Dejan-Art Sculptor

Dejan-Art Sculptor

Edition 6 Feature
Words by: Dejan Zdravkovic 
Location: Kušiljevo, Serbia    
Photo Credit : ©Dejan and Andelka Zdravkovic 

I was born in November 1987, in a small town in Serbia. I graduated from the Agricultural High School and enrolled in the Faculty of Agriculture. I was never interested in agriculture, but it seemed more promising than art. I studied at the Faculty of Agriculture for three years, dropped out and finally enrolled at the Academy of Arts. I studied in four cities and at the same time worked as a carpenter and painter, and played guitar in pubs. 

After graduation, I founded my art company, Dejan-Art. Its main activity is artistic creation, both original and custom-made sculptures and paintings. For a while, I received orders once every few months, usually for sculptures and mascots for use in advertising. All the sculptures were made of fibreglass. 

When the COVID pandemic started, there were no more orders. In the absence of work, my wife came up with the idea to sell original artworks online. We started posting drawings and paintings on several art-selling sites, which wasn’t successful until we also opened an Instagram account. 

In lockdown, I couldn’t obtain the materials that I usually used for sculpting, so I began to sculpt wood, the only available material. My wife and I divided the work so that I do the sculpting and she does the social media. This has taken our business to the next level. Since then, we have gained more than 75,000 followers on Instagram and sold more than 100 sculptures around the world. 

Popular sculptures are ravens, horse heads and screaming faces. Also, I make all kinds of commissions, like city monuments of notable persons, made of fibreglass. You can see the sculptures on Instagram, which we regularly update with new works. Customer relationships are very important to us, and we try to devote ourselves as much as possible to everyone. For sculpting, I use tools such as axes and fire torches as well as carving and woodworking tools. I work in the workshop next to our house. In this workshop, we photograph the sculptures and record video of the making process. Soon we will move to a new house, next to which we are building a workshop. 

My wife and I lived in big cities for several years, but I didn’t have the opportunity to have my own workshop there, nor to do this business. I was employed for short periods of time in various companies, but these jobs didn’t make me happy and I always felt that I could be doing something much more meaningful. When the pandemic began, everything changed, and it was no longer feasible to live in a big city. My wife and I returned to my parents’ village, Kušiljevo, to their house, where we still live. At first, this change was difficult, but it has motivated us to do our best and expand our business. We are moving soon to Svilajnac, the nearby town where we both grew up. 

This is what I’ve been trying to do ever since I can remember. But with the benefit of hindsight, I would tell myself not to rush to get here. Professionally, I founded the company almost eight years ago; I was 28 at the time. The work was slow, but it was more than enough to cover my expenses. For the past two years, there has been so much work that I have barely been able to make everything that is ordered. I often have to turn down jobs due to lack of time. 

Although I’m good at lots of crafts, sculpting is something that I’ve wanted to do all my life. Also, I love the idea of not having a boss. Honestly, the amount of people who like my work motivates me to work more. I feel lucky because I do what I love full-time and I’m paid for it. 

I love and hate the whole making process at the same time. While working, I beat my fingers, my hands hurt. But when it’s over, I’m sad I can’t work anymore. I can’t wait to wake up and go to work each day. 

Home - DejanArt
DejanArt-wooden and fiberglass sculptures.