Vol.118_Robert Pokorny

Please introduce yourself to MAPS readers.

Hello, my name is Robert Pokorny. I’m an Artist living in Long Beach, California. I’m a aficionado of art, books, cats, dance, dogs, food, music, table tennis and generally being silly.


What about your process of working? Since your work is based on lines, it seems very hard to make adjustments in the middle of the process. Do you calculate every detail and steps from the beginning to the end?

My process is to do a lot of drawing before I start anything. I keep a lot of sketchbooks to warm up or work out new ideas. Drawing is the root of all my art. This is where my thinking process is worked out. I enjoy this phase as it is where I am most open to let anything happen or change.

Not all my work is ‘line’ based but some of my series would tend to fall into that camp. I see them as marks that can come in a variety of shapes, sizes and thickness depending on the piece.

I make every mark count so yes it can be problematic if you want to make adjustments in the middle of the work, but I try to let the piece speak to me so to say and if a different direction is required then I will go with it. Once the mark is down there is no going back it’s a done deal, nothing to hide behind or paint it out. No, I don’t calculate everything. I do make preliminary drawings or studies as a framework to work from but leave it open ended. While painting I look to reach a certain level of disappearing and let the actions and paint dictate what may unfold. There has got to be some level of spontaneity in the work or I would lose interest. My marks are put down on an intuitive level. As I create each mark, intuition and trust is key. The push and pull of my mark making is a reaction to the piece and this can ride a precarious line of failure or success.


There are countless sources and methods in creating arts. Is there any specific reason why you chose ‘lines’?

I challenged myself to say everything I needed to say with less. Every mark would have a purpose and the space between was just as important too.


It seems like there are many facial expressions of different people in your works. Do you choose a certain person before you work on your art?

Rarely do I make work based on certain people. I think of people in my head sometimes but don’t look at photos for reference as if I did I would lose that freshness I’m looking for in my work. I tend to make a lot of facial expressions throughout my daily life maybe they get manifested in my work. My wife and I tend to pop in my work quite frequently too, consciously and unconsciously. It happens…


What do you think is the most important factor when drawing?

Stop thinking and just start drawing.


Do you have meanings in each work? Or better yet, do you draw to deliver certain messages?

Sometimes the work will carry certain messages. Usually it is just personal meanings to me. Once the work is created and put out in the world the meaning can and will take on new meanings for the viewers. I am asked all the time what does this mean and rarely do I ever say because I find this is not necessary and can actually make the viewer biased. I am more interested in what messages it may invoke from my audience.


Are there any interesting tools that you use these days?

Crayons. There is something very primal about them that I enjoy.  You can’t get too overly detailed with crayons and they have a wonky line quality which is great when I’m warming up or drawing. It keeps things fresh and honest. It is also something that everyone can relate to as well.


What do you usually do in your free time?

Spend time with my wife. We tend to do a lot of activities based around the Arts.


What is the most important things in your life?

Wife, daughter, family, dog, cat, art & health.


Please tell us your plan for this year!

I will be showing at various fairs around the United States throughout the year with AUREUS Contemporary. The year is early and a lot of opportunities have been falling in my lap so I’m excited to see where this year ends up.


Maps Magazine