Published on April 28th, 2013 | by UntoXicated
Pawel Zawislak – Straight Edge Illustrator
Pawel Zawislak is a Polish illustrator. Born in 1977, the year when the punk culture burst with a big boom into society.
This insight, as Pawel explains, to some extent may have shaped his existence. Just before turning 30, Pawel and his girlfriend decided to start a new life, basically from scratch. It was a toss between Vancouver, Canada and Sydney, Australia. In September 2007 they landed in Sydney. Even though they still dream about Vancouver, they love Sydney and they see their future here.
Being a Sydney-sider myself, I occasionally get to see the odd gig with Pawel. Pawel is a huge source of info on the hard-core, straight edge punk scene. I thought it would be of great interest to our readers to hear Pawel’s views on music and living Straight Edge. – xDredgex
What do you do in your everyday life – what’s your livelihood?
I’m a freelance illustrator working for a local illustrator’s collective called Watermark. We’re very diversified bunch of people, yet driven by the same passion – drawing. To be honest, I really don’t know where I would be, if I didn’t come across those guys. Maybe back in Poland or maybe doing something totally different, something not related to my profession. I’m grateful to have a job that I love, therefore I work a lot. If there are no commissions (believe me, in the freelance world that happens quite frequently), I work on my portfolio, so there’s always something on my plate.
What are you passionate about?
The only passion that hasn’t changed since I was a kid is drawing. Already then it was obvious for everyone who knew me that this is what I’m going to do in life. That later led me to the Art High School and then to the Art Academy. But it was in my high school years, when I changed myself radically and discovered new passions. First one was basketball. Funny, how from one of the least athletic boys in my class in elementary school, I grew to a jock, who probably spent more time at the basketball court than in front of the easel. The underground music was my other discovery. I got into punk and hardcore immediately and since then I never looked back. Once you’re into hardcore, it’s almost certain that you’re gonna come across the Straight Edge. And this is what changed my life forever. From day one, I knew it’s a perfect match. I don’t have any doubts that Straight Edge shaped my life and made me who I am today. Of course there are more things that keep my blood flow. In my Academy years I was a vocalist in a local hardcore band, but when I started to play bass I realized that I have found a real love. That groovy, sultry, deep sound is my only vice to this day. The movies are a big part of my life, too. And even though I’m not even close to what a movie-goer appears to be, I can swallow movies endlessly, one by one. I’m also into art and photography. And a day without workout in a gym is a wasted day.<!–more–>
How long have you been drug, tobacco and alcohol free?
I’ve been straight edge since 1993, so if my math is right, it’s been 20 years. When I got into that, I was so obsessed with that lifestyle, that I kept seeing triple X everywhere. I had applied the tradition of marking hands with an ‘X’ not only for the hardcore shows, but also to my everyday life. Later on I suppressed my over-labelling, and realized that it’s just few simple rules how to live a life with a straight, sober mind and healthy body. It’s very natural to me to live this way. But before I claimed “edge”, I never really was one of those kids who smoke or drink to impress their peers anyway. I knew it wasn’t for me. So when I discovered Straight Edge, it was like completing the puzzle. A perfect match. Bingo!