Braun CruZer – Q&A with Emil Kozak

How would you describe yourself in one sentence?

Graphic designer by day, artist at night.

How did you get into art?

It has been a slow process of realizing that my main voice is visual in some sense.

How would you describe your art to someone who hadn’t seen it before?

Naive, bold, positive and simple. I love simplicity. I like to speak as clear and precise about a certain theme… I feel simplicity does that.

Why did you start working with skateboards instead of canvases?

I started when I began skateboarding, it?s quite common that skateboarders customize the board and griptape etc. I think skateboarding is a very creative game. It?s about making something out of nothing. A skateboarder sees a playground when other people see an empty parking lot. It is like this imaginary world that you can go to when the other one sucks.

How long have you been skateboarding?

I got a skateboard when I was around seven years old (a little orange plastic board) that I used to play with in my grandparents? living room. Throughout my early teenage years I got obsessed with skateboarding and I spent a lot of years studying magazines, movies and skating the streets of my city. But what really hooked me on skateboarding was the creativity: ripping with style, the colors, the music and the visual marks blew my mind. From there on it kinda influenced every part of my life and way of thinking.

What?s your favorite piece of work so far?

The Kindergarten Legends. They are ideas from when I was in kindergarten myself. I remember that we used to tell stories about other kids who had apple trees growing in their tummies, because they had swallowed the seeds from an apple. We actually believed it – I love the surreal imagination that kids have!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Skateboards, Alicia, the city, the nature, sentences out of context, logos, typography, my brother, ping pong, surfing, guitars, handwriting, photography, books, paint, doodles, animals, children, pop culture and pretty much everything in between!

What people and artists do you admire?

I?m fascinated by creative people who have had a life-long creative career. People like Milton Glaser, Man Ray, David Lynch, Herb Lubalin and many many more…

Name the last three things you bought?

The book ‘Niagara’ by Alec Soth, an Olympus point-and-shoot camera from the 80s for only three Euros and a flashlight.

What do you do in your free time?

I spend time with friends and family. I also enjoy surfing, books and lazy days at the beach.

What are you most proud of?

Working on my own, and being in control of my own path.