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Interview: Radinsky [Art]

#CREATORTALK is a series of articles and interviews, with a focus on the creative industries and the talent working within them. In this edition of #CREATORTALK, we talk to French artist and writer Radinsky.

PW – Hello Radinsky. How’s it going?

Hey there! I’m doing great! I’m mostly tired, but it’s the good kind of tired: I feel like I’ve been running a marathon these past few weeks, but it’s incredibly rewarding. I’m doing good when I’m active.

PW – First things first: who you are and what do you do?

I’m Radinsky, I’m an aspiring artist and writer. I’m currently in law. I’m seeking not only to combine creativity with my legal field but also to have plenty of discussions about international law and human rights. Indeed, I’m politically involved as well, and my written works tend to reflect that.

I’m a Slavic guy of Middle-eastern descent who is incredibly attached to his origins, but also his country: France. I think all of this defines most of what my work is about.

PW – Who or what are your biggest inspirations?

The one who got me into being bolder when it came to art was Adam Adamowicz, the concept artist who worked on Fallout 3 and Skyrim. He sadly passed away back in 2012. I also hold in high regard other names in the gaming industry, such as Benedykt Szneider and Jakub Kowalczyk.

When it comes to more “classical” inspirations, if that means anything at all, Marie Laurencin was who drove my softer style back in the day. Salvador Dali and Zdzisław Beksiński are big ones for me too.

Most of the time, I’m also very much inspired by witch house music and the grim aesthetic attached to the genre. Post-apocalyptic fiction, in any shape or form, tends to inspire me as well.

PW – What attracted you to the style of art and literature you create?

Despite being pretty high-energy, dynamic, and confident, I can be a very anxious and sad person. I was first brought to post-apocalyptic fiction through the sheer fear of it. In my darkest moments, seeing, reading, and hearing ruined sceneries was simply what my mindset felt like; it was the embodiment of it.

As I grew older, cultivating a stronger political conscience, I was drawn to dystopias in general. The post-apocalyptic interest drifted towards the interest in figuring out how society would rebuild.

I was always interested in political literature as well, and there is no better fictional reproduction of those discussions than the dystopian genre.

When it comes to the art style, I moved on from a washed-up universe to the search of cinematographic compositions rather than the illustrative ones.

The cyberpunk colour scheme allowed for more freedom when it came to producing a more vibrant universe, and further underlining symbolic meanings attached to colours. Being very interested in cinema from the get-go further inspired me to follow its framing rather than the classical illustrative narrative.

PW – Your artwork is grounded in cyberpunk aesthetics. Why does this style appeal to you in particular?

The cyberpunk genre offers many freedoms when it comes to science-fiction, but remains most of the time confined to planet earth. What I like the most about that aesthetic is the use of bold colours, and this in sharp contrast with darker tones in composition.

I’m mostly drawn to an idea of techno-horror as I like to call it myself: The untamed evolution in which man and machine meet, creating chimeric cyborgs. There’s an idea of human corruption which existed since the dawn of mankind, but this time is it embodied by the limitless nature of technological advancement.

Being very much involved when it comes to fundamental freedoms and rights, I find it interesting to give much thought to how such a society would enable advancements to overrun humanity.

Indeed, cyberpunk is more often than not a genre in which ethics are thrown out of the window under the guise of supposed progress.

There’s somewhat an idea of cosmic horror hiding behind it all; the horror being how technology surpassed humanity with little interest in the common good.

PW – What can you tell us about Malysh and MINDRUINER?

Both are projects I have been working on for some time now. Without revealing too much, Malysh Or the Trial of an Outdated Democracy is a story about societal vengeance and grief. It tackles the difficult topic of a given State’s failure to recognise its past crimes. My goal with Malysh was to underline how the legal and societal fields reflect each other, and perhaps bringing to light some problems we struggle with today. With the main theme are brought up topics such as identity, societal collapse, and the necessity of common remembrance. The notion of Statehood is also wildly discussed, this through the lens of how Thomas Hobbes pictured it as being an automat, a machine, even a body in the Leviathan.

MINDRUINER on the other hand is the sheer embodiment of a neon-noir cyberpunk flick, which actually stemmed from the first serious project I came up with many years ago. I was about 12 at the time. Naturally, the story evolved a lot throughout the years. I am still figuring out the tone and messages behind MINDRUINER, so I put that one on hold as of today to focus solely on Malysh. What I can say for sure, is that it would definitely be tied to the notion of a State overstepping its constitutional boundaries, through a world in which technology oversteps the life of man.

A fun piece of trivia is that I had started Malysh OTOD back when I was 15. It was an assignment: We were tasked with writing either a dystopian or a utopian short story. I rolled with it next, and am still polishing it up to this day. I have quite a few projects coming up too I have not yet revealed, but I promise that they are numerous.

PW – There’s an article on your website about character development. Can you give us a quick overview of that?

The article is about discussing perhaps lesser academic ways of fleshing out a character. Indeed, in said article, I refer to different little tricks for writers to design their character in a way which brings depth out.

I noticed a trend of writers, ironically so due to our creative leanings, who like following classical processes for character development. The goal of the article wasn’t so much to incite people to follow my way of doing, but rather to give cues as to how one could discover a process which is personal to them, and successful.

I showcased some of my more extravagant ways of designing characters. Designing a character’s room to depict their mindset, turning towards giving a character’s past a physical embodiment, suggesting to know a character the way one would know a friend… It’s centred around a more psychological perspective I suppose, rather than the usual “academic guideline” which, in my opinion, creates the most boring characters.

PW – What other topics are you in discussing?

I’m really interested in geopolitics and human rights as a whole. I’ve always been a very curious guy, starting from childhood.

I’m more than willing to discuss international law too, especially when it comes to the European Union which I specialise in. Being from a syndicalist family as well has turned me into someone who’s very involved in labour rights in general.

To summarise, I’m really into talking about my political involvements and leanings. I like reading about political theories, and philosophy, despite not being as knowledgeable in the latter.

My big point of interest is the Balkans and the Middle East’s modern history too.

I like learning from others too, so I’d discuss anything.

PW – Are there any other creators you think people should check out?

I’d recommend Christine (@Fierce_Chai) and Namouah (@Namouah) too, who have very inspiring creative journeys, and who are two of my best friends. Their art inspires me as much as their entire being does. They have an incredibly positive influence on my artistic life — in my life as a whole.

I’d also like to bring light to creators in the musical field.

Zamilska is heavily underrated, she’s one hell of a techno DJ. Her music drives most of my creation process. I’d like to recommend BLAIR ROUGE too, who is fantastic in the down-tempo techno genre. Holod and Holon, which aren’t to be mixed up, are brilliant too.

If people wish to do so, Deadly Avenger is a musician I have discovered barely a few days ago, and they’re fantastic!

PW – This site focuses heavily on creativity and the real people behind the art. How does creativity affect you on a day to day basis? Does inspiration typically strike you out of nowhere; or do you have very specific ideas and goals for any project you decide to work on?

I wake up every day with creativity on my mind. Despite having specific goals indeed, I do have peaks of inspiration. On a day to day basis, it’s an incredible drive which helps me stay on track. It’s been having a great positive influence on my life so far.

It wasn’t so much of a net positive during my time in elementary, middle and high school however: I was one of those pupils with their head in the clouds. I’m thankful for it being present when it came to creative homework.

Even today, my university work often sees my creative influence, as I work out my natural artistic learning process to apply it to my legal field.

Creativity is inherently a huge part of who I am today, everything is influenced by a creative thinking process. I’m not known for following specific guidelines, but rather getting work done in the way which is most natural for me, which helps me do it well.

PW – You’re currently studying law. How has this influenced you creatively?

Ha! Great question: I keep trying to make people understand how law isn’t as much of the cold field they picture!

Law has influenced me creatively in many ways. What strikes me the most is when it comes to my style of writing. I feel like law taught me to be more concise and organised in my process; whichever process it might be. Law’s effect has been more obvious on my writing than my visual art. However, the impact on my creative mindset has been in regards to my ability to stand my ground, and defend my creative ideas. Ever since I’ve entered that field, I felt much less impressionable. I know what I can, and cannot do.

It helped me gain confidence too, confidence in my own ability to push back against worrisome individuals working in the disfavour of artists: ill-intentioned actors, those begging for free art, those stealing your artwork, emotional blackmailing from rude solicitations… In the end, I feel like I can focus exclusively on my creativity without worrying about said nefarious actors seeking to undermine it.

Without question did it also have an incredibly positive impact on my vocabulary as a whole. I’m much better at expressing whichever intention I had in mind when writing now.

Being in this field did, of course, bring me more technical knowledge when it came to addressing specific aspects of world-building: How does a State work? How would laws work? What of the courts? The administration? Criminal law?

Despite liking to keep things separate and in their place, my legal and creative fields work in harmony in the most unexpected ways. I love them both dearly.

PW – In this kind of economy and industry, it can be tough to feel like you’re moving forward sometimes. How do you battle these feelings when they come up, and do you have any advice to other people who might be struggling in a similar way?

I understand that feeling too well. It’s a hard time for artists all around considering the sheer mass-producing in the industry: Art has always rested on a crucial balance in between being a product and a vision subdued to subjective appreciation. Nowadays, its value seems to tend towards its monetary appreciation more than what it’s meant to embody: Everything happens too fast, from set trends to how much an artist is expected to keep up with the rest of the world.

The industrialisation of art, its mass-production, feels intimidating. My advice to other people struggling with the intensity of the industry is standing your ground. Time is not an ally when it comes to chain production, but it will be yours as an artist.

Know yourself so you can know your art, because no big cooperation can ever hope to imitate what ultimately shines through: The soul of a piece. As optimistic as it might sound, with enough perseverance, the vision tackled through subjective appreciation always comes back one way or another. It’s about bringing the balance back.

A key is knowing the system well enough to, in a way, beat it at its own game. Being rebellious is never enough. Rebellion without intimate knowledge of the machine’s cogs will amount to nothing.

I’d also suggest a more pragmatic piece of advice that no one wants to hear — that I didn’t want to hear either a few years ago: Be sure to have a backup plan. Have something else you can rest upon if things go haywire. Never put yourself in a position of dependence if you can.

PW – What are your ambitions for the future?

I’m hoping to tackle my projects one by one, there are so many underway! I’d love to become a law professor, then a writer and an artist on the side.

All I can say as a teaser for what is coming up is that there is an entire universe in which all of my stories live and breathe in. There’s an entire world of lore and history which will be explored, and I’ve got myself busy for the next decades.

I’d be thrilled to work with musicians sometimes as well, perhaps we could create an artistic opera.

The immediate future is mostly focused on my studies, but studying recharges my creative batteries: I draw much inspiration from my field, so the better I study, the better I undertake my creative projects, and vice-versa.

In the long run, I’m hoping to have a rich, diverse and interesting career. I cannot say for sure where my journey will take me. I’m just hoping I’ll make a difference. I want to offer a lot to the world we’re living in. To each their field in which their presence is a plus to those around them: Making a creative and/or legal difference for those who need it would make everything worthwhile.

I have a lot of ambition and energy, so I’ll make damn sure to make it work as best I can.

PW – And final question. Actually, it’s more of an invitation. Feel free to use the next few sentences to self-promote the hell out of what you’re up to.

All I can do is promote my Twitter really! @Thisisradinsky.

I love interacting with people on a daily basis, I’d be thrilled to meet new people.

Radinsky’s official site can be found here.

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