Dariusz, thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us. Can I start off by asking you why the creative process is so important to you? What sparked this passion to create?
I have always drawn, painted, and stuck various things together with plasticine and modeling clay. My mother introduced me to various visual arts, classes connected with painting, drawing and the history of art. I think that my mother noticed that I had had some inherent skills with my hands and an intrinsic need to create. As a child I was never satisfied with the results of my works and I was unconvinced of my abilities. That is why I usually destroyed everything.
One day I took part in classes associated with painting and I drew what I thought was a boring still life. When my teacher saw it she was impressed and she said that I had great talent. At that time I thought that it was unnecessary to participate in those kinds of classes. I preferred hanging out with my friends without any purpose rather than going to extra lessons. As a teenager I gave up creating things and forsook everything for 19 years. Although I did not create anything during that time, I do not think that time was lost because that period molded my personality. However, I have always felt the need to create since it helped me to find serenity. Nowadays, I do everything I can that brings me satisfaction. I do my best and I am not interested in other things.
The process of creating something out of nothing is not an easy task especially when it comes to jewelry. Firstly, I strive to consider everything. I am sometimes forced to design something but I usually have everything already in my mind. I always consider functionality, aesthetics and technique. The process of materializing the design is time-consuming. Many people do not realize how much time I spend to realize my plans.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I am mainly inspired by sculpture, and architecture. I like various floral motifs, arabesque, and ornaments on buildings, mascaron and gargoyles. Each thing created by me is an inspiration for other projects. Later on, these designs ‘obsess’ me but after some time I try to create them.
There is definitely an element of both history and fantasy in your work, with some of it having an almost Gothic feel. I remember seeing one of your belts that really captured an almost "Game of Thrones" feeling.
Honestly speaking I have never watched “Game of Thrones”. However, I heard many complimentary opinions about this TV series. What is more, many people think that I could cull an inspiration from it. Nevertheless I have many ideas and inspirations. I am convinced that you can find elements of both history and fantasy in my work because I am impressed with the art of Ancient Rome, the Dark Ages and the fantasy of Baroque.
When you first start thinking about making a piece, where does that creative process start?
As I said, I have had need to create since childhood. Only now do I think that objects I create are worthy to exist. I am mature enough to accept my projects but on the other hand I am not entirely satisfied with the final results since it is always possible to change something, make it better or in a different way.
On your website, ( http://www.zahario.com/ ) your work is quite diverse. From belts to wrist bands and bracelets, cufflinks, rings and necklaces, pendants and earrings... you already have a full body of work.
I am not so sure if I did so many things because there are many possibilities of creating something new. This (jewelry) business is fantastic because a person learns all the time and he or she can never learn everything. At the moment I am trying to create leather bags with my motifs. I like using this material as it allows me to learn something new. In the future I would like to do leather products such as wallets, bags, handbags, belts in various colors and variations e.g. natural leather with my metal motif. Unfortunately, I have not got so much time to do it now.
You mentioned that like to do work combining silver and leather, and have said that working with these two allows you to express transience and impermanence in your work. Can you tell us more about this?
In my opinion life is transient and impermanent so we cannot waste our time for things that do not bring us satisfaction and pleasure. We have to live like every day would be the last one, I know that it is threadbare slogan but we should just try to achieve this aim. Nothing lasts forever. The only thing that I would like to leave after my death is a lot of scrap metal.
Dariusz, what is in the future for you?
I am not sure but I know that I would like to continue to have the comfort of creating. I have to work hard and be persistent. I believe that I am on the right track to achieve this comfort but there are many obstacles that I have to avoid.
Finally, do you have any advice for those trying to find their own creative style?
Be yourself, do not look at others, do everything as you want and as you feel. Be patient and persistent.