Mystic Medusa by Olaf Hajek
You have an astrology blog and your writing style is full of fire, enthusiastic, funny and straight. What in astrology determines how one writes?
Thank you! What determines how you write is Mercury! Mercury is Messenger of the Gods, the Trickster…so many roles. In astro, Mercury by sign, house placement and aspects to other planets indicates your communication style. Mine is in Aries – so yes fiery, enthused, needs to be amusing/amused and straight-forward.
You are a writer you also wrote a book(s) can you tell us something about that journey?
Actually, I loathe writing books…I love the immediacy, total control and now-ness of blogging. Books are amazing, obviously, but for me they end up bogged down in a lot of committee think, administrivia and having to show my working, which I hate. Why should I explain why I want to say what I want to say? It either finds an audience or it does not. But publishing – fairly enough – does not have that luxury. An idea now will be in print six months later or whatever, they have to convince booksellers etc…So my journey through books is not at all emotional or inspiring – it’s commercial…i love blogging as it’s the now and nobody (as you may have noticed) edits me.
How and when did you get interested in astrology?
From the very first moment I heard about it, aged 14, I was like W.T.F?! This is incredible. I was so excited and immediately began to apply myself to learning it.
Did astrology helped you in your life in any way, how? What is it to you?
In, like, a 1000 different ways. It would take me aeons to describe. I began by looking up the “Venus signs” of boys I liked – WHAM so accurate. Then I delved into Pluto transits and psychology – O.m.g – I use it to time things, to pace myself…or not, to get a better insight into why peeps are different, obviously. I know this sounds like a toss but I write my horoscopes and just sort of write what I think but then I go back sometimes, read what I wrote and am amazed by the accuracy. It’s the most useful and practical of the “dark arts” lol.
How did you get the idea to start a blog?
Lol! It was ages ago and I was trying to impress the editor of the magazine I was writing for…i wanted her to see it and freak out at my “hits” as they were called then. It was one of those ideas you have when you’re just walking around and you go “FUQ! oh wow, oh my god, yes, this MUST Happen” and there is NO doubt in your mind…the only problem is logistics and even those don’t matter as you’re infused with high Qi and get-it-doneness.
From what l have seen you are also interested in art and use great art photographs to accompany your blog, how come?
Thank you – I LOVE art – my personal fave is surrealism, esp Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington but SO Many peeps whose work is amazing
and they loved/used magic in their everyday life…it’s just not mentioned in official bios of them.
What planet/sign would you link with the arts?
All of them in different ways but Neptune is the planet that tends to be linked with visionaries whilst peeps who change culture often have strong Pluto links…more famous artists are Cancerians than any other sign but then again Leos live/breathe the Arts, maybe more often as those who faciliate…or perform?
How do you see the future of art from an astrological point of view?
Huge! Neptune in Pisces for channelling new worlds – like shamanic art/new cinema/art for the people & Uranus in Aries for innovation + Pluto in Capricorn to break down moribund old structures. Keep your shit together, stay smart, avoid dullards and you will THRIVE in the new era. And understand; this is a new era.
Who are your favorite artists?
Everyone on my blog.
How do you feel about the internet? Does it help in making astrology more popular?
Astrology is SO ancient, you know, there are horoscopes scrawled on the sides of the pyramids – my friend the Scorpio Sex Academic recently meditated in a tomb at the base of one of the pyramids in Cairo – during the revolution, she could not get into her hotel (yes, Sagg Rising) and she saw a whole birth chart etched in to one of the bricks. But yes, internet has helped spread the word – I love that you can google knowledge that used to take weeks to get…eg; Mars square Neptune – what does it mean for a guy you’re in love with (hint – it’s a bit scary!) and you google it now and voila – heaps of posts from me (mostly) and others with superhero/notorious/literary examples, amazing comments from my awesome readers and heaps of info. This would have been impossible re-net. I adore the internet.
Are you a past or future orientated person?
The Now. But if I have to answer exactly – Future.
How can someone’s birth, time and place determine one’s character? Do you see it as something fixed or flexible?
This is like a 10,000 word question! Flexible, always. I have Mercury in Aries, for example, I can try and write cool shit on the web that occasionally gets acerbic or attracts criticism but which allows me total self-control or I can be some bitch who is mean to waitresses…Your chart shows you your cosmic dna, you decide how to work it. It’s the knowledge that is the power. It’s heaven.
There are many skeptics around, how do you feel about that?
They’re boring. They hit on me & then seek to confound me – I confound them back with this quote from George Santayana - Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect – which is true!
How can an astrologer predict future events in one’s life or on a world scale?
Long-long-long story! Many different cycles of time, all interlapping. eg; right now you might personally have a Jupiter transit so you’re like wow, let’s get laid, let’s do art, make some money, expand, oh my god I am in love, I’m open to new experiences, why not…? But the world is
doing Pluto in Capricorn…that’s HUGE. I call it the Zap Zone…astro economics
Why do you think people are interested in knowing about the future?
It’s usually as they want a grip on Sex (or love) and Money (or security). And most people have had some experiences with the occult or dreams that came true, they KNOW something is up, there is a more to the world than just the five senses, wonderful as they are. The word is metagnomic – beyond the five senses. the word occult just means hidden.
I see astrology in the right hands as an art form, how do you feel about that?
Anything in the right hands is an art form but YES of course…and so many artists use magic.
What is the difference between astrologers of our times and ancient astrologers?
Olden times were more beholden to rulers/warlords etc and they did not have the internet! My fave ancient astrologer is John Dee Google him – amazing guy, spy to Queen Elizabeth I and her astrologer…His code name was 007 – seriously. My other fave is Giordano Bruno honouring Giordano Bruno You HAVE to read this, will make you WAY more appreciative of how we live now…I get chills down my spine. He is like my Christ.
How does the future look for you, where would you like to see yourself in the future?
Excellent, thank you…Basically where I am now, only amplified.
Can you look at something or someone and just know/see their astrological pattern so to speak?
Most of the time, yes.
If you look at our Rocket Clowns website for example what comes to mind from an astrological point of view?
Big site, super-now, Neptune in Pisces (From Feb 2012 to 2025 but you got a brief taste of this era from April to August, yes?) is going to be sensational for this site and the VISION…you need a designated server, yes? Neptune = myth, magic, glamor, mother of all utopias…
What would be the ultimate astrological tool?
To be able to get a consult whilst having ones teeth cleaned watching nature movies and with the right concentrate of dental gas and to be able to scan someones wrist to get their astro deets.
What makes one a good astrologer?
No idea, Uranus is the planet oft linked with astro and I do have Uranus strongly placed in my chart so ME-me! Lol.
What is your sun sign if l may ask?
Pisces! This is on the blog already! Aqua Rising…Moon in Libra…And a Sensational 8th House – that’s the Sex, Occult and Other People’s Money sector
thank you for this, it was fun and thought provocative xxx
Thank you Mystic !Read More
What does it mean to be a creative director?
The art of looking sideways, how to make twinkles in the eye and never wait for yourself and it is the best job there is in the world.
How did it evolve for you, how did you get involved in the business?
From photographer to art director to creative director to defeat habit by originality. A friend said to me ” you should stop making pictures and come work for me” the next day I was heading to Texas USA to make my first campaign for Goodyear the rest is history.
What do you think a creative director needs to have in order to be a good creative director?
The ability to think. Thinking is drawing in your head, but most off all a CD should not be afraid to see what he see’s and see as it is then he can make people to see it.
What is it that you like most in the creative process?
Thinking out of the box with great minds.
Where do you find inspiration?
A person without imagination is like a teabag without hot water. My imagination is my inspiration.
Can you name some of your favorite artists/creative directors?
Helmut Newton, Baron & Baron, DJ Mike, Tom Ford, Ajax, George Lucas, Andy Warhol , Araki.
What kind of projects are interesting for you to work on and why?
I do not feel I have wisdom enough yet to love what is ugly so I prefer all what is beautiful.
How far do you want to go when creating something?
I never miss a deadline, I do not believe in stress, to create is to live I go as far as I have to go to make the best for the moment how far is that?….you never know.
What was the best or worst project you worked on and why?
Good design is good business. All projects with paid invoices are the best. All projects with open bills are the worst.
Are you a team player or more of a loner?
I always follow my own path but enjoy company.
Can you tell us something about how ideas come to life and evolve for you?
The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes. You know that is there but sometimes its take a lot to see it
only you don’t know when what and how you will see it and when you finally see it you know immediately that it was the one who you was trying to see but can’t understand that you didn’t see it before.
What part of the process is most exciting for you?
The thinking is the most exciting of the process, but to think is not enough, you must think of something.
What do you require when working on a project what is vital to you?
Chaos!!! ” Make a decision stand behind it and create chaos” It’s the ultimate way to come to a great concept.
Who would you love working with?
Lady Gaga, Steven Spielberg, Araki, Johnny Depp, Miuccia Prada, Tadao Ando
Apple, Richard Kern, Bruce Mau, Frost, Boris Mikhailov, Fendi, Isabelle Huppert, David Lachapelle and many, many more.
What is a turn off or what do you like to see when working with others?
I think who needs to writes lots of words has to stop and only concentrate on the big pictures so he can see the details and discover the important bits. He who can’t do that is not the one to play with and is only looking around.
What do you do when your mind fails you, when you feel stuck if you ever do.
The moment I can not visualize a horse galloping on a tomato I have become a idiot and not suitable for the job anymore.
What would be a dream project for you and why?
Always dreaming of my own brand my own label my own everything I don’t know why but I think you can imagine it.
Where do you feel most at home on a creative level, for example places that you think are booming with creativity, is there such a place?
I need space, I need noise and I need silence its al in my head but to come to the next level the city is the place to be for me New York, Shanghai, Amsterdam, London, Paris, Cape town, Berlin, Barcelona preferable when it’s hot super hot, I hate the cold.
Is there anything else you aspire of doing in the future?
Flying to the moon!
Thank you Maurice!Read More
Michael you make illustrations, drawings & water color paintings. When did you know this was what you wanted to do? How did it enfold for you?
Since I was about 3 or 4 I think. I remember in nursery when I was first introduced to paints & brushes. We were making basic relief prints I’ve never felt so much bliss! Got hooked forever after that.
What is it about making things that you like most?
This will sound a bit Cuckoo, but I feel that in the actual process you briefly step outside of time & all your current life ‘situations’. I believe they call it ‘being in the zone.’ Freedom in a nutshell, my inner child is happily pacified. Freudian!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Mainly from being out & about with my camera & seeing things which look interesting compositionally. Also art & science magazines, dusty old books from charity shops, and the Spectrum annuals containing contemporary fantasy art. Then there are websites like YCN.com & Rocket Clowns!
How do you deal with blockages if they occur?
Frustrating that. In the past I’d allow it to blow away my confidence like a pack of cards. Over time however I’ve come to look upon these derailments as a necessary pit stop; it’s like the body’s way of telling you to step back, refresh things. It’s not a negative thing at all; in fact it’s a blessing in disguise. Yup, yup.
When you’re not painting how do you like to spend your time?
Doing some amateur photography here and there & a large chunk of my time has been spent studying on my, wait for it……accountancy diploma course. When I’m not doing this, that or the other, I’m bargain hunting for books and visiting galleries.
London is a very artistic city, how is it to be an artist there? How would you describe the vibe?
It’s a great city that it has a bit of everything. In terms of galleries, you are spoilt for choice. I’ve spent many rainy days traipsing about places such as the Royal Academy, the Tate Modern, taking in all that history, whether it be Socialist Realist posters from 1930’s USSR or some Francis Bacon. Brick Lane in the East is a potent hub also; there you’ll encounter a more student/underground based art scene. I’m never lost for inspiration if I so needeth it.
Do you think art education is important? Why yes or no?
Oh big time yes! I had a mixed art education. One dreary art teacher I remember was pretty damaging, which adversely dispirited me at that time and it took a few years before I returned to art again. Then there was another who always encouraging, always supportive. Its vitally important, but it has to be taught the right way too. The natural enthusiasm will always be there so long as its not snuffed out by negative, rigid methodologies.
Do you think the location is important in any way?
Without wanting to sound all Darwinian, I think you have to adapt to the environment you happen to be in. London has a good few picturesque parks, so I can take many interesting photos of people sitting in the sunshine, having picnics etc. The famous British film director Ridley Scott grew up in the bleak industrial northern town of Middlesborough. When he went on to make the cult sci-fi classic Bladerunner, he based the Los Angeles skyline on that same industrial English town. Mind you, I wouldn’t enjoy being based on the South Pole!
How do you feel about the art world in general?
I don’t pay constant attention to it really. I’m more interested in understanding different techniques. I went to the Tate Britain’s marquee exhibition of Watercolours earlier in the summer mainly to get a sense of different styles and possibilities. I do have an affection for Soviet & German photomontage art & its relevant history during the war years; it happens to be experimental techniques which capture my imagination.
Can you tell us something about the way you work from the start to the end?
I usually buy hot pressed watercolour blocks in various sizes. Using photographic reference I sketch out on the block the image I want, refining the drawing until the scales & proportions are correct. Then before I paint, I mix the selected colours with some gum arabic in the palette to avoid annoying irregular staining. When larger washes of paint are added, I work with a smaller brush to add darker details, relying on some spare rough paper to test the strength of the paint.
What would be a dream environment for you to work in?
One where I’ve got my radio, a cup of tea and nice big desk facing a bright window. Oh and floor space, lots of floor space.
What satisfies you most when a project is finished?
No longer having to have it on my mind, knawing away constantly. Looking forward to starting something new is a relief.
What do you think counts when you are an artist?
You are being entrusted to make your world a more colourful, wondrous place. So do it!
How would you define talent?
I can’t really. Ok I’ll have a go. It’s a uniqueness of ability in that although anyone can have a go at say, darts, a ‘talented’ darts player is able to bring more concentrated focus to that particular activity; they aren’t just ‘having a go,’ rather they’re performing some serious math. Yeah that’s it, we artists are really advanced mathematicians in effect! Erm…yes.
Can you name some artists you find interesting?
There’s Drew Struzan, who has painted some of the most iconic movie posters ever. I love the way his human figures always appear to be backlit, his warm visualizations awash with light. Edward Hopper’s brooding studies of American life in the 40’s & 50’s I really like also. Lately I’ve become a big admirer of the watercolour paintings of Chinese artist Kinsan Chung. I don’t think I’ve seen technical skill as good as that before.
What do you want to communicate with your work?
Really, I want to make images that are rich and interesting first and foremost. Originally when I finished university I felt I was roughly attuned to editorial illustration, for which conveying ‘the message’ is an absolute imperative. However, I soon came to realize that this stunted me; too much time spent thinking can weigh you down creatively. Now, I love nature/natural settings as a subject because its goes beyond words & descriptions.
Do you think the ultimate dream can or can’t be achieved? And what is it to you?
Oh definitely, it can be achieved for sure, I believe. It’s that thing of how far are you prepared to go? If you want to do what you love, then the passion you possess should be enough to get you through any resistance you may encounter; you need to survive obviously, but you can’t suffocate your own soul by ignoring it completely. Now all stand for our final hymn………
What does it mean to be an artist now in our times? Can you describe it?
Exciting because attracting publicity to your work is now so much more simple with the internet. The quality of art materials is improving all the time, with slow drying acrylics for example. On top of that, there is this renaissance within the illustration world for all things hand drawn & hand made. It seems people want originality again. Technology can coexist alongside the traditional creative forms, rather than replacing them altogether.
Is there another medium that you would like to try?
I’d like to devote some time developing my understanding of oil paints. Watercolours are great, but oils are more forgiving if you happen to radically alter your decisions halfway through a painting. I haven’t really explored them in too much depth due to fact that (1) I work in a confined space and (2) I don’t want that confined space to smell like a chemical laboratory. Thankfully you can buy water mixable oils in many stores now, so no more excuses.
If you could live in another time what period would that be and why?
The 1960’s would be fun. To be an artist/illustrator living during that revolutionary period would have been….wow! No one ever talks about the ‘great art’ of the 1950’s, yet only a decade later you have this mega explosion of colour & variety in so many areas; record sleeves, book covers, fashion, music, interior design to name but a few. You can feed off that.
Thank you Michael!Read More
What is your best childhood memory?
I don’t know that I can pick one childhood memory as being THE best , but certainly one of the best would be watching the film “Fantasia” at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Specifically, the incredible “Night on Bald Mountain” sequence left a tremendous impression on me as a child and I am certain that it played no small part in shaping my artistic predilections. To this day I feel that the image of “Chernabog” is one of the greatest in film history.
When did you know you wanted to make things, how did it evolve?
I began drawing at a very early age and it just seemed to progress and evolve quite naturally without ever really giving much thought to it. I’ve always possessed artistic ability but it wasn’t until adulthood that I began to take it more seriously and utilize it as a means of genuine expression.
Where do you draw inspirations from?
I’ve drawn inspiration from so many different people and places, some having no relation to art whatsoever. It’s an odd patchwork of whatever has found itself in front of me throughout my life and it is constantly evolving. That’s an incredibly vague answer, I know, but it’s the best that I can offer.
If I’m being very specific in regards to my work then my greatest creative inspiration comes from people like Terry Gilliam, David Lynch, The Quay Brothers, Jan Švankmajer: artists for whom I have great admiration and whose influence has definitely shaped the way in which I express myself artistically.
What is the best place for you to work? Physically, mentally and spiritually.
Anywhere peaceful, really. So long as I have in front of me the appropriate tools to create with then I’m quite happy. I’m not overly demanding in that regard.
How does the making process unfold for you?
It’s a very organic and oftentimes disorganized process. I don’t do a great deal of planning when creating work and I prefer an initial idea going through a figurative process of metamorphosis. There may be a seed of an idea from the start but I don’t necessarily know what it may ultimately become. I enjoy that element of tentative uncertainty in the creative process.
I create the majority of the elements of my animation using Photoshop. I then assemble my work frame by frame using various editing software. Simply and honestly, what I’ve really done is taken Terry Gilliam’s cut-out animation technique and applied it to the digital realm.
Do you ever feel blocked? If so how do you deal with that?
I do feel blocked at times and I’ve found the best way to deal with it is to not deal with it at all. I tend to look at it as a process in which my mind has forced itself into a brief hiatus to better foment, organize and realize existing or new ideas.
Your work is highly mysterious and surreal. What does mystery mean to you?
I am fond of the idea of creating a landscape in my work that offers a feeling of mystery and strangeness while still retaining familiar elements of “our world”. I want to recreate the feeling of disorientation that often accompanies a dream or a nightmare and, within that framework, have a stage in which to mirror my own experience and offer commentary on it.
What is most important to you? The idea? The actual making process? Bringing it out there? Recognition?
The creative process is definitely the most important to me. It’s within that process that I’m allowing myself the outlet for thoughts and emotions that I am unable to express otherwise. It serves as a fantastic catharsis and that is far more valuable to me than what the process may ultimately result in. That’s not to say that I have no interest in the result, as I do feel that the proper focus of emotion will lead to a more successful artistic representation of my thoughts and ideas.
What drives you as an artist?
The desire to share my experiences and to challenge myself to do so in a creatively unique way.
How does the imaginary world evolve and grow in you?
I attempt to translate my experience in a way that continually builds upon the imaginary world that exists in my work. I want to have a stylistic and thematic continuity that exists but also a degree of freedom to allow for new ideas to emerge and flourish within that world.
What is it to you to be an artist? Can you define it?
To be an artist is to be contradictorily selfish and sharing, to simultaneously be driven by ego and yearn to transcend it. It is that constant push and pull, I believe, that fuels the creative process and pushes a true artist forward in their ability to successfully express themselves.
Do you feel things are fated in life?
I do not believe in fate. I believe that it is within each of us to guide and shape our lives as best we can and with respect to others within the physical limits imposed upon us.
What defines you as an artist?
I feel that what defines me as an artist is, not only the innate drive to express myself through artistic endeavor and to be able to share that with others, but also the desire to expose myself to other artists and to expand my awareness and understanding of their creative processes, as well. Continual growth must be maintained, as it should be in all aspects of our lives, and applied to our paths as artists.
What keeps the fire burning?
Quite simply: Experience.
Where would you like to see yourself in the future?
It doesn’t matter where specifically as long as I still have the ability and freedom to create my work.
Thank you Steven!