Robin Janásek is a photographer and graphic designer from Czech Republic. He’s already been included in a former group interview here on PVMGarage.
Could you please introduce yourself?
Hi, my name is Robin Janásek. I’m 19 years old graphic designer from Czech Republic. And I like cigarette smoke… in art… and… in overall.
You’ve been featured in a group interview back in spring, where you told something about your expectations. What has changed since then?
Well, at this moment I’m in the middle of fulfilling them. I am about to start a design company with my friend and colleague, so currently we’re stuck up in paperwork. But it’s definitely on a good way. Other than that, I’m having my first exhibition at the end of October, which will showcase my new series called ap.ART. It’s the first real exhibition with printed artworks, so I’m very excited about it and I hope I’ll get some feedback to it. The series will also be available online, probably at the beginning of November.
Your style is often considered to be “minimalistic”. Is it nothing but minimalistic? How would you describe your style?
Minimalism is definitely one of the main elements in my style, although in the last few months I tended to use more experimental things in artworks, which sometimes push the minimalistic elements to the background. So, at the moment, I would describe my style as, let’s say, experimental abstract style with elements of minimalism and absurdity. But people like to simplify things, so that’s probably why I’m considered to be just minimalistic.
Do you only do graphical design or also other kinds of design?
In the last few months I’ve started to do webdesign a bit, trying to learn new methods now, as it’s very different from other works I used to create. And other than that, I’ve been working on the whole design of Festiválek bez bojů a válek this year, which consisted of several print designs and also photographies from the festival. We needed to stick to a monochromatic scheme due to finances, but we did our best to get as much as we could from it.
Would you consider the Czech Republic, where you are from, as a good place for designers? Is there actually a certain “Slovenian”, “Slavic”, or maybe even Czech style?
Well, to be honest I don’t consider myself as a part of any Czech design community, so I can’t really tell. I know few designers here, who are doing very different styles. And I like that. I wouldn’t be happy if I had to divide design styles by countries or specific areas.
Could you please describe your photographical work? How important is minimalism there?
I’m quite a novice on the photographical field, and I must sincerely say, that I’ve never study photography at all. So, when it comes to it, I’m shooting according to my feelings and again, I’m trying to experiment with many things, which leads to a pretty chaotic portfolio. I also like to link photography and design together, which is very clear especially in the new ap.ART series. And about minimalism.. yea. Although probably not that much as in graphic design, but still, it’s one of the elements I like to use for its clear message to viewers.
What’s your opinion about differences/similarities between graphic design and photography?
As I stated above, I like to link these two together. There’s definitely a lot of differences. In my opinion, graphic design represents a cleaner way to represent a certain message while photography can give the same message a more emotional feeling and atmosphere. Therefore, finding a compromise between graphic design and photography is the best way to state my opinions and (as people tell me, often too deeply) hidden messages. And experimenting with those compromises, pushing them more to photography and then back to graphic design – that’s just amazing fun.
What are your major sources of inspiration, both for photography and graphic design?
I believe we’ve talked about this last time. Mainly people who are close to me. Not that I would look on them and get it, it’s just the way they act and the way they change me throughout the time. It’s nice to think of a certain person and have several ideas in your head within few seconds. And other thing that works for me.. as with almost everything else, if I’m looking for inspiration, I usually won’t find it. If I’m not looking, it always finds me itself.
Who is amongst your idols – again, both in photography and graphic design?
I’ll start with graphic design, as it’s still my primary area, and there I guess it would be mainly Kevin Minnis, who influented me a lot in the way I do graphic design and in few important elements I’m using… and then Parker Gibson, who is doing incredible abstract artworks with lovable colour schemes. Amongst photographers, it would be Gordon McBryde, whose photos leave me speachless for a pretty long time. I really like each and every photo he makes and that’s a thing I can’t say about anyone else. Also, although I don’t have many designers around me, there’s plenty of good photographers, who are both idols and sources of inspiration to me, mainly Alena Vítková and Eva Tajovská. These two have really great influence on my current photo works.
Any other thoughts you want to share with the readers? What would you suggest to persons that are just starting with photography/graphic design?
Uuhm, I’d like to say thanks to everyone, who has been supporting me for the last two years and also to those who will be supporting me in the future, as without them I’d definitely won’t be here writing these lines and creating what I’m creating. And suggestions? Well, be sure to enjoy creating and.. find your own ways of doing things, as manuals and step-by-step tutorials will never work 100%. And keep in mind that there are always great amounts of people who won’t like what you do, so don’t change your ways just because few people tell you your artworks suck. A lot of people are affected by this nowadays in my opinion and that’s definitely not good for the future.