Jan Rockar – Artist Profile
Each photograph in Jan Rockar’s collection is deliberate and intentional; it strikes one that you don’t view her stories, so much as you read them. Each image opens up into a fantastic story of it’s own, making you question and wonder and ponder the thought behind the lens. More also, it’s impossible not to take in the vivid settings and backgrounds; be it a the beauty of a lush forest, or the personality of a morning kitchen.
Please check out Jan Rockar’s stellar collection of work at his Facebook, website, and deviantART.
1.What sparked your interest in photography, and when did you know you would pursue being an artist?
-Both my father and grandfather used to have their own dark rooms in which I would sit and watch while they developed and enlarged photos. It was something like pure magic when the photos started to appear on the paper. Since then I had an attraction to photography but haven’t started taking photos until about 2002. First I just wanted to take pictures pretty enough for people to look at them. I’m past that. Don’t think I am an artist per say. Rather than that I would like to think of myself as a documentarian.
2. What other artists and art forms have influenced you and your work?
-I like architecture. Functionalism and minimalism in particular. So I would say Corbusier had influenced me. From architecture I acquired an eye for perspective and geometry. Love the classic paintings of Caravaggio, specially the ones with loads of black space. He had a keen eye for light. But mainly I feel influenced by early masters of photography, who documented the early 20th century to day. If it wasn’t for these masters we wouldn’t have much to imagine what life was like.
3. Can you describe your current artistic process, habits, techniques you have formed?
-I don’t think much of a process. However I almost never leave the house without a camera around my neck. So maybe this habit defines it all. Since I have my camera on me, there is always something that catches my attention. Easy as that. Things come from my gut… often not even reaching my brain. Everything’s very instinctive.
4. Is storytelling important in your photography?
-Surely. Most important. All I want from my photos is to show, point out, make you think…
5. What are some of your favorite books, poems, authors?
-I love Bukowski. He was a master in storytelling. Some may argue that he’s easy reading. Sure. He never wasted a word, comma, not even a dot or hyphen. Witty, gritty and straight to the point. Would like to take photos that way…
6. Can you put into words the way you have evolved over time as a photographer?
-The most important change for me I noticed is that I am braver. Much more open to talk to people. This is very important for me. I used to be very closed and now I can walk up to my subject snap the shots I want and engage in conversation. People love to talk about themselves and that can be exploited to some degree.
7. Where do you turn for motivation and new sources of inspiration?
-It’s extremely hard for me to find inspiration or motivation. Photo books have usually worked for most. I find these demotivating at first, because I realise how good the work shown is, but later when out on the streets I do my best to match or out best the techniques and shots I’ve seen. Most inspiring is to sit on a bench or just stand on a busy road and watch the life go by.. I love doing that.
8. Discuss the role of community and gallery showings, etc to your growth as an artist.
-I’m not ready to show my work in an art gallery. Don’t think my photos are there yet. For sure a private show could boost ones ego and result in motivation, also gain exposure and recognition. This is important to all in creative business. Specially recognition, but as I said I’m not there yet…
-9. What do you think is more important for your craft: passion, dedication, or raw talent and can you elaborate on why?
Is there such thing as talent? Most important is dedication, discipline… One must see his goal, have a vision. Photography for me is obsession, I can not imagine myself doing anything else. This is my purpose…
10. What is a project, or theme you are currently working on, or something that is currently taking your attention, that you are aiming to explore in your work?
-Currently I feel a bit lost. Like a child running around in circles, lost in the wood… For sure I will continue in my ‘ordinary madness’ series of the absurdity of everyday. In the mean time I am looking for a documentary project I could explore.