If you were having coffee with me…
You could join in on a coffee chat with a travelling artist; painter, interior decorator and muralist on a quest to leave meaningful art everywhere she visits; whose home is nowhere and everywhere her art lives.
Aušrinė is a mural artist who believes art can light up the world;
Art not only colours surfaces but can colour people, feelings and atmosphere.
B: When we first met you were introduced as Ocean. Who is Ocean?
A: Who is Ocean? *laughs* My real name is Aušrinė which means Morning Star or Dawn similar to Chiedza in Shona. When I started travelling I realised how artists have a nickname; Ocean was something dreamy and close to my personality, wavy and emotional as an artist. Ocean just became me*smiles* This is who I am now.
Much as I wanted to be known by my real name many times people ask and still not remembering Aušrinė so I AM OCEAN
B: Why ART?
A: For me its very important to colour the planet, cause I believe there’s so much negativity, selfishness and unkindness that I feel that Art could change. I believe that I leave an impact everywhere I go.
Art has been a big part of my life, since childhood. My parents are pretty creative even though they do not call themselves artists, they are artistic and I think got the skills from them and practiced all the time.
People say “You know in Africa, we can’t be artists, we need to be lawyers, doctors…. Even in Lithuania we have similar standards, study law, study medicine; then you can do what you want but my parents allowed me to choose Art.,
Still when I told people I wanted to be painter, they would say why not be architect or something like that. I was even unmotivated that as an artist wont make enough to sustain myself; but look at me today, painting everywhere ago.
B: What made you start “…being light in any part of the world”
A: While working on an internship in Finland, we were doing tiles on floors, wallpaper on walls… basic and boring stuff mainly. I asked one of our teachers, if we could do murals to showcase what we actually do, our creativity and artistry. I decorated a corner with colorful cactuses, painted table, heater… before I had finished a stranger walked up to me and asked “Did you do that?” She was scratching the wall to see if it was real or a sticker.
“Do you know how many years I have worked at this school” she asked.
I am like: I don’t know… *laughs*
“I work here more than 15 years every day I pass through the same corridor I see the same plain empty white wall. Girl, you have created more than artwork you have brought the sun to our world”
At that moment I realized how ART can warm your heart change the atmosphere change the vibes and I asked myself….
What if I could do this at any part of the world, what if I could bring sunlight to any part of the world.
Today I do this
B: Where is home, what is home,… why is home?
A: *laughs* I am originally from Lithuania though I have never considered it as home maybe because I never found my corner. It’s a tiny country not known by a lot of people and I call myself a village girl from a small town with 5000 people. As an artist I wanted to spread my ideas and open my mind but you feel like you are in box; wondering what the world looks like.
I decided that from the moment you are born not one country has been given to you but the whole world has been given to you…. That’s why I travel
I could say my home is everywhere my art is.
B: What is the weirdest place you have worked?
A: … aaaaahm… geez that’s a tough question actually
I could say not about the location, but I was painting a tree.., a big tree in the corner of the room and I painted the ceilings, it was so realistic looking with the branches going over you.
This is the first one which came to mind. I have created so many murals in many different places.
B: How many countries have you been to?
A: I have been in 16 countries and left my art in 13 of them.
B: What happened to the other 3?
A: I visited some countries when I was young, that time, I did not have goal to leave my art but I feel I need to go back… and fix this
B: How many languages can you speak?
A: I speak only Lithuanian… and English …. I have been speaking English for like three years, you think you speak English but when you travel to another country….
I could speak a little bit of Swahili from spending 3 months in Tanzania though I have spent about half a year in Zambia and still haven’t picked up Nyanja and Bemba.
B: Are aliens real?
A: I love discussing weird topics like this. I believe we are not only one, I believe there’s something else… Same as someone asks if you believe in God. I always say, well, I am spiritual… maybe God is a universe and the universe is a God. Maybe there’s aliens and some say they don’t exist.
B: If aliens where to reveal themselves to be on this world; why would the first thing they say be; “Take us to Aušrinė”
A: My mom used to say Aušrinė you always see good in people even in very bad person you always see good. I think aliens would be accepted for who they are *laughing* by me.
B: How much of yourself is in your art?
A: 100% Most of my artworks is created from my own experiences, each person I meet, each interaction I make, its in my art, sometimes I might not be able to explain but I know it came from inspiration from the street.
Me and my art in my own little world
B: How long do you typically stay in a country you travel to?
A: I never call myself tourist maybe traveller, as I try to be local in each country I visit, taking three to six months
B: Where to next?
A: Waiting on my work permit back to Zambia. I like Zambia and consider making it my African base, where I can travel to everywhere else from.
B: What next?
A: I want to have an Art Residency an Art Residency Zim, Art Residency Tokyo, Art Residency Ghana, connect artists internationally. As artists who travel, you cannot just be splashing paint on hotel rooms, you want a place where you can exchange ideas, find materials, resources, studios, exhibit… I am working on making this happen.
B: If people had warning labels what would yours say?
A: Bad Vibes Not Allowed
B: Whats the one thing you make sure you always carry with you?
A: My brushes probably. My brushes are my talisman…
B: If this were on TV and you could wave at people seeing you now; whom would you holla at?
A: *laughs* You should be kind and grateful for people who supported you on your journey…. I have lots of people I am grateful and I cant mention by name… *laughing* but you know what I want to holla at all the people who said being an artist meant being a struggler, but look at me now in the future I may be on Ellen Show or decorate Will Smith’s house…
I want to wave at those people who never believed in me, because they never believed in themselves.
B: How do people contact you?
A: Instagram im_aube
Your country might just be where she visits next so reach out and make it happen.