Meet Vukovar 365, full of life
July 28, 2022 – Meet Luka Maksimović, also known as Mone, also known in Vukovar as your wall decorator, logo designer, the guy who can bring your ideas to life in visual form.
Long before there were murals and 3D street art, there was graffiti. This ancient art is as present in Vukovar as anywhere else and has even been integrated into festivals and events. From simple writings letting us know they were, in fact, there, to really elaborate and really impressive designs, we have it and we love it all.
As for graffiti artists, this can be tricky because they always have to defend the title of artist, trying not to fall on the side of rebels and wall-breakers. That means they have to constantly improve to impress. That’s exactly what Mone did. From the name you’d see a little too often in your neighborhood, to being commissioned to paint walls and design logos, he’s gone from naughty to nice, from kid to artist. We couldn’t be happier to follow his journey.
All pictures of Mone
Tell us about yourself and your alter ego.
I am Luka Maksimovic Silver and i am 24 years old. The nickname was created to hide my identity and it was created through the evolution of nicknames from my surname: Maksimović – Maxo – Maxone – Mone.
What is your relationship with art?
My drawing story begins in kindergarten, where I had a friend who was great. I remember one day when we had a workshop and he drew the Hulk too well. It stuck in my memory and inspired me a lot. At home, I spent time drawing whenever I could. I practiced with my brother, drawing various objects that could be seen on the table. Later, I started to draw portraits, but realism as a direction did not satisfy me. The way I see it, you can just take a picture.
Drawing quickly became a bit hard and boring, and since I’m a bit of a perfectionist, I was by no means satisfied. One day we tried to draw graffiti and that was my first encounter with this kind of art. I remember that I chose the English word “book” and made eyes with the two letters O and added a mouth below. It was completely new and exciting for me. I started using letters to create all sorts of shapes that came to mind.
Is that when you discovered your hidden talent?
That’s when I discovered that there were no rules, that I could do whatever I wanted, in any style I liked, any size, shape or form. It all came straight out of my head, and luckily I never ran out of ideas. As for talent, I wouldn’t say that I discovered my talent there or that I’m talented at all. I just spent a lot of time at my desk drawing, just because it was too much fun.
When did you switch from paper to walls?
Shortly after, my brother and I decided to try our first real graffiti. We found a wall and prepared everything, but we weren’t quite ready for the small obstacle that I was. I was too small and I couldn’t do it! My hands were too small, I couldn’t hold the spray and squeeze the cap with one hand, I could barely do it with two hands. It was frustrating and my desire was slowly fading and over time I completely neglected the drawing. Until once, in 3rd grade, during a math class, I was so bored that I wanted to jump out the window. Instead, I remembered that I used to draw graffiti all the time and decided to try again. As soon as I drew my first lines, it made me cringe. I felt like this child, as if I was drawing for the first time. I was really happy with the sketches I made. A few days later, I bought a spray can and finished my first graffiti on the wall. I was intrigued and wanted more. It felt like stepping back in time and continuing where I left off.
Eventually, you decided to do it digitally.
While traditional graffiti wasn’t bad, it wasn’t anything special, and I knew I could do better. I started to take it more seriously and wanted to improve. After trying different techniques, I realized that I needed a lot of money for the hardware and I ran into a problem. So instead of buying markers and other things, I saved up to buy a graphic drawing tablet which allowed me to switch to the digital canvas, where I had the best palette in the world, an inexhaustible source with all colors imaginable. My decision was made on what I wanted to do in the future.
What’s the plan from here?
I’m developing my project and I plan to open a graphic design company and other interesting things with it. When the idea of opening my own business developed, I also fell in love with tattooing. I recently bought a tattoo machine too, so this will surely be part of my workshop.
Tell us about your clients and projects to date and where we can find you.
I collaborated with various people as a freelancer, creating their visual identities. In Vukovar, for example, I worked with the fire brigade and one of the kindergartens. I also did some projects with personalities such as Krešo Bengalka, the Kukus clan, etc.
To see my work, follow me on Instagram (@mone1zm).
Finally, how is the graffiti scene in Vukovar?
A graffiti scene barely exists here, because I’m the only one doing that. However, the city of Vukovar pushes a lot for street art through the organization VukovArt, which has brought many famous street artists from all over the world to paint murals on buildings and create 3D street art.
To find out more, see our lifestyle section.