Interview with Joe Paczkowski

Joe Paczkowski

Joe is  from Somerville Massachusetts, USA. Born in 1956. He completed high school in 1975 and in 1979 he moved to Finland where he still resides.

Joe  studied furniture making / wood carving in Jurva, Finland for three years. After completing his studies he took work as a sign maker.  Not long after working in sign making the first computer programs were introduced to the industry. Although he has no formal training in art, graphics or computers, Joe developed his programming skills on his own as the industry developed.

In about 1992 Joe began working for a company specializing in designing and building exhibition stands and booths. Here is a link for more information about the company.


Joe Paczkowski 
One can not help notice from the contents of the galleries that Joe is a member of the Baha’i Faith. It is a rich source of inspiration for him. For more information about Joe’s Faith you can go to www.bahai.org

 

                 

                                               

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All Things Baha’i Blog : What are some of the Baha’i Writings that inspired you?

 

One day I came across this passage from Baha’u’llah:

 

 “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, p. 9)

 

I had probably read it many times before but one day (about three years ago) it really struck me. I wondered what skills I might have that could contributed to the upliftment of mankind? The only one thing I perhaps have any skill at is graphics. Perhaps through an artistic approach it would be possible to respond to the above exhortation. I decided then to strive to contribute to the Baha’i community through graphic design.

 

Another quotation that has inspired me is from the Universal House of Justice:

 

“More generally, the House of Justice feels that one of the great challenges facing Bahá’ís everywhere is that of restoring to the peoples of the world an awareness of spiritual reality. Our view of the world is markedly different from that of the mass of mankind, in that we perceive creation to encompass spiritual as well as physical entities, and we regard the purpose of the world in which we now find ourselves to be a vehicle for our spiritual progress. 

“This view has important implications for the behaviour of Bahá’ís and gives rise to practices which are quite contrary to prevailing conduct of the wider society. One of the distinctive virtues given emphasis in the Bahá’í Writings is respect for that which is sacred. Such behaviour has no meaning for those whose perspective on the world is entirely materialistic, while many followers of the established religions have debased it into a set of rituals devoid of true spiritual feeling.

 

“In some instances, the Bahá’í Writings contain precise guidance on how the reverence for sacred objects of places should be expressed, e.g., restrictions on the use of the Greatest Name on objects or indiscriminate use of the record of the voice of the Master. In other instances, the believers are called upon to strive to obtain a deeper understanding of the concept of sacredness in the Bahá’í teachings, from which they can determine their own forms of conduct by which reverence and respect are to be expressed. 

 

“The importance of such behaviour derives from the principles expressed in the Bahá’í Writings, that the outward has an influence on the inward. Referring to “the people of God” Bahá’u’lláh states: ‘Their outward conduct is but a reflection of their inward life, and their inward life a mirror of their outward conduct.’

 

“It is within this framework that the Universal House of Justice wishes you to view the concerns which have been expressed over the past several years. Bahá’ís endowed with artistic talent are in a unique position to use their abilities, when treating Bahá’í themes, in such a way as to disclose to mankind evidence of the spiritual renewal the Bahá’í Faith has brought to humanity through its revitalization of the concept of reverence. 

 

“Questions of artistic freedom are not germane to the issues raised here. Bahá’í artists are free to apply their talents to whatever subject is of interest to them. However, it is hoped that they will exercise a leadership role in restoring to a materialistic society an appreciation of reverence as a vital element in the achievement of true liberty and abiding happiness.” (25 February 1988 to a National Spiritual Assembly)

 

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All Things Baha’i Blog:  How did you settle on using religion as a source of inspiration?

 

When I first took an interest in art history and started to explore the subject I was amazed at how much of mankind’s artist expression was inspired by the world’s religions. There is certainly an intrinsic connection between art and religion. Too vast a topic to go into now. Basically art is a portal for the mind and imagination to go beyond the mundane daily routines and perhaps carry, for a moment, to a realm beyond. That is real magic.

All Things Baha’i Blog:  What do you hope to convey through your art?

 

 

My designs are an exploration in patterns, color, nature and ornamentation. They strive to celebrate and revere this great New Day of God. My hope is the can bring a little brightness amidst the growing gloom that has enfolded our present world conditions.

 

All Things Baha’i Blog:  Thank you Joe for taking the time to respond to our questions and we wish you continued success in inspiring joy through your spiritual creations. Blessings to you and your family!

 

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You can view and purchase Joe’s digital art here:

http://joepaczk.com/
https://www.pinterest.com/joepaczk/
https://www.instagram.com/joepaczkowski/
https://www.behance.net/joepaczk