Interview with Dzintaru 3-Days identity author Oskars Stagis

Oskars Stagis

Greetings to all active lifestyle supporters in March! Many probably cannot wait for when the spring will actually come and we will be able to go outside with lighter clothes. In the late March blog the organizers of “Dzintaru Three-Days” offer one of the most interesting conversations so far, about how the identity of Dz3D was created. An interview with the artist and author of the visual identity of the DZ3D project Oskars Stagis.

Kalvis Kaļva (KK): How are you doing during the pandemic? What keeps you busy right now?

Oskars Staģis (OS): During the pandemic I have changed my life by 180 degrees and “isolated completely”. I have started a career as a self-employed person opening my own workshop where I create various ceramic dishes, make labels for both clients and friends and try to dream about what will happen next in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. So far with this new career the future looks quite promising.

KK: How did you start doing orienteering? Do you remember the first distance you ran?

OS: I started orienteering in 1982. When I moved to another home in 2019 I found my childhood box with the first map I had navigated in. I was extremely happy. If I remember correctly it was a map of Vecāķi forest. During the Soviet era almost every school had a “Young Tourist Club”. I studied at Riga Secondary school No. 25, and there was a very active leader of this club who also did orienteering and took the children to the forest to do orienteering. I was one of the members of the club at that time and I stayed there for a long time.

At that time we also participated in competition but our level was not high enough to run in the elite group. It just made us happy and it was an opportunity to get out of the house, meet friends and have a good time together.

The enthusiastic sports teacher who has a lot to do with me beginning to practice and love orienteering was also very active in various sports. As part of the tourist club we also tried our hand at mountain climbing but I did not like it so much because height was my fear. The club also had trips outside the borders of present-day Latvia – we went to the Caucasus, a trip to lake Baikal, on which I unfortunately did not manage to go because I had to take the entrance exam at the School of Arts at that time. There were also many boat trips on Latvian rivers. Life in the “Young Tourist Club” was interesting!

KK: What is the role of orienteering in your life?

OS: 16 years ago I resumed orienteering very spontaneously. Sitting at work one day I heard in the radio about a possibility to do orienteering in the forest, here in the vicinity of Riga at “Magnets” competition. After work I decided to try it out and it was awesome! There had been a lot of changes in orienteering since my childhood, though, so I remember that I finished as one of the last ones. Although, next time I did much better. I have also attracted my children to this sport and due to all these coincidences I was asked to create the original design of “Dzintaru Three-Days”.

At the moment I still continue to participate in “Magnets” trainings from time to time. Less in winter but more often in the summer season.

KK: What do you think is common for orienteering and art?

OS: It has to be said that everything in the world is connected but the first thing that comes to mind is the word “addiction”. As with any thing you really enjoy doing, you are addicted to it in a way. Orienteering in my opinion is a very healthy addiction.

Definitely also – creativity. As I like to say, no matter how many times you run from Ložmetējkalns (technical map with hill on the West side of Riga), it is possible to get lost in each one of them. The same is true for things in art. It is like -you do the same thing every time but it has to be a little different each time to get people’s attention and convince them to purchase the artwork.

Of course – freedom. Freedom is running in the forest, looking for checkpoints however you like, and at the same time art encompasses the freedom to create whatever you want.

KK: What was your motivation to get involved in the “Dzintaru Three-Days” project as the creator of visual identity?

OS: The biggest motivation was that my daughter was orienteering together with Karlis (Stradins). Both of them took a part in the creation of the first “Dzintaru Three-Days” with their own contribution. Karlis found out what I am working as and asked for help in creating a logo through Emīlija. At that moment I did not refuse and agreed to help and create it. At first it was not so serious but later the approach became more and more professional because the organizers themselves did not expect that they would manage to organize everything so well.

KK: What is the story of the “Dzintaru Tree-Days” logo? How was it created?

OS: As the competition originally took place in Dzintari, Jurmala, next to the sea, everything logically connected together. Amber is orange and so is the flag. The shape of amber in the form of natural stone, everything seemed to fit together naturally. The process of creating the logo was full of doubts but at the time my children liked the idea. In terms of time invested I must say that this project was more like a side project at times when daily responsibilities had already been performed. Emotional work is usually spontaneous. Everything gets created when inspiration comes. For me it is even the case that sometimes in the evenings the idea can come from nowhere. One moment and the idea is there! Such jobs which do not claim to be a large order serve as an entertainment, a great way to keep yourself busy in moments when you really do not want to create serious jobs.

KK: Was there a specific time set when the logo should have been ready?

The period of time when everything had to be ready was not really agreed, so there was no need to hurry. But as it happens in life, even without rushing comes the moment when the works start to “burn” and you have to work faster. If I will ever need to write a CV, I will definitely put the design of “Dzintaru Three-Days” second year medals on the list of my achievements (Oskars laughs). Not only the logo was created but also the clothing design and special medals for this event. I think that the involvement of young people in the work was very important. Seeing everyone in action gave me great pleasure to help and work together. I could definitely feel the inflow of strength and inner satisfaction with what we had done.

KK: Are you planning to participate in this year’s “Dzintari Three-Days”?

OS: If health allows and competitions will be allowed, I will probably participate. Lately I have been trying to run more with my head than with my legs. Of course if there will be an opportunity, I will support my team.

KK: Have you looked in our new “Dzintaru Three-Days” website? How do you like the design?

OS: Yes, I have looked but I do not want to judge anything about design. I think I liked it because nothing bad comes in mind. Usually we notice the things we do not like that much. Moreover, design matters are very personal and subjective. And if you want to criticize someone, then first make it better yourself. Of course you can see that the logo has changed over time – it has become more serious but the idea has remained.

“Dzintaru Three-days” team invites everyone to follow along the latest information on individual orienteering training possibilities in your home country federation websites, as well as to follow the news on our website about the upcoming Three-Days!

See you in nature and looking forward to the April blog!

Blog prepared by Kalvis Kalva


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