1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
I am Lilianna, illustrator from Poland. I have been drawing since childhood and as a teenager I was actively participating in my city’s artistic life, having exhibitions and participating in art contests, but I never really knew for sure what exactly I should do in my life. I illustrated two books as a high school student but I didn’t really feel it at that time and I didn’t like the result. I chose to study Painting and Art Mediation. After I graduated, I got another job to illustrate some children books. It took me a lot of time, because this time I wanted it to be more professional. I didn’t have much of a technical knowledge, so I had to learn everything from scratch and at the same time was trying to find my own unique style.When I finished I realised that illustration is what I love and I wanted to keep doing that. I bought a graphic tablet and started drawing almost every day.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
I like to draw simple compositions. I want to make an impression that there is a story behind each artwork. Sometimes, I draw short stories too. I love playing with colours, lines and textures.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
I have a graphic tablet with screen and it’s amazing! I find it very comfortable because I can just sit on the sofa and draw and I can take it wherever I travel or move to another place. Sometimes, I use traditional techniques too, like crayons or ink.
4. What is your artistic process like?
I usually sketch all my ideas and compositions in sketchbook and then I continue drawing digitally. I like working on a few different projects at the same time so I don’t get bored too quickly but as a result I have a lot of unfinished projects in my files.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
I find inspirations everywhere around. Before pandemic, I used to travel quite a lot and I was collecting ideas from various places. Some time ago, I moved to countryside and a lot of things here inspire me as well. This is why there is so much nature in my recent work. My favourite illustrator is Tove Jansson and she was my great inspiration when I was illustrating my first books.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
It is my big passion and I think kind of antidote to the world. Probably it keeps me looking at life in brighter colours. Especially during pandemic, I draw almost every day. I would recommend it to everyone, even if you don’t think of yourself as an artist. Doing art is like a healing process.
7. Where did you study?
I graduated in Painting from Academy of Art and Design in Wroclaw, beautiful city in south west Poland.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I would like to try with writing and illustrating my own books. I have some projects in my head that I want to bring to life.
9. What about in ten?
I hope I will continue doing what I do and will keep making progress
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
I would like to make people stop for a moment and smile. When I am getting some private messages from people who tell me that they like my art, I can feel it already happened and it gives me real satisfaction.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
Mango, pineapple and watermelon. And fresh fruit and vegetables from my mom’s garden. Oh, and pickled cucumbers, traditional Polish side dish.
12. Favourite book?
‘Master and Margarita’ of Russian writer Michail Bulchakov is still my number one. It is quirky and super ridiculous, in Poland it was considered as the best book of 20th century and I totally agree with it. When I was a kid I was a big fan of ‘Pippi Langstrumpf’ and recently I realised that she is still my idol: a girl who doesn’t care about conventions, she does what she wants and lives her own life, but she always defends weak and helpless creatures.
13. Favourite genre of music?
I appreciate different music genres and I like exploring new artists from different countries. Recently, I am listening to some french musicians, for example Pomme or Ben Mazue, and Israeli band Lola Marsh.
14. What are your hobbies?
I love cooking and I treat it a little bit like an art. I like searching for new recipes regularly or experimenting with my own ideas. I also like long distance walks in nature and practicing yoga.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
That’s a difficult question! There was a time when I was thinking about studying filmmaking but this is art as well. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a vet so maybe that… or a chef… But cooking can be an art too, haha. I only like creative things.