Interview: Stephen Yavorski on Fine Tuning his Voice as an Artist.
by Daniel Haim
Stephen is a graduate of duCret School of Art and is currently an apprentice at Ani Art Academies Waichulis. Stephen’s work has been featured in several exhibitions including venues such as Swain Galleries, The Salmagundi Club, The Ice House Gallery in Monmouth University and Misericordia University. His has received many accolades most notably a Scholarship Award from the American Artist’s Professional League.
Where are you from? Where did all of this begin?
I am from North NJ. I started having a real interest in drawing and painting in my childhood home in Nutley.
When did you realize that art is what you were meant to do?
I actually was very set on becoming an inventor for the first half of my childhood. I just simply loved creating things in general. Drawing was an outlet allowing me to get my ideas down and visualize my inventions. It wasn’t till I noticed that I didn’t have much of an attention span in school that I realized art is the perfect outlet for me; allowing me to create anything in my mind. I don’t have to be held back by available technology or my understanding of technology. Not only that, but I also discovered my love of representing messages and stories through a picture. There are only a handful of professions that offer the license to say what is exactly on your mind, and that is what I like about working on art. It lets me do just that.
Who are your major influences, inspiration in life and in the art world?
I have been influenced and inspired by many people and experiences. There are good lessons to take from everything. Right now, my biggest influences are my teachers Anthony Waichulis and Tim Jahn. I love the amazing and contrasting use of metaphor they utilize as well as their impressive control of medium. They also have different styles of representing what they want to paint as well. Another huge inspiration of mine would be the comedian, Bill Hicks, for bluntly vocalizing what he felt.
What are some essential tools that you consider a must have for every artist?
Passion, focus, creativity, a set of eyes, and one good hand. I believe passion and focus are most important because it’s very easy to get distracted by the outside world and the worries of life.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am actually working on a piece that represents the feeling of being overwhelmed.
A large portion of our audience are artists, like yourself. If you could give them one piece of advice – what would it be?
Almost everything is manageable when you take one thing at a time. If you try to do more than that, (bills, car problems, etc), then it will feel like you can’t take care of anything. Write down a priority list to keep everything in perspective if you have to.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given & by whom?
My middle school art teacher, Hugh Mahon said, “As long as you can see it, you can draw it”
What has been your most rewarding achievement as an artist?
I get to sit in a room so I can think and show people my thoughts through my work. That in itself is the reward.
Could you share with us your favorite quote?
In Cat Steven’s song “Father and Son” he said, “You may still be here tomorrow, but, your dreams may not.”
When you first started, what was your biggest dream? And have you accomplished that?
When I first started, I decided that I wanted to be famous as an artist. I’m not there yet.
What are your hopes for 2013, and where do you see yourself in 5, 10 years?
My hopes for 2013 are to fine tune my voice as an artist. I will be representing strong statements through my artwork. I will be composing intriguing stories from history and my imagination as well as communicating more general thoughts that I feel strongly about. In the next five to ten years, I will be known as an artist who says exactly what is on my mind and committed to represent what many would consider to be taboo. Along with refining my technical skill as an artist, I will be developing my tools for provoking thought and awareness for my viewers. Being artistically proficient and mentally stimulating are my goals; rather than merely cutting corners to please the masses.
I know that by staying intimate with my art, the fans that I accumulate will be more engaged with the work I produce. The reason for this is because it will resonate with each individual on their own deeply personal level. I will know that I’m accomplishing my goals when my work has stimulated people to ask “How?” and “Why?” about even the most seemingly normal things in their daily lives. In these next few years, I envision myself teaching the techniques that I have learned along the way. I also hope to be asked to share my thoughts and philosophy of the world through my eyes. The people who inspire me have left an indelible foot print in my mind and heart. I look to inspire people to the degree that others have inspired me. The next few years will be very exciting.