Friday, July 12, 2013

Why Giants?

                                                                    By Petar Meseldzija
I always loved to draw giants and ogres.

It all started a long time ago as a combination of a number of factors, among which the following two played a decisive role – a usual fascination of a child with the fantastic and the imaginative; and a kind of compensatory behavior, for I was a shy and not very self-confident, and often felt  ”little” and insignificant when I was a kid. Of course, at that time I was not aware of these things, but now when I think of my childhood and try to analyze it, it becomes quite obvious that there was a certain disharmony between my inner world, and the surrounding world, the physical reality. Naturally, this situation produced a certain amount of discomfort  that my psyche tried to compensate partly by making me love to draw big, strong and brave guys including giants and all kinds of heroes. 

I am not a child anymore;  I am not a shy guy and don’t  feel as insecure and “little” as before.  Still I draw giants… How do I explain that? A usual explanation like “I love to draw giants” simply doesn’t offer a satisfactory answer this time.

Firstly, there is always a possibility that a part of my personality still refuses to grow up and therefore clings to that old compensatory behavior that used to provide the mind with the necessary relief.  During the past few years I reconsidered this issue many times, for I wanted to understand what was going on, and in case there are still childish elements in my persona (this is somewhat different from what is often referred  to as the “child within”), to deal with it without a further delay. This process is still ongoing …hence the word “silly” (me) I often use in connection with my drawings of giants.
Secondly, I understand now that giants are not only wonderfully grotesque and fascinating subjects from the artistic point of view, these creatures are also inspiring as symbols. I see them as the embodiment of a deep-rooted, untamed and intuitive side of human nature. The long and painful process of cultivating human society has produced great civilizations, but often deprived human beings of their spontaneity and unrestrained expression, removing them further away from Life in its purest form.
And that is not a childish thing anymore. On the contrary, it is a very important issue not only to me, but to many people living in the highly “cultivated” societies, although I believe many are still not fully aware of the problem, until one or another form of mental disorder becomes obvious.  

Now that I am about to start working on my book on Giants again, and having in mind the recent developments in terms of the complexity and depth of the concept, I am afraid it might take much longer to finish this project. I must try to create a perfect reflection of both the individual and the collective “silliness”, although I still really don’t know whether I am up to the task. We’ll see…


  1. I think you should just go ahead and plan on making more than one Giant book... It seems doubtful you will stop drawing giants after this book. Therefore, I opt for more than one so you don't have to feel too pressured to make the "perfect" one. That way, I won't have to wait forever to get the first Giant book and I will be happier knowing there will always be more Petar Giants. Just a thought :)

    Also I cannot wait for your Art Of book!

    1. Not a bad idea, Daniel,not at all :-)
      I will think about it.

  2. I really appreciate your willingness to seek a greater depth of meaning in the fantastic. Taking the time to feel out the deeper significance and meanings of anything artistically expressed (or anything in life at all), enhances the experience of it to me, as well as the appreciation for the labor put into it (or the journey to get there). Thanks for the post, Petar, and your honest expression of the psychological underpinnings of your work.

    1. One of the most important aspects of the Fantastic is the psychological implication of its symbolism; that is how our unconscious (or our deeper self) communicates with us. It does not use the common language of everyday life, for this terminology fails to communicate the bigger and more important issues of our life. It uses symbols and archetypes and talks to us often though our dreams. Therefore it is much more important to scratch the surface of the Fantastic, than one might think :-)


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