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Shaltmira: I always felt the strong fight between Eros and Thanatos

Shaltmira is a young artist from the small but beautiful Lithuania. She makes quirky illustrations we just had to show you. Let her introduce herself!
How did you develop your quirky style? Were you drawing odd pictures as a child?
My mother said she was never suffering that much as when she was pregnant with me. No surprise - there was a Scorpio in her womb. Since the moment I came out to this world - I had all those poisons inside of me. And I just need to let it out time to time. Art is a handful way to do that. As I child I was drawing a lot. Once (I was 4 or 5 years old) my mom asked why I draw people with 'flat heads', she said human head is like an egg and she corrected my image. Then I took the scissors and cut off the paper at the point where the forehead of my personage ends and gave it back 'flat head' look. I also loved drawing comics, I started with various technical process clarifications, for example, one comics was called "Alcohol factory" and I draw all the process how they make it (in my opinion), like adding human heads and rats in the liquid and so on. Also, I always had very strong competitive spirit, trying to be the best in all the activities I took part in. Nevertheless, I always felt the strong fight between Eros and Thanatos inside of me. Even as a child I remember myself drawing how people are making love.

What has the art school taught you?
Basic knowledge of official art history and some common rules of how 'to make art'. I was never deeply engaged in their suggested approaches or truths.

How do your illustration jobs usually happen? Do you do books, comic books? Do writers approach you?
Almost all collaborations happens via internet. I'm always open for interesting projects. Also I'm publishing art-zine "Excessive Voyeurism" and comics zine "Red, sore and itchy" and search for artists to contribute. Usually it happens that people just saw my artworks on internet and they contact me. I also get invitations to participate in others zines, like Serbian comics anthology "Distorted Mirror", "Night of Fandom", "Alkom'X", "VOMITORIVM" etc. We keep in touch with some artists and share information about our projects, for example I'm a member of weird artists blog EATEN BY DUCKS. Other thing, I belong the family of "Lovecraft House", a small DIY publishing press & record label dedicated to promoting and sharing the work of artists working passionately in underground circles. Also I'm a participant of project "Creativity Kiosk", which is helping to promote young Lithuanian artists abroad, organized by "Art Pit" (media outlet, as well as independent, creative agency and socially responsible organisation).

Do you hand draw your things, or is the computer the way to go for you?
I always draw by hand and use computer just for editing images if there is a need.

Your favorite demon?
There's no greater demon than a man himself.

To what externtis the Internet important for you?
Having no internet connection makes me feel very ascetic. I have to admit, that sometimes I go offline for a day or a half if I need to concentrate on my drawing. Isolation is useful time to time. But lately I have so much upcoming events, workshops, collaborations and exhibitions to plan and publications to organize that I basically live in internet.

What music are you a fan of?
It comes and goes like waves. I have no strong attachment to any genre anymore. It's all about the personal meaning I give for the sounds, and some of them fallows me around repeatedly. Now I was invited as a Dj to one party here, in Vilnius, and I'm preparing a set including 8bit/shitcore/hell-knows-why-created music, some accidentally found absurd pieces that made me laugh, my own remixed old songs and songs from my youtube favourites list, like :

Can people purchase your works - prints or maybe books you did?
Yes, of course. People can contact me personally after visiting my online portfolio or facebook page, or go straight Also I'm selling my artworks, zines and t-shirts during various events, now upcoming occasions to purchase my works are Drop Dead Festival and Berlin Zine Fest.

Tell us a bit about the art scene in Vilnius please (i remember spending a wonderful holiday in Lithuania and am curious what is happening under cover :)
Lately Lithuanian comics scene became kind of alive, there are some workshops and exhibitions happening around. I'm also organizing comics workshop called COMIXPHOBIA, I develop this idea of doing workshops which helps to conquer the fear of drawing comics while staying in Netherlands participating in media and performance art project "Wonderous stories" in February 2012. Then, I invited my colleague from EATEN BY DUCKS BLOG, Marcel Ruijters to help me. After coming back to Lithuania I had more workshops, now there will be one in the end of October, during audiovisual poetry festival "TARP", where we'll try to find connection between poetry and comics. I'm glad there are enthusiastic and open minded people around me, who collaborate between each other, and that music festivals organizers are more and more interested to include visual art as a part of their events, one of them is Sha: TRI :ah, and we'll have event together on 26th of October, he is inviting Sun Glitters to play and I'll be doing exhibition and body-art performance. Anyway, there's not too much interest from regular spectators in strange, daring and dark art here yet, so most of my art fans and artists I work with are from abroad.

Are you interested in fashion, or involved in it in any way?
It happened that unexpectedly I got into some fashion magazines this year, because of my looks, but I'm not looking at all the fashion stuff or trends seriously. I just like to wear weird/old/manly/found/self-made or improved clothes, army boots and to collect funny looking sun-glasses.

What do you do against the grey?
My moto: DRINK - DRAW - DANCE. Repeat 'till you feel better. Also reading helps. Now I get some comforting thoughts from Erich Maria Remarque. “Keep things at arm's length... If you let anything come too near you want to hold on to it. And there is nothing a man can hold on to.”

Anything else to add?
Thank you for showing interest in my art.
All the best,

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