Luxury of freedom


Tea Jurišić – Kvar Illustrations, first artist from BB Art colony 2019

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. Tea Jurišić – Kvar Illustrations is a Croatian illustrator, painter and visual artist in love with ink, watercolors and Frank Zappa, and her second life is based deep under the sea, as she works also as a diving instructor. Tea spent 2 weeks working in BIG BERRY Kolpa River Resort in April 2019 and created BB House side wall mural, as well as the biggest mural ever made for BIG BERRY - 100 m2 large mural which adorns the ceiling of the reception terrace. 

You can read more about her BB Mastermind mural and her large mural representing the whole BIG BERRY world.

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Who is Tea Jurišić?

Tea Jurisic - Kvar Illustrations is a Croatian illustrator, painter, visual artist and professor of illustration at The Academy of Arts and Culture in Osijek. One interesting thing to note is that she was also the professor of last year's muralist, Maja Biondić, whose mural still enriches the BB house in the Wies franchise.

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It is quite difficult to judge for yourself, but: "Others say that I am sometimes fun, sometimes a control freak - but in a good way, and I respect my hands very much, this is my main rule." She is a very open person who quickly connected with the BIG BERRY team and other artists involved in the project.

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Her life motto is to do less and enjoy more. In laughter, she says, “People who work less are not lazy, but just find a creative way to work less.” Although she works a lot, she says that this is mainly because she enjoys her work very much.

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What inspires her most?

Her way of working changes over time. She is currently strongly attracted to geometric shapes, vibrant colors and flat surfaces without strong shadows. She adds, "But I always need a story behind all this." She frequently associates her art with music, which is her great inspiration.

One of her favorite projects she's been working on (and which is not yet completed) is a visual interpretation of misunderstood music. Thus, she discovered that someone misunderstood the song, "or was very creative in its understanding" by David Bowie - Heroes - where the line We Can Be Heroes becomes We Can Eat Gyros. And so she portrayed the cover of an album that featured David Bowie as a gyros.

How did she develop as an artist?

20 years ago, her father opened a diving center and Tea was with him all the time - at sea, underwater and as she says: “Of course, I had the desire to become a diving instructor, and today, as a master diver, I have almost achieved this. This is for me like my second life, my hobby. But illustration is my job. Otherwise, my parents disagree." she added in the end, laughing.

I've been drawing all my life. In the beginning I was drawing horses and Sailor Moon.” She immediately laughs, “And yes, I was a big fan of Sailor Moon and still am. If you wake me up at 4 in the morning, I'll be able to draw it with all the details." For becoming an artist, however, she must thank her mother in particular for encouraging her to enroll in the Secondary School of Applied Arts in Split, Croatia and later at the Academy of Arts in Zagreb.

"And yet, by the time I was on my 3rdyear at the Academy, I wasn't even sure if I really wanted to work as an artist all my life, because it's a pretty risky choice," she explained. She says the most is achieved through perseverance and hard work. She herself had several small works that eventually led to bigger projects, as she met real people there and could introduce herself as she is. "Now that I'm more into the applied arts than design and illustration, I'm more and more convinced that this was the right choice and I don't want to do anything else," she concluded. 

So she wants to remain in the world of illustration in the future. Her great desire, however, is to participate in the Facebook street art residency project - through which various artists create indoors.

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About the project

Given the fact that street art is much more typical for urban areas and not so much in nature, we were also interested in Tea's opinion on this. “In the urban jungle, you are bombarded with many things from all sides. In most cases, you see the mural and you pass by, you look at it for a few seconds and that's it. People come here to relax and enjoy so they spend more time here and therefore easily connect with the murals.” Besides connecting with BIG BERRY guests, Tea believes murals are greatly connected with nature itself.

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The Luxury of Freedom

Luxury of Freedom for Tea Jurišić is “to enjoy every day, not to worry. And to find something you love to do and in that way no effort associated with the job will be too big."

Photo by: João Sousa, Borut Petrič