Joe Paczkowski

Graphic Design

The best way to get in touch with me is by email. My address is at the bottom of every page or you can use the submission form by clicking this link.

A short bio

Inspiration

I am from Somerville Massachusetts, USA. Born in 1956. I completed high school in 1975.

In 1979 I moved to Finland, where I still reside.

 

I studied furniture making / wood carving in Jurva, Finland for three years. After my studies I got work as a sign maker. Not long after working in sign making the first computer programs were introduced to the industry. Although I have no training in art, graphics or computers I sort of grew up in it as the industry developed.

In about 1992 I started work for a company specializing in designing and building exhibition stands and booths. It is a small company comprised of fantastic people. Here is a link for more info.

 

I am happily married and have one amazing son.

 

As you may have noticed from the contents of the galleries I am a member of the Baha'i Faith. It is a rich source of inspiration. For more information you can go to www.bahai.org

Although I enjoy my work as a commercial designer. It has it's limits about what one can do. It is liberating to sit down after work and let the imagination take off in any direction.

 

The vast and colorful history of mankind offers an amazing range of  diverse styles, ornaments, patterns and colors. All through our long collective history our spiritual pursuits have  been reflected in our art, music, architecture, and literature.

 

The beauty of nature, geometry, historical ornaments and patterns all mix together in my imagination. They take me on a playful exploration of ideas and images.

 

Art should be uplifting, inspiring and fun. Up unit fairly recently all that was produced by human hands was embellished and decorated. It seems our pursuit of a consumer society has put us out of balance with our inner selves and our natural environment . Technology with all its promise of possibilities is not enough to satisfy our deeper human needs of purpose and community. It may be time to explore our spiritual  heritages with fresh unbiased minds. The dire challenges facing humanity at this time require a global vision based on justice and primaly, an acceptance of the oneness of the human race.

All images © Joe Paczkowski

How I got here

I have been working in commercial design for over twenty years. I work for a small company in a provincial region of Finland. The clients are mostly small businesses with rather conservative needs. In the spring of 2013 the company was planning to update its website. I started to go through our archives for interesting pictures to use on our site. I was so surprised to find the pictures rather dull and boring. Although we strive to do creative work, the needs and tastes of our clients really determine, to a great degree, what we produce. I thought how great it would be to be able to design anything I wanted.

 

Some years before, I can’t remember when exactly, I had a very vivid dream. I was taken into a vast gallery of strange and incredibly beautiful pictures in an usual style I could not identify. In the dream, I asked my guide ”what are these pictures?” I was told that these are the pictures that I have never done. I understood that these are the things I could have done if I had not wasted my time over the years. The realization jolted me awake. I was haunted by the beautiful images though I could not recall them in any details. The dream was somewhat disturbing. In a way I felt like it was too late. I has missed my chance. It did not spur any immediate burst of creativity. Actually it was more numbing.

 

For years in my free time I pursed other interest besides drawing. I learned guitar and loved playing and improvising. I practiced and played daily over many years. Still I felt that I was more of a visual artist than musician. For years I had wanted to do my own art but was unable to unlock a creative barrier. I could never quite decide what I wanted to do or how to start.

 

Then in the spring of 2013 I came across an amazing artist called Jessica Hische. Not only was her work inspiring, her story was too. She told how, being unsatisfied in her job, she decided to design several creative alphabets in her free time. She would do a new letter every day for about a year. At the end of the time she had a few wonderfully creative alphabets that she sent off to advertising agencies with her resume. The result was an offer for a dream job.

 

I thought why not just do whatever I feel like on my own. After work my time is my own. I don’t have to show anyone. It doesn't matter what it is or if it is good or not. No client has to approve or disapprove. I had got an ipad the previous year. I used it mostly for checking email, social media, reading e-books... I bought a few graphic apps and started playing around. To my surprise the apps were very versatile. It was so easy to pick up and play with. It enabled me to free my imagination in ways I had been unable too before. As I learned more about the apps and what they could do, I explored more possibilities. It was easy to do something everyday.. Eventually I was starting a  design on the ipad and continuing it on the computer. The doodles were becoming more sophisticated and complex. The barriers blocking my creativity melted away. A process and confidence emerged.

 

Around that time I came across this passage in the writings of Bahá'u'lláh:

"Beseech ye the one true God to grant that ye may taste the savor of such deeds as are performed in His path, and partake of the sweetness of such humility and submissiveness as are shown for His sake. Forget your own selves, and turn your eyes towards your neighbor. Bend your energies to whatever may foster the education of men. Nothing is, or can ever be, hidden from God. If ye follow in His way, His incalculable and imperishable blessings will be showered upon you. This is the luminous Tablet, whose verses have streamed from the moving Pen of Him Who is the Lord of all worlds. Ponder it in your hearts, and be ye of them that observe its precepts."

-Baha'u'llah, (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, page 9)

 

I wondered what energies and abilities might I have to foster the education of men? Maybe all I can do is draw, so I will try to do that. The following year (and since)  was amazing. I did make a daily effort to create something. I was not concerned about if it was good, of if anyone liked or even saw it. After a while I got the courage up to share the designs on social media. The response was warm and positive. I am grateful for the kind comments and encouraging words. I have continued over the past few years to share my work on social media. The results, so far, are the images shared here. This is actually only a part of them. I don't know if I have yet achieved anything significant or if I ever will. All I can do is continue to try.