Luxury of freedom


Dejan Kralj, BB artist who brought BB Love into BIG BERRY


BIG BERRY is based on a close collaboration between tourism and artists, and so, BB Art colony project was created. During two years 17 international artists created 373 m2 of murals and a street full of art along the Kolpa river. Dejan Kralj, art professor by education; illustrator, graphic designer and 3D animator by profession and astronaut at heart, has created a stunning mural that represents the greatest driving force - love. 

You can read more about his BB Love mural.

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Who is Dejan Kralj?

Dejan Kralj is an art professor by education; illustrator, graphic designer and 3D animator by profession. 

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He says he is characterized by: “An impulsive obsession with certain topics for a short time. It always goes into the technical features of all projects and I obviously introduce myself very negatively to other people,” he concluded with a laugh. So he's pretty self-critical, but he's a great, fun guy and an amazing artist.

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He loves trying new things, which is why he says that he is not the best at anything, but that he is very innovative and follows all the latest trends and has a very wide range of knowledge. He described it very picturesquely: "It's like being 10th in all branches of the Olympics - it's cool, but you're not the best." Currently, his works are best defined by "vector illustration combined with animation."

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He is inspired by very interesting topics: I am most inspired by the internet, other topics and sciences - sometimes even artists were scientists, you couldn't buy paint and brush at the store like you can today, but you could do it all by yourself. It's important to me that you go through the whole process and that you have something to learn on your way."

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He enjoyed participating in the project: “To me it seems nothing more primal than painting something on the wall. This was already done by cavemen. We work with a brush and a wall."

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How did he develop as an artist? 

When I was a kid, I said I would have a toy store," he said. I was drawing all the time. In my parents' house, there is still a fish drawn on wood. This is my first preserved work of art. Like a cave painting,” he says with a laugh. 

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His notebooks were all covered with drawings, so he soon realized he wanted to enroll in the Academy of Fine Arts, where, unfortunately, he was not accepted and therefore enrolled in the pedagogical - art direction. "Then it was a compromise, but not really in the end, because it was really great studies and great classmates," he explained.

I didn't even know how to get a job after finishing my studies, they didn't teach us that in college. In the beginning I worked for Radio Študent, for some newspapers and also I did some drawings for free. And at the time, it was great that I got support from my family." 

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At some point, he met with the marketing agencies and realized that these would give him the opportunity to get the creative work he wanted and for which, in his words, he would actually get paid. But I totally misrepresented the work there. I thought you were getting a project and then all the creative people are lying there and talking, in the end we do it and then it's a boom. But it is nothing like that.  There you are, and every designer has five projects that he has to do on his own and you really have to work as a robot. And I really wasn't ready for that, and it didn't really work out for me." However, he became more involved with the illustration, which he has always been most interested in and now works at the only Slovenian agency for illustrators.

 His advice is always to follow what pleases you, without trying to copy others. And it is necessary to insist on this. "I, myself, have always wanted to do something what I would do even if it was for free, even if no one would pay me for it."

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The Luxury of Freedom

 Dejan understands the Luxury of Freedom Dejan like this: “Opportunity to make mistakes, that it isn’t necessary to do everything right.”

Photo by: João Sousa, Borut Petrič