking to a Buddha- an enlightened being, and I’m not that. I try to stay present, but mind is a very clever mechanism and I get trapped in it like anybody else. My aim is try to see through it and not get frustrated, just go back to HERE and NOW gently, kindly, without judgment or blame. The future, I plan, once it’s done, I go back to present moment.
A: Please share with us your journey so far as an artist?
J: Rather than how I paint, the technique, it’s really important for me to be honest, not to twist my style as to demands of the market. I got influenced by demand of market before because back then, my objective was to “survive” as an artist. I had a moment in my career where I was broke, which is not uncommon in an artist’s career. And in that moment I asked myself the question “What do you want to do man? Are you willing to sacrifice your comfort, lose your home, and live in the studio, maybe give up the car, all these things and still continue painting?” For me the answer was obvious, I will never give up painting. The second question was “Why do I paint?” and this changed so much with my inner shift. As I was getting more professional, the fear of the material existence crept in my heart. I realized I painted out of a desire to sell and to survive as an artist instead of out of pure pleasure and desire to share my love with others. The shift came this summer, after much yoga and meditation. I went away to the forest for 5 days alone. I could not stand the fake roles and ambitions in my life anymore. I peeled through the layers of my ego, I saw how very disconnected from my divine nature I have been. I decided to drop all that and listen uniquely to my heart. What I lived in that forest had a huge significance on my spiritual journey. It is not an intellectual agreement, it has to be a genuine inner experience. I realized during my meditation that I was already abundant. Instead of the energy focused on me, how am I going to make it to the top and be famous, my main focus shifted to how can I share the abundance I already felt, how can I awaken the same quality in others. This inner shift quickly reflected in my outer life. Prior, I sold here and there, at shows, but nobody ever came to me and commissioned a $5000 painting. When I realized that’s not why I want to paint, and found the abundance in my heart, then it took a surprisingly short amount of time for the abundance to manifest on material level. Now my duty is to stay the same. The successes and failures in the eyes of conventional view of society- all that shall pass, they come and go, but the peace I found in my heart- that does not have to pass. I call it coming home; you come back to who you really are. As soon as I focused my energy on giving rather than taking, starting with this recent fundraiser, the third one this year, opportunities started flowing into my life. New friend requests on facebook, inquiries, visitors to my studio, purchases. I said Wow, now I have to stay calm with all this happening. I won’t fall pray to another game of the ego. Just stay centered. If I have a successful exhibition, as the last one, I will come back the next day to the studio and paint. Simple diligence, not get carried away by successes or the downs. Stay true to my message, which is to bring awakening, bring joy and happiness through my art. If it goes well, I’m happy, if it doesn’t go well, I’m still happy.
A: Which paintings are your best seller?
J: Almost always the ones that come to me in state of connection, in state of no mind. These buyers perceive the energy of original work like that. It's hard to describe, but the love that I sometimes feel when I paint is so strong that I am totally high on it. Logically this reflects to the painting. Prints are nice, but original work has so much to offer. I would never paint anything I don’t have a connection to, so when I’m painting in a pure state of bliss, connection to the source, not thinking at all, it’s always those paintings that sell first. But when I paint something and even a smallest thought that this painting might sell well sneak their way to my mind, then there is resistance. Unfortunately we live in a society where I have to charge for my paintings. Hopefully in the far future, or near future, I can give them or exchange with those who love it.
A: Do you have a favourite painting?
J: I remember seeing Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” painting in Paris for the first time in Musee d'Orsay. I was blown away. How many years passed, yet it’s so charged with emotions, with so much to give. I have huge respect for people like Vincent, who stayed true to their inner calling despite all the hardships.
A: I’m thrilled to see you have gone through this total transformation to go from living in survival mode to abundance, I’m sure you’ve shifted emotionally, intellectually, spiritually. What advice do you have for the currently broke creative person or common 9-5 workers out there? What if they don’t have the spiritual foundation of yoga and mediation, what steps can they take towards a shift?
J: Spirituality is a very misleading word. There's a huge fuss about it and ego likes it that way. It becomes another product, another never-fulfilled desire. What I realized is that spirituality is nothing more than being in spirit as Wayne Dyer has so eloquently said. Which means being who you really are. And there are many different ways to come back to who you really are. It’s about shedding past conditioning and unlearning lots of things rather than stuffing yourself with new stuff. Spirituality has no magic in it, we are magical beings by definition, we are strong powerful beings, and our strength is beyond any of our own suspicions. We just play so many roles, because we’re taught to play roles in order to succeed in this world. So we have forgotten what it means to be in spirit, to be children again while keeping the wisdom of adults. For me, it’s being playful, creative being, who can never harm anybody else, because it’s not in our nature to harm anybody else. And when you have faith in the good intention of this force that creates life then the things around fall in place. Clean the mess inside and the dis-balance and unhappiness in your outside life will float away . The function of mind is to analyze and to make problem out of everything, because that is how mind survives- through your beliefs and self-identification with it, so we think “oh it’s possible for an artist, but not possible for a 9-5 clerk to be spiritual.” And that’s exactly how mind operates, but it’s not true.
A: Mind creates limitations and categorizations, you mean?
J: As any entity in the universe, mind wants to survive and it survives by making you believe in its delusional problems. If you realize you can only use your mind when absolutely necessary and rest of the day, you can be connected to the source- well then the obsessive mind patterns you created, the limited image of yourself which poisons your life will die. Of course it doesn’t want to die, it will do whatever to survive. My advice is to start doubting all that you believe! And just reconnect, be silent, say less, listen more, observe a lot, especially your mind. Surrender to life rather than always trying to figure things out with your head. We are part of an intelligent and wonderful existence beyond imagination. Stop resisting it and give it space to unfold through you. Stop believing you're separate, alone, special, meant to succeed or fail, deserving this or that. All the wisdom and power is within you. Of course, you’ll meet teachers along the path when you’re ready.
A: How do you differentiate information from wisdom? How can you tell if it’s true or not?
J: You have all the wisdom of universe already within you. Information is matter of current educational system. It does not give you wisdom, it just makes you suitable participant in current model of society, which is quite mad. Things resonate with you or not. Use your intuition. When it’s true, when it’s worthwhile, it resonates with you, you know it intrinsically. It just feels right deep within. You know when you’re on the right path. The universe gives you signs when you’re on the right path the same way as you receive signs everyday, every moment when you’re not on the right path. You just need to have eyes and ears for it. Do you feel unfulfilled all the time? Do you feel bad about your job? Are you always imagining future as your time of joy?
A: So you’re saying our emotion is the compass to drive us towards or away from the right path?
J: Emotion is nothing more than a thought meeting the body, which manifest on the physical level as emotion. Emotions always truthfully reflect your state of being in the given moment, but it doesn’t mean that what you’re thinking is correct, that it’s true, that it’s the ultimate truth of the universe. But the emotion is always a truthful mirror of your inner state in that moment. You can use your emotions very wisely to see more clearly what is going on inside of you, to become aware. Everyone should be always very interested in their inner world. Any real change can only happen from a place of clarity. Can you see that you live in a prison of mind? You can never get past the iron bars if you can't even see them.
You can check out his art at www.facebook.com/jankasparecpaintings
You can reach Jan:
cell: (+1) 778 926 7775
|Last Updated ( Monday, 18 May 2015 )|
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