RK : First of all, thank you for accepting our invitation for an interview. Say something about you.
Aleksandar : I am Aleksandar Ilic, an artist from the city of Loznica, Western Serbia and I'm 23 years old.
RK : When did you first realize that you really loved drawing? Were there any instances that you can recall in particular that made you choose to concentrate on creating art?
Aleksandar : I have always drawn good, and as a child, but I did not have much time to improve my talent. I did my first portrait in 2009 and it was my geography teacher. The drawing was very small in size, like an image for an ID card. The teacher was delighted with the drawing. After that, I did draw a few portraits of famous people, but that was not so detailed. In two or three hours I ended up painting.
After finishing high school, I started to seriously work on drawings and started to work on commissions. So far, I have sent drawings around the world, from America, Europe, Australia …
RK : Did anybody teach you drawing techniques when you were young?
Aleksandar : Nobody ever taught me how to draw and I never went to drawing lessons. I simply learned everything without anyone's help.
RK : Was there any particular moments that you feel launched your art career for you? Has anybody guided you along your career path as an artist and if so who?
Aleksandar : As I said, everything I've done so far has been without anyone's help and I'm proud of it.
RK : Tell us about your work? What are you currently working on?
Aleksandar : I am currently working on commissions because it's summer and many people buy drawings to give presents to loved ones or friends. When I do not draw commissions, then I'm making art for myself.
RK : What subjects do you mostly like to draw and paint about and why?
Aleksandar : I draw most portraits because I find myself in it. But it's not a problem for me to draw anything if people ask and of course pay.
RK : What is your favorite medium to work in?
Aleksandar : I work most with graphite pencils, but I also like to work with colored pencils. RK : Who are some artists you admire?
Aleksandar : I follow the work of many artists around the world and most of all I admire paintings of Sage Barnes, Mike Dargas, Marco Grassi, Clio Newton and more.
RK : Do you have a favorite piece you have created?
Aleksandar : I have a favorite work but it's constantly changing. For now, my favorite work is drawing from the Romanian singer INNA who I did this year. The drawing is now in her house in Romania. RK : What goes through your mind while you draw, is there a calm silence, do you listen to music or do you experience doubt, fear or any emotions at all? If you experience fear or doubt what do you do to overcome these feelings?
Aleksandar : While I draw, I listen to music and completely exclude myself from reality. It's like moving to another art world. And nothing can ruin my mood.
RK : Your pieces are incredibly detailed. How long does it take to create a single piece and what is the process like?
Aleksandar : If the picture has a lot of detail, it takes me up to 7 days to draw it, and I work around 8 hours a day. But I enjoy when I draw details, and the picture would not be the same if I did not do it. RK : Tell us about the struggles you have endured as an artist.
Aleksandar : Fighting is a little difficult word, but it can be said that it exists in some way. Media and TV are the best way for your work to see as many people as possible and to become recognizable. Then you get some of your audience who are following you. I think that's the case with every artist, regardless of whether he is a singer, an actor, a writer ...
RK : Please tell us about any significant awards you have won or exhibitions that have made an impact on your life.
Aleksandar : So far, I have not received any reward for my work and I have never exhibited it yet. But I have an exhibition in the plan for a while.
RK : Describe your dream project.
Aleksandar : I am currently planning to expand my art to other techniques, to a larger format of the drawings, but still to be portraits. And I do not have a much bigger project I dream of. Maybe to go to America or some other destination and to continue my artistic life there.
RK : If you were not an artist, what would you rather be?
Aleksandar : If I were not an artist, I would probably be a hairdresser, or a makeup artist, or something like that. I do not know. RK : Do you have any special unique advice for other artists who are learning to draw in realism at this very high standard that you are drawing at?
Aleksandar : Never give up your dreams because everything is possible. Learn from mistakes, because every next time you will be getting better in what you do. And of course, have patience. The artist does not become overnight. It takes years of work and effort. RK : If you could tell the world one thing, what would it be?
Aleksandar : Do what you love and love what you do!
RK : Have you ever been to India and anything you know about Indian Art & Culture?
Aleksandar : I have never been to India, but I would like to leave, why not. I love traveling and getting to know other people and cultures. I know only for a holiday HOLI where everyone is sprayed with colors. I watched that on TV shows here in Serbia. RK : We (Retro Kolkata) are trying to make a bridge between National and International Art & Culture By featuring some National & International personalities who already have made their own path in their respective fields and we think your story and tips might help the newcomers to build their career. Please say something about our initiative and any special message for your Indian followers.
Aleksandar : I hope that some will achieve my success because I believe there are many talented people, children in India. Just let them believe in themselves and everything will be fine.
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