based in Brussels . Belgium
32 years . artist

I'm currently living in Brussels, Belgium where I have my atelier. I moved here from Gent (also in Belgium) and previously from Wroclaw (Poland, where I was born). I moved to Belgium after taking part in Erasmus exchange program during my studies. And it took my few years to find myself abroad and be able to do what I'm doing full time - painting. Besides painting I'm a co-funder of a screen printing project ahaha.be, printings on textiles.

Hanna Ilczyszyn por Projeto Curadoria
// Which media do you use to express yourself?

I always liked paint as a medium and this is my main tool. Maybe one day I would try something else, but for the moment I like it too much.

// What is your biggest motivation to create? What inspires you?

When I'm visiting an exhibition and I see works that speak to me, they always make me feel like painting. I think what motivates me the most are every compliments about my work that I get. Every positive word is very powerful and makes you keep going.

Hanna Ilczyszyn por Projeto Curadoria
Hanna Ilczyszyn por Projeto Curadoria
// What is your creative process like?

My starting point for every painting are photographs, so every visual picture that I find interesting could be the beginning of a new painting. I also rarely do sketches. I like to paint fast, so I'm starting directly on a canvas. I also allow myself mistakes and overpainting. I find it interesting that not every detail is polished.

Hanna Ilczyszyn por Projeto Curadoria
Hanna Ilczyszyn por Projeto Curadoria
// What do you do in your daily routine to help maintain creativity?

Basically, I'm working as a painter full time. Which means I'm not waiting for an inspiration to come but I'm working through even if I don't really feel like it. I think I treat painting as a job and quite serious. But it doesn't mean that sometimes I don't give myself time to take it easy. I always have new ideas in my head and whenever I'm in my studio I start to visualize them.

// What are you favorite works or projects that you have done? What was the motive?

I'm not working on a specific series. I consider all my works as a one big serie. I think it would be difficult to choose my favorite one. I think I'm always excited about the newest work and curious what will I paint next.

// Have you had a decisive moment in your career? How did this influence your trajectory?

I had few very talented friends in my primary and high school that could draw from their head in a way I never could. And I always wanted to be able to do it. It was inspiring. When I was 15 I decided to become a painter. And since then step by step I'm trying to do it.

Hanna Ilczyszyn por Projeto Curadoria
Hanna Ilczyszyn por Projeto Curadoria
// Who are your influences, inspirations, or preferred artists? How do they reflect in your own work?

My favorite artists where in the beginning Symbolists: Khnopff and Moreau. I also remember seeing in live one painting "Sadko" from a XIX century Russian painter Ilya Repin. I was mind blowed seeing it from close how all the details were painted and how easy done it looked.

In general I've always liked figurative art. One of my favorites right now are: photos duo Synchrodogs, mixed media artist Oleg Dou, Marlene Dumas, Magritte, Kerry James Marschall.

I'm also influenced by dreams and the atmosphere around it. I love Alice in Wonderland, The Moomins, Haruki Murakami books.

Hanna Ilczyszyn por Projeto Curadoria
Hanna Ilczyszyn por Projeto Curadoria
// Do you think there still exists a bias in relation to women's free expression? Do you feel this in your work?

I wouldn't like to think like this but I always wonder, how come there are so many female art students and at the same time mostly men are doing their career in art?

But I can also see how at, least in our Western World, there is much more focus on female artists than before. Something is certainly changing, slowly but it is.

// What makes you happy?

Nature, friends, cats, traveling and painting.

Hanna Ilczyszyn por Projeto Curadoria
Hanna Ilczyszyn por Projeto Curadoria
// What tips could you give to other women to help them bring their creations into reality?

Just do it!

// Do you have a new project in the works?

I'm having a solo exhibition soon at the Belgian coast, exactly in May in Yes Art Gallery.

I will also do a residency in Taiwan in October followed by a solo exhibition there at Yiri Arts Gallery.

Next year I'll travel to Estonia for another residency at MoKS in Mooste.