Tupac Art

Visual Artist Mateusz Kijak Talks Outlawz, Tupac, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

Born in 1990 in Tarnów, a city in the South of Poland. Mateusz graduated from the high school of art in Tarnów and Faculty of Sculpture at the Academy of the fine arts in Krakow. He’s a visual artist working in the media of painting, drawing, sculpture, video and graphic design. Mateusz also raps and is a member of hip-hop group the Nowa Epopeja Cru. He has created quite a few music videos for hip-hop artists including The Outlawz and Bone Thugs & Harmony. O4L Online spoke with Mateusz about his craft, The Outlawz, Tupac art and more!

2pac art

O4L Online: Your artwork is dope. How did you get into art?


It was a very natural process for me. From the very beginning I loved to create. I have two older brothers (Krystian and Sebastian). They collected a lot of awesome comic books in the 90s so when I was kid I used to love read all of these comics such as spider-man, batman, punisher, spawn etc. At that time I created a lot of my own comics. I loved to make drawings and sculptures made of plasticine. I also always loved to listen to rap music. My brothers had a great collection of hip-hop albums so I quickly became a fan of hip-hop artists such as 2pac, Outlawz, Cypress Hill, Wu tang clan, House of Pain, Xzibit, Bone Thugs N Harmony and others.

Visual Artist Mateusz Kijak
The man behind the visuals, Mateusz Kijak

When I grew up I became a student at the art school in Tarnów. I met there a lot of good artists from my city. At that time I won several artistic competitions and took part in several exhibitions with my friends. I was influenced by hip hop music and I wanted to become a rapper myself. When I get my first computer I created a lot of songs with my brother Krystian a.k.a Cristianus. I quickly learned how to use graphic and video software so I could create covers for my albums and music videos for my songs. In 2009 I became a student of the Faculty of Sculpture at the Academy of the fine arts in Krakow. At that time I took part in many artistic projects. In 2014, I returned to Tarnów and became a teacher in the art school where I worked for 4 years.

out in a blaze
A shot from the Out Ina Blaze music video

O4L Online: What inspires you to create the fantastic artwork you have done & what made you want to get into animation?

I am a multidisciplinary artist. There is a lot of ways to express yourself. I love to experiment with different techniques and styles. Sometimes I love to create paintings in plein air. For example me and my friends went to Italy in 2016. We spent 14 days in Venice and we created a lot of oil and water colour paintings there. After that we showed these artworks at exhibitions in Poland and Slovakia. Pleinair is a very deep experience for the artists but I also love to work in an atelier where I usually create abstract paintings inspired by the theme of the cosmos.

tupac art

There is a lot of inspirations for me. I try to have open mind and I try to work in many mediums and styles. Life is too short to do the same things every day so for me art is a great adventure. I decided to get into animation because it fascinates me how the images that I can create can come to life in the process of animation. I think the picture is an important addition to the music. Music evokes different emotions. When I hear a new song I wonder how these emotions can be magnified by the picture, music and picture are two different languages but in the music video they meet each other telling the same story.

out in a blaze video
Tupac, Young Noble & Edi Don by Visual Artist Mateusz

O4L Online: You have also created a few videos for The Outlawz. Can you tell us what it was like to create videos for this legendary hip-hop group?

Since childhood I have been a big fan of 2pac & Outlawz music. There is a lot of people in Poland who also love 2Pac & Outlawz music. My brother Krystian had all of Tupac’s albums so when I was growing up, I listened to this music and I created my first artworks. Tupac was a great inspiration for me. It’s amazing how your passion can bring you closer to what you dream about. In 2015 I created my first video for The Outlawz. I’m glad that I have the opportunity to create music videos for the band I’ve been listening to for many years.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKkzWSVuVG4&w=560&h=315]

It’s a very important experience for me. I made few videos for Young Noble & Deuce Deuce such as Politricks, Used to, Another day, Nothing to lose. I even recorded songs with Young Noble & Deuce Deuce. My personal matters and my job caused that in 2018 we did not create music videos together but I had the opportunity to create teaser and poster for a great Outlawz South Africa Motherland Tour. I believe that we will make more cool things together in the future.

kadafi art
Yaki Kadafi in Out Ina Blaze music video which was directed by Mateusz

O4L Online: Can you talk about the ‘Out Ina Blaze’ video featuring Young Buck. You drew all The Outlawz including Hussein Fatal, Tupac and Yaki Kadafi for that video. What was the concept behind the video?

Out Ina Blaze was the first video that I made for the Outlawz, I started working on the concept in 2014 when I was student at the academy of the fine arts in Krakow, I made storyboard but unfortunately I didn’t had time to finish this video at that moment. In 2015 I learned that Hussein Fatal died and I quickly gave up all my projects and started working on a music video in his memory. The final music video is different than the one I wanted to do in 2014. I put Hussein Fatal, ‘Pac & Kadafi in thugs mansion, there is no story line there, this video is similar to traditional music videos, you can see all these rappers who are performing their verses but the big difference is that everything is animated.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoMgEnEX_98&w=560&h=315]

O4L Online: The animation for Young Noble’s music video ‘Heavenly Father’ featuring Krayzie Bone was done by yourself. The song pays homage to Tupac and Eazy-E. The video depicts Young Noble and Krayzie Bone in the middle of an uprising against the system. What was the message behind this video?

As I said before, sometimes when I hear the new song I see images in my imagination, so when I heard ‘Heavenly Father’ for the first time its sounds for me like some type of battle song especially in third verse. I listened to this and I saw two Emcees’s who did not have an easy career, they both lost their friends, I’m feeling some type of pain and struggle in this song. I see two warriors in this song who have never given up so the message is „stay strong and do what you got to do no matter what”. Sometimes life is not easy but when you really love what you do, and you know what you want in this life nothing can stop you.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxty1AGWhTM&w=560&h=315]

O4L Online: Have you got any future plans for your artwork?

I want to bring my animations to another level. In the future there will be more 3D in my animations. I got hope that interesting projects will appear in which I will be able to get involved. Animation production is very time-consuming so it is very important to build the team. My brother Sebastian is also very talented illustrator so I want to start working with him on a new productions soon. At this moment I’m working on the new music video for well know hip-hop group. If everything goes ok it will be done in January 2019. I also received an artistic grant from the city of Tarnów for the multidisciplinary project “Interimpres”, which I have to finish soon.

I’m working all day. I love what I do and I still believe that my artworks can be better than now. In 2019 I want to go to Italy again with my friends and I got hope that we will create a lot of good paintings there.

O4L Online: Thank you for talking with O4L Online, we wish you all the best.

Go check Mateusz out on Instagram


Back to top button