I was born in Poland, 30 years ago. My parents are both artists and I had a very colorful childhood. My first best friend was my cat, he was very clever and he thought me how to make funny cat noises. As a child I imagined becoming a dancer or working with wild dolphins, I became an illustrator instead. I’m super shy, but not on the dance floor. I continue being friends with cats. I love sitting in the sun until I’m pink. Blue is my favourite color.
Well sharpened pencils, gouache paint, colorful and shiny bits of paper. When I get a chance I print silkscreens, it's my favourite printing technique, I love flat colors and playing with negative space.
Well, creative work is how I pay my bills, so it’s a good motivation :) Somehow I also feel the responsibility to continue drawing, as if something bad will happen if I’d stop.
I get inspired by the things I see. My flying cats in the living room, where I work. Soft colours and textures I find in nature. Talented people. Memories of my childhood. Hand gestures.
It depends on the project. Sometimes I sketch out all the ideas I have, brainstorm with images and words. Try to find out how I understand a subject, what comes to my mind. I pick the pieces that interest me most and put them together.
Sometimes I know exactly how the final work should look like. I just
imagine it, instead of sketching. I wait until the idea is fully shaped, then it just pours out on paper.
Sometimes I let my materials decide. It’s usually when I work on personal projects. The shapes and shades of paper bits fall in place and I just glue them together, then add a little animal hiding somewhere and it’s done.
Creativity is a daily element, even if I try to figure out what should be for dinner. When it comes to work, I carry a sketchbook everywhere I go, so there is always paper I can put my ideas on. Watching beautiful images and movies and going outdoors also helps the flow. Sometimes taking a break is a good stimulant too.
Each project is very personal and emotional. It’s like making new foreign friends, spending time with them, but after a while they have to leave and you are left with memories. Every series of drawings I made was like that for me.
Working on commissioned projects is different, since there is a third party involved. One of my favourite projects was a visual identity for PLAY - International Festival of Cinema for Children and Youth in Lisbon in 2016. I drew a few imaginary animals. The client allowed me total freedom and trusted in all my decisions. Later my illustrations appeared on all material promoting the festival around Lisbon and there even was a special collection of temporary tattoos for kids with my drawings. My heart was full.
It hasn’t been very long since I started, so I can tell what has led to the place, where I am today...
In Poland I studied graphic design and multimedia arts, but I couldn’t see my future in it, so I begun drawing imaginary people and creatures in my sketchbook. Then I decided I needed to go abroad and do my masters in Porto. Once I was there, a friend from my class showed my sketches to an illustration gallery. After that I had my first exhibition, some people bought my works and I thought I want to live my life as an illustrator.
Oh, I am terrible at listing names! I admire so many people and I think it’s not only artists that influence my work. What influences me is hard work, determination and humor not only in art. Brave people with a great heart and understanding for others, those who dedicate their time and energy to make a difference.
They give me a reason to continue what I’m doing and being better, making the best of our time here.
Yes, I believe women are underestimated, but it is changing. Sometimes it reflects in the way our work is valued and questioned.
Sunny days and feeling that I belong.
I can only talk from my experience and I would say - create as much as you can until there is so much of it that it doesn’t fit in your drawer... Don’t overthink. Oh, and allow yourself being helped by others.
I am longing to make a self-published picture book. I already have a series of original drawings, now it’s time to put them together. There will be tiny cats and giants involved.