Hi Antonio! Glad to have you with us for this special artist interview. First things first, out of curiosity, how did the name Dulk come about? What does it mean?
I used the alias "Dulk" when I started to paint graffiti on the street, it does not have any special meaning.
When I was 18, I started to paint graffiti with a friend who motivated me to do so. He helped me to start up in this world of street art. I have never thought that my life would change so much, and that I could one day call this, something that started off as a hobby, a job.
I started to paint graffiti in the streets but I always have been drawing. At first, the illustration works were signed with my real name, Antonio Segura – the intention was to keep both disciplines separated, but years later I realised that my path was unifying and that I was more known by the name of "Dulk" so I decided to keep it as the main artistic name.
You grew up drawing animals from real life as well as from books, and are known for your incredible animals drawings. Which animal do you personally feel is your spirit animal, and why?
I have always been fascinated by encyclopaedias of ancient nature and books with wildlife illustrations, fables, etc. My house was full of them and maybe that was what sparked my interest. The figure of my father as a fan of everything related to animal life, especially birds, led me on a continuous journey to follow in his footsteps but drawing awakened a sensation that, even today, I cannot find the words to describe. It is like uniting your two passions in one. Studying animal anatomy and its behaviour is something that has grown inside me and representing it as an artistic biologist is a position in which I feel very comfortable.
I would not know how to highlight a specific species, as I am captivated by the entire animal kingdom itself. But if I had to opt for one, it would be in the family of birds.
For your show “Extinction”, you mentioned that you studied endangered species in their natural environment. How did you do that? Could you share some of your most unforgettable experiences and adventures?
I am currently focused on the study of wildlife from a research point of view. Once a year, or twice if I can, I take a trip as inspiration. Two years ago I visited the African savannah in Tanzania, last year the jungle of Costa Rica and recently I visited the first national park in the world, Yellowstone. At these places, in addition to taking thousands of photographs as inspiration, I enjoy watching the way the inhabitants move and interact in their natural environment. There are curiosities such as food, movements and secrets that you can discover only if you are personally there, and these are elements that I then apply to my paintings. Many times they are not visible, but these personal experiences often manifest themselves as a special energy that exists in the artworks.
(Dulk has kindly sent us a photo from one of his adventures)
Your works range from small illustrations to enormous murals! How did you start going from illustrations to huge murals and what challenges did you face?
I have worked in animation, illustration, fashion or advertising, meanwhile I have been developing my personal style and applying it to the different aspects. Today I have realized that what I really need is to work on the development of my work with a more artistic purpose. Working in the studio, compared to working on a mural, means the possibility of working in a more comfortable setting, the chance to produce more detailed, more meticulous works, at a leisurely pace. There are things that the street does not provide for you.
The street is a temporary support for art, place of passage for ephemeral works, whereas the studio is where you create works that have another function – to endure over time. They are different disciplines, one being more spontaneous, the other being much more methodical and dedicated and allows a greater degree of control over the work. The street is exposed to all kinds of conditions that are much more difficult to control. For someone like me, who like to have everything under control, the studio is a more comfortable working environment. However, the street is where I can feel really free; It's another part of me, a rebellious one, which comes into play when I started painting walls. Although it's not the same anymore, it's the closest thing to what it meant for me then. It makes me grow and learn just as much, or even more, as in the study. Working on large scales is a way to test yourself, to see how far you can go, and I love that.
You also mentioned that you were not sure if you would make a living as an artist. I’m sure many artists feel the same way. For struggling and striving artists who are still living in that uncertainty, what advice do you have for them?
Living off art is something complicated. It is something so passionate that it becomes a lifestyle and it becomes very difficult to separate your personal life and the professional. This is the source of both joy and sorrow, and you have to take the control of those emotions. As a start, I would like to highlight the hard work and effort it will take, then from here, consider deeply because you have to dedicate yourself to this. I personally do it because there are things that I feel a burning need to express. I have never thought about the "why"; It's simply because I need to. It is my personality and a mode of expression in silence. If the works serve to awaken the viewers' senses, that will be a good starting point.
Lastly, we are really excited about this week’s release of Lovebirds by Dulk! Could you tell us a bit more about the inspiration and the meaning behind the design of the pair?
This piece represents the duality of two antagonistic concepts united by love as a symbol of union, peace and freedom. You can say it's much like the concept of Yin and Yang, which describes two opposing and complementary fundamental forces found in all things. Light against darkness, good against evil are concepts that can come to mind when we see the work, and love is the key of union between the two characters.
Lovebirds by Dulk preorders this Saturday, 9 June, at 10am EDT. Preorders for VIPs ranked Navigator and above starts Friday, 8 June. Don't miss this wonderful collectible on www.mightyjaxx.com!