Balazs Faa, has brought his admiration and infectious excitement for usability, computer programming, and fine art all the way from Hungary to the Art + Design Department here at Missouri State. The current Artist-in-Residence began as a graphic artist and fine artist, then entered the world of programing via mathematics.
At first, he expected online programming and fine arts to have issues coexisting because of the difference in fields. Incorporating mathematics into his work initially “began as an accident,” says Balazs, “I hated math as everyone does.” He began making repetitive prints with the desire to make them purely random, but had difficulties executing randomness. To solve this, he began by “making a grid on a table and using dice to make the coordinates,” explains Balazs, though “the grid was too small, so I added two dice, then kept adding for the results.” His professors in Amsterdam (where he was getting his master’s at the time) “didn’t understand what [he] was doing; they didn’t like it and wanted to see artwork,” laughs Balazs. After receiving advice to use a computer, his grid work continued to expand. “It was an early time for the computer; before Windows,” Balazs exclaims. Since then, he continued to make digital work using programs he designed on his own.
Since the age of 25, Balazs has been teaching – with most of those years spent in Hungary, though he desired to try something new. “It was time for a change,” says Balazs, “The move from Hungary to Missouri has been an exciting one. Everything is different, even the [electrical] plugs,” he says. He noted differences in education, citing that the classroom and process of creation is “not as free” of an environment as it is in Hungary. Although the organization of education is different, “students are quite similar,” says Balazs. Balazs is teaching Digital Arts and Web Design as a part of the BFA in Art, BS in Electronic Arts, and BFA in Design degree programs; his experience has made him a perfect fit.
As an artist, Balazs has no contracts to galleries. “I receive no money for the art I make,” says Balazs, “I just make art, and I want to show it to the people.” Though he says he’s most proud of his family. “I have two daughters. One lives in Hungary with my wife, and my other daughter is living here with me,” says Balazs, “I feel lucky.”
When asked what he was most excited about as he begins in this new environment, Balazs responded with an excited, “Everything! [I am] enjoying it; it is a new life.”