Stare into the darkness long enough and you will find a certain type of beauty and peace that can only be found in those places where few tread. Illustrator and graphic designer Paulegu has stared into that dark place, found the beauty that resides there and presents it for the world to see in the form of illustrations and photography. The intersection of nature, death and humanity she arrives at with her work is at times haunting, drawing the viewer into a world that resembles our own but leans towards a primal sacredness we lost long ago. I had the opportunity to speak with Paulegu about her work. Check it out below along with a selection of her work. For more, hit up her tumblr and flickr accounts.
Firstly, thank you for taking the time to talk to me about your work. To start this off right, who are you, where are you from and how would you define what you do?
I am Paulė, I work under the name Paulegu. I’m currently located in Vilnius, Lithuania. I’m a full-time dreamer who also happens to be a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. It’s just something that happened as a consequence that right now I am able to do things what I love. I create artworks of everything that I’m inspired, what I wish I could be or some what I am.
Were there any particular artists in your formative years that inspired your own techniques and style?
I adore Kris Kuksi, H. R. Giger, Alex Grey’s creations. There are so many artists and friends I admire and they all inspire me to transcend into something what I haven’t reached so far.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your work? I get a feeling of respect for nature and death from your art, recalling the veneration for the same that bands such as Wolves in the Throne Room and Taake present in their music.
I’m fascinated by ancient cultures and gods, mythology, psychedelic visions and, of course, natural world. I appreciate nature on a high level and try to see things very intensely and often change perspective. Also, I’ve got a real soft spot for anything dark and mysterious. Many things just come from my overactive and sometimes ridiculous imagination. I love constructing and mixing many objects into a one whole piece.
You work in multiple mediums but all of your work has a shared darkness about it that makes it identifiable as yours. Which medium is your favorite to work in and why?
I started working in pencil few years ago and pretty much have worked with it ever since. And it became my favorite medium to work in. Simple and comfortable but sometimes can be so complex. When I’m doing digital designs, every final piece primarily comes up on sketchbook, then, by the power of magic, those designs become digital. I hand-draw everything that I can. There’s is something very personal with all of it.
How long does it take for you to finish one of your pieces as many of them are quite intricate and involved?
I love doing details in my work. This is the most fun part of doing illustration in general. And how much time it takes to finish a piece just always depends on how much time I can spend in a day drawing. Sometimes I can finish an artwork in a few days, sometimes it takes more than a week. Also, I feel that sometimes I have an on-and-off relationship with creativity in general, but if I can still work productively it’s just fine by me.
I practice and experiment a lot and I still feel there’s a long way to go with my work. There’s so much more to be done!
We predominantly talk about horror films and metal here at the Graveyard as we find these are common threads that connect most dark art and artists. What are some of your favorite horror films or metal artists?
I am hugely inspired by horror movies. One of my ultimate favorites is an old Russian movie from 1967 called Viy. Another one, which has been stuck in my head since the time I saw it, is Imprint from Masters of Horror anthology. I often use horror movies as a background while creating, just to get the right vibe. Some movies had become weird mantras of mine as well.
As for music, and especially metal, my taste often changes like a kaleidoscope. I’m not as much inspired by metal artists as I was before in my previous years, but I definitely pay tribute to some bands. I still enjoy quite a bunch of black metal bands, such as Deathspell Omega, Mgla, Blut Aus Nord or Regarde Les Hommes Tomber. I absolutely love progressive vibes as well, Tool and Rishloo have a very special place in my heart.