1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
My name is Joanna but friends call me Gigi. I was born in a small town in central Poland. I worked as an occupational and art therapist with mentally ill women. When I was 25, I moved to Scotland and I still live here, on the east coast. I am a mother of an 11-year-old girl. 5 years ago, I changed my life and applied to an art school. My hobby is becoming my job 🙂
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
I am a colour lover. I love playing with colour palettes. I think this is the main thing that defines my style- bright and bold colours. I illustrate the everyday life of women, flowers, I am addicted to still life compositions.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
I will not be original, but my favourite medium is my iPad and Procreate app. Although my works are digital, I try to add some sketchy touches and accents. My first ever mediums were pencils and marker pens though. I still love drawing this way. I also like gouache paint due to its strong pigment.
4. What is your artistic process like?
The idea usually comes unexpected- I may see something or think of something and I have this urge of documenting it. Often, ideas come before falling asleep- on my night table there is always a small notebook and I write down/sketch my thoughts when they come. Sometimes, I may see a colour palette that I love and I feel that I want to create something around it. I sketch it first then fill it with colours and textures. This could be a never-ending process- I love experimenting with different colour schemes.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
The world in general. People. Nature. The beauty of everyday moments.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
Each life is an art. I try documenting mine.
7. Where did you study?
I did MA in social sciences at the University of Lodz in Poland. I am currently studying at Glasgow School of Art- I am doing my last semester of an Interior Design degree. I always had a soft spot for art and drawing, but when I was younger, I had no confidence to pursue my passion. I did not believe in my ability to create anything valuable, also because I was (unfortunately) criticized at high school by my art teacher, who said I cannot draw. This one sentence put me off drawing for many years.
Now, I believe that everyone can draw and create. And if you only feel you would like to try, don’t think twice- just start creating.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope to have more time and resources and be able to travel more. My dream is to have a peaceful and happy life with my loved ones and to find a healthy balance between work and private life.
9. What about in ten?
The same as above:)
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
I really hope I will not be guided by desire of creating stuff that I personally do not feel connected to. I think there is always a temptation of creating things that will be appreciated and liked by others but not necessarily things that are truly ours. I would like to be honest with myself and recipients of my creations.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
It has to be Asian cuisine! I love noodles, sweet & sour, thai… I am more spicy than sweet 😉
12. Favourite book?
I cannot mention only one. Reading is my biggest hobby- apart from drawing. I read a lot in my mother language by polish authors. I am not a big fan of novels- I prefer documentary books. One of the most important books in my life is “Hunger” by Martin Caparros. It changed the way I look at the world.
13. Favourite genre of music?
I like all kind of music- all depends on the actual mood and need:) But if I had to choose only one it has to be jazz.
14. What are your hobbies?
Reading. Crafts- I am a dedicated knitter. I love making cardigans, jumpers, hats… I own hundreds of them!
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I would love to be a librarian!