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Jan Michael Primo

Austria-based artist Jan Michael Primo turned his habit of scribbling and daydreaming into a passion for illustration. We caught up with Jan Michael and got to know more about his art, his inspirations, and the city he now calls home.

Tell us a little about yourself?

A Filipino living in Vienna; I doodle lines and shapes in my notebook, I mix paint and splash it on paper and call it "art".

I'm an artist and a superstar icon... not true, of course. The reality is that, I'm a part-time procrastinator and full-time daydreamer.

In the Philippines, I worked as a wardrobe stylist for TV and Film productions; also as field cashier and production assistant.

Now I enjoy baking the most especially the part where I eat; I like listening to music; I like watching films, and I like traveling.

When I'm not busy in the kitchen, I write letters and make postcards for family and friends. And a few times a week I study the German language.

What or Who inspires you when you make art?

Life inspires me to make art. Art inspires me to make my own art. My experiences, my current mood, nostalgia, Lana Del Rey, nature, and day-to-day life could be my source of inspiration. A gloomy day can be a potent stimulus, the same way a bright sunny day can be uplifting.

Describe your best day to make art?

When my heart is full and my brain is pumped up; transcending me to a higher plane. ;)

Which artists influence your practice?

Dead: Egon Schiele, Alice Neel

Living: Gerhard Richter, Jean-Baptiste-Besancon, Tomas Hammar

Just an off topic question, you currently live in Austria, any places of interest you'd like to recommend?

Vienna has a lot to offer. I've been to some places, and I still have a lot to discover or rediscover. Here are my favourites:

Schloss Schönbrunn - One of the most important architectural, cultural, and historic monuments in Austria. A beautiful place perfect for a long walks and hanging out.

The Naschmarkt & Brunnenmarkt - These are popular markets in Vienna. You can buy fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, and exotic herbs from around the world.

Zentral Friedhof - Notable persons have been laid to rest here. It is the largest cemetery in Austria and 2nd in Europe. Inside the cemetery is a beautiful Art Nouveau-style church.

Habsburg Imperial Crypt - I find this place eerie yet interesting. This is the final resting place for the remains of 143 Habsburg royalty.

Donaukanal - Popular amongst fitness enthusiasts, joggers, cyclist, skaters and graffiti artists. During summer, bars and restaurants provide sandy beaches, cool cocktails, hip music and delicious food. Perfect place to chill out.

Wienerwald - The Vienna woods are forested highlands which are fantastic locations for hiking, for relaxation, for picnics, for photography etc.

and numerous important museums, parks, coffee shops and FKKs. ;)

How does living in Austria affect your art?

Almost anywhere you look is a symphony of cultural and historical wonderment. There are plenty of exciting places, areas and corners that could be an instant inspiration. Also living in a new city and being away from my family and friends has a huge effect on my mental & emotional state; it feeds my creative consciousness.

What kinds of ideas and things are you working on at the moment?

Aside from baking delicious banana breads, chocolate chip cookies and brownies and bleeding my brain to death to learn German, I practice and build my art portfolio as a requirement for admission to the art university.

What do you doodle when you're bored or you have free time?

I usually draw a face or human figure.


Photos property of Jan Michael Primo


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