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Žybartas Čiurlys

The multi-talented Lithuanian illustrator talks to us about his vintage water colours and how London inspires him

Lithuania-born and now London-based illustrator Žybartas Čiurlys describes himself as a student, but he is not only studying Fashion Illustration at London College of Fashion. He is also modelling and running the interview-based blog March & Fight. In between all this, Čiurlys took some time off to answer our RISE questions...

I choose colours intuitively, but sometimes I spend a bit of time matching them together.  Themes come naturally. It is always an intuition which dictates the flow of the final work

Dazed Digital: What tools do you use in your work?
Žybartas Čiurlys:
I am using tiny brushes and many different water colours. No matter what the size of the painting, I always use one of my smallest brushes. I would say that most of the water colours used in my works were made with vintage water colours from my mother’s youth. Surprisingly, the colours are still bright and I have no complaints about their quality.

DD: How do you choose colours and themes?
Žybartas Čiurlys: I choose colours intuitively, but sometimes I spend a bit of time matching them together.  Themes come naturally. It is always an intuition which dictates the flow of the final work.

DD: What’s your favorite object to draw?
Žybartas Čiurlys: 
It depends on the situation, mood or period. Around 2007 I would definitely say that my favourite objects were anti-objects: abstracts and indescribable characters. Later I moved to explore auto-portraits and after that - portraits and fashion.

Now I am working on a new auto-portrait which is full of blue and violet shades on the dark ink-washed background. The thing that I like when I draw myself is that I can experiment with new visualisations and aesthetics without any expectations (it is completely different if I were to do portraits of people that I know) of the final outcome. Also I like to create a few different images at the same time – everything stays fresh.

DD: How does living in London inspire you?
Žybartas Čiurlys:
 You can do whatever you want without judgment, but you can also realise what you are missing from where you come from and how different the values and dreams can be. The thing which fascinates me is that you always find or see something interesting and new here: exhibitions, events, places and people. I wouldn’t say that living in London is reflected in my personal works, though it would be different if we were to talk about university projects. In London I have tried techniques which I have never tried before. 

Text By Julija Kaselyte