By Antler's roaming editor, Sarah Jappy.
To celebrate the ethereal lightness of our soft-shell Brixham collection, we teamed up with digital artist Maciek Martyniuk (AKA Yomagick), whose romantic dreamscapes reveal a playful surrealism. Inspired by our lightest suitcase yet, Yomagick beautifully captured the spirit of Brixham in a series of images and animations. Here, we catch up with the globe-trotting artist to discover his inspirations, travel tips, and what’s in store on his own candy-coloured horizon.
We love the pastel hues and ethereal feel of your ‘Dreamlands’ series – can you tell us more about this work, and its inspiration?
To be honest, there are many answers to that question. What inspires me is my life and my experiences. Places I travelled to, people I spoke to, movies I have seen, and artists whose art I’ve admired. ‘Dreamlands’ is about imagination and motivation. It tries to motivate and give positive energy.
Your work captures the magic of other places. What do you love about travel?
I love to experience life in different places. I am curious about what people do around the world. What they are interested in, how they spend their time. What is important to them. I also like landscapes, architecture and culture. I like walking or cycling on the streets of new cities or towns and experiencing everyday life somewhere completely different.
Can you tell us about your ‘taking outside in’ work, and the impact that the pandemic had on your life and work?
During the pandemic, my daily routine was interrupted by having to stay at home. I wanted to go on a walk, but I couldn’t. So I was thinking, what if the things outside could be in my room? So I designed a sofa that looked exactly like a mountain. From there, I understood the idea was interesting, so I continued.
I think this project is kind of unfinished, because after some time, I figured out that I could move away from Barcelona and go somewhere else, where it was easier to have a regular life. So I moved from country to country and, at the end, I landed in the Dominican Republic. Interestingly, Haiti was the place where André Breton – the father of Surrealism – travelled to and became inspired. The beautiful Haitian surrealist art was more revolutionary and expressed a sense of struggle. I admire its beautiful layouts, flower compositions and style. In my art, I try to create a positive, relaxed, dreamlike fantasy.
Who, or what, inspires you?
There are so many sources of inspiration. I like the lightness and soundtracks of old Disney. The balance and harmony of Wes Anderson. The style of fifteenth-century paintings from the Netherlands. Lately, I have been looking at Haitian surrealism, because I lived on Haiti island for two years. I also like some contemporary 3D artists from Poland and Spain. I love Studio Ghibli from Japan!
Clouds (and skyscapes) often feature in your landscapes. What’s their significance for you?
Clouds and grass are very basic things that we are always surrounded by. So, wherever you travel, they’re there. I like to celebrate things that are available for everyone to experience, such as beautiful skies, water, and grass. I think if we all desire things such as sky and grass, we are all happy. So I show it in my art.
Your work invites viewers to look at the world differently. Apart from travel, what else helps you to change your perspective?
I think trying to stay playful. Looking at life as a miracle. The belief that we can make our reality better if we can imagine it. Not losing this magical feeling about life, where everything is possible. Taking care of our inner child. Kind of a mix of fantasy and realism, just like my art.
Where are some of your favourite places in the world, and why?
My favourite place is the next one I go to! I think I find something unique and inspiring everywhere. Riding a bike in Osaka is something that comes to my mind now. I recently experienced New York as a super-friendly place. I also like my granny’s apartment and making carrot juice with her.
What aspects of Brixham inspired you?
It’s so light! To be able to travel a lot, it’s important to have a good suitcase, because all your belongings are well protected. If it’s really heavy, it makes travelling much more difficult. Antler does these two things – protection and lightness – well.
If you could only pack three items in your lightweight Brixham case, what would they be?
I have to take my stationary PC, which is a bit odd. However, that’s the way I produce my art and it’s what makes me happy. I am known to my friends for forgetting to pack the most basic things such as socks and toothpaste. So, this time I can’t forget those.
What qualities do you look for in your luggage and why?
If I take my desktop screen I need good protection, so a hard-shell suitcase may be the way to go. It also makes the suitcase strong and timeless. Otherwise, I think it’s good to keep things as light as possible. Especially if someone likes relaxed travel.
What’s next for Yomagick? What do you hope 2023 brings?
Next month, I will travel to South Asia. I can’t wait to ride a tuk tuk in New Delhi! I have some ideas, but I would rather tell them when they are done! I still feel like I am an unfinished project. I am looking for a good, authentic way to document my travels and mix it with my art somehow.
What advice do you have for:
1) Aspiring artists?
Practise a lot, stay curious and study the Old Masters. Make your life unique. Challenge yourself. Enjoy your life.
2) Aspiring explorers?
I think travelling is a little bit like a design project. You can plan everything but there is always something that will have to be figured out on the go. Travel somewhere close before you go very far. Book that ticket! Stay positive.