There's something Weird going on down at Peachbeach! We felt it was time we had a chat with one of our friends and submission creators, so he could give us the lowdown and catch up with the developments in his crazy life.
Hey Vidam, how are you? Please introduce yourself.
Hi! My name is Vidam, that’s Hungarian and it means happy and this is also how I feel right now! I am an artist and illustrator.
Where are you located? What’s the weather like today? (Building up an image! Haha!)
I live in Berlin and the weather is pretty shitty! It’s raining all day long, but I guess you know what this is like in the UK.
What is your artistic background, have you always wanted to be an artist/designer?
As a child I dreamt of being a Disney cartoonist. Later, when I got into comics, I thought maybe it’s nicer to make a living of this. Unfortunately almost nobody does make a living by creating comics. That’s why I decided to study design and become an illustrator.
What is the foundation and philosophy behind your art, is this something you’ve always stuck with?
I always try to tell a story with my artwork, sometimes these are funny and sometimes they are not even obvious. In the last couple of months I tried to take a more abstract route.
What level of art have you studied and practiced?
I studied graphic design at the HTW School for Applied Sciences in Berlin. I guess my most important influence on art was my teacher at the High School, Mrs.Völkel. She taught me all the interesting stuff in modern art, and I really enjoyed it! This was the foundation for my work nowadays.
How did you get into Graffiti?
I enjoyed Graffiti passively relatively early, when I was 13 or something. I experienced it regularly in the streets and on trains in Germany and Hungary. I never took the chance to do it myself because there was nobody in my circle of friends who did it or introduce me to it. I was raised in a very small village and we had absolutely no idea about graffiti. Looking back this was a real shame as I had to wait several years to get involved. Finally, when I came to Berlin, my new artsy-fartsy friends showed me how to use a spray-can.
You are part of the internationally acclaimed crew The Weird. How did this come about? Does being part of a big group of amazing artists increase your motivation and help you develop your artwork? What’s it like working with a large group when creating a big production?
We founded this crew, because most of us knew each other before. We realized that we all loved painting characters. The idea to connect and create a big character design-crew was born when we visited Nychos in Vienna and had plenty of booze. At this point in time we painted a lot of walls and we really enjoyed it, to do it as a group of likeminded people. It’s always cool to hang out with all the guys, but its hard to bring all the 10 members together at the same time, because everybody is busy of course. But always when it happens, its a big party!
You are also one half of the art and design collective Peachbeach, how did this project start and how has it grown?
I’ve produced my design and illustration work under this name since the 90’s. Later at art school I wanted to form a new design collective with two friends but we had no idea how to name this new crew, so I suggested to go under my old name Peachbeach, because the domain was already existing for years, (Ha-ha!) Nowadays it’s just the two of us (Look The Weird) as our third member left us, but as two artists we work well together.
How would you describe your style? And how has it developed? What influences and inspires your work? And does your graffiti and design work go hand in hand?
My style develops all the time! Several years ago I drew funny characters that smiled all the time. Nowadays everything is more abstract and not that cute anymore. I wanted to develop a signature character but nowadays I don’t like painting the same things all the time. I love to experiment and try out new things all the time. Everything around me is inspiring, especially the city, friends, nature, parties, love and food and everything else. In the last couple of years my personal art went in a different direction to my commercial illustration work. On the one hands this is a pity, because I really have to go different routes when I change between art and work, on the other hand its also nice so separate these totally with different approaches.
We’ve seen recently you hosted a solo show called ‘Houses’ which included some amazingly detailed architectural artwork. When you’re painting a building is there a connection between you, the structure and it’s location that will determine what you paint on it?
This series is a great example for my demand for experiments. I wanted to do something really different to my older works and started these drawings. Now, when this show is over, I head for new ideas and styles and try to not draw houses anymore. In this period I loved it to dive deeply into the architecture and make connections between the facade of the house and a possible mural on its side. Sometimes there are obvious connections; sometimes these are subtler, or even unrecognisable for the audience.
Is the city where you live important to you?
Totally! I always wanted to go to Berlin, even when I was a kid in school. After finishing studies, I directly moved here and I never want to leave. Only for traveling of course!
"I guess I’d be a carpenter or a driver for the Metro"
How do you split your time between your outdoor work and studio time?
It totally depends on what’s going on right at that time. Most of the time I work in my studio on illustration work and always if there’s a free minute I try to focus on free art projects. These minutes are very rare, because we do a lot of commercial illustration jobs. I love this work too; it’s good to know that we can make a living by drawing funny and sometimes very mainstream things. But yes, that is finally what I always dreamt about.
We sent you a bunch of postal labels to create your submission on, what’s your favourite surface to work on? And what has been the most challenging place to work?
My favourite surface right now is wooden panels. I love the structure and the possibility to work very rough with it. The most challenging place was definitely a painting job in a psychiatric clinic for children. We designed 5 different wards and painted them within 4 weeks. We witnessed a lot of strange but also funny and interesting situations with these children in this time.
The submissions have brought together artists from Graffiti, Street-Art and Illustration. Is it right to say the world is becoming more tolerant to art in the street?
Yes, definitely. It’s all Banksy’s fault, ha-ha!
Your artwork allows you to travel all around the world. Where has been the best place to go and paint? What’s the craziest travel story?
For me personally a trip to Bosnia was the best place, because I enjoyed the hospitality and kindness of the people so much. Additionally I loved the wall I painted and normally I don’t say this about my own artwork. A very funny story was when I was in Albania with some artists and lived in one double bed room with my friend DXTR. One night we were very drunk, but needed another beer of course when we arrived in our room. We shared the same bed and went sleeping with a freshly opened can of beer. The next day when we woke up, we realized that the complete content of the can had drained into the bed in the meantime. That was slightly disgusting but also very funny!
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?
I guess I’d be a carpenter or a driver for the Metro.
So, our project is addressing the awareness of Crohn’s Disease. Before we contacted you had you heard of the illness?
No, unfortunately not!
You created a great submission, what was your thought behind it and did researching it help with raising your own awareness?
Yes, researching about Crohn’s was scary! I really had no clue what it was all about, I’d never heard of the disease. After hearing about it, it seems that I encounter more people who are affected by it.
We think raising people’s awareness in a unique and creative way makes it more interesting, have you done anything like this before?
I did a lot of pro-bono-work for different occasions, but I can’t remember that there was something similar before to support the people concerned in this creative way.
Diet is important to those who suffer with the illness. How would you describe your diet with such a hectic lifestyle?
That’s a pretty hard topic for me. Unfortunately I eat way too unhealthy food! My girlfriend always forced me to pay attention to a healthy lifestyle, but sometimes it’s just easier to have some dirty fast food. But I really love to cook at home and be aware of right and healthy ingredients.
Thanks for giving Crohn’s a slap; what can we expect to see from yourself and Peachbeach in the near future?
I’ll paint and experiment more on my personal style and with Peachbeach. We’re going to have some nice future projects. For example the former mentioned psychiatric clinic for children wants us again to design their new extension building.