Q. Tell us a little about your journey to becoming an artist.
I loved drawing since I can remember, but I never thought I would be where I am right now. When I was studying in my hometown Lublin, I seriously thought about becoming a lawyer. It made sense to follow my academic interests, have a good job and financial stability, which I thought I could never get while studying art. I was still drawing all the time, but I didn't want to make it my profession. Last minute, I decided to take the risk and apply for some courses abroad. I got into an illustration course at Camberwell College of Arts and moved to London three years ago. That was the best decision I have ever made. I love London and all the creative opportunities that it provides. I have met amazing tutors, used incredible facilities and made some friends for life. Being chosen as one of the It’s Nice That graduates is a cherry on top. I like to think that my journey to becoming an artist just began and is going really well, so far.
Q. What is your creative process like?
I love doing research. It is a very important part of my practice, I could spend days in the library, museum or talking to people before I even open my sketchbook. I am collecting albums, folklore items, exhibition postcards, vintage art and design magazines. I feel inspired surrounded by them.
Firstly, I write some key points and ideas and then I just draw and draw. I try to spend as much time as possible with my sharpie pen. I like to experiment and I love working with different media like marker pens, paint, ceramics, collage, crayons.
Q. How did you develop your drawing style?
I’m still not sure if I have a ‘style’. I like to think that I am developing my practice every day. When I was younger, I was quite annoyed with people talking about how much hard work pays off. I looked around and I saw these amazing individuals. I was sure they are just much more talented than me. When I started spending more and more time focused on my drawing, painting and ceramics I realised that the effort that I did put in really pays off. The more I create the better the results are and that gives me a lot of optimism for the future. It keeps my dreams alive and reminds me that everything is possible.
Q. There are definitely some recurring themes in your work: smiley faces, animals, bananas. Why do they reappear with such frequency?
You can find me drawing cups in the coffee shop all loved up, arguing, crying or dancing. I love giving emotions to objects that don’t have them, take the banana, which is a recurring theme in my work. It started as my degree show idea, illustrating the fact that 50% of human DNA is the same as bananas. I created a series of zines, paintings and ceramics replacing people with bananas in famous works of art. It made people smile and laugh. And that is what I enjoy about my art the most.I love a good laugh and don’t consider myself a serious person. If my wonky banana bum makes someone smile, I will take that as the ultimate compliment.
Q. What is the artistic community like in Poland/London? Any major differences or similarities that stand out?
I don’t really know how to answer this one as I started being really interested in the artistic community after leaving Poland and moving over here. I don’t really know the creative industry in Poland, but I can imagine that being in London is one of the best places to immerse yourself in art. It is really inspiring, the mix of cultures, people from all around the world, opportunities and even the challenging competition. The main difference between London and my hometown has been the enormous number of opportunities and diversity among the artists. I think Poland is an amazing place and I hope and believe that as a relatively young, independent country it will only get better.
Q. What big project do you want to tackle next?
I have a couple of secret projects that I can’t wait to work on, but unfortunately I can’t share them yet. In my personal work I will try to find a way to celebrate next year 100 anniversary of the Bauhaus. It is one of my favourite art movements and I plan something really special for this occasion.
Q. Is there anyone you'd love to collaborate with?
There are so many artists I would love to collaborate with. It changes all the time. Today, I would love to do some ceramics with Picasso, design an interior with Yayoui Kusama, and draw some dogs with David Hockney.
Q. What message or advice do you have for young creatives just starting out?
Don’t worry too much and don’t rush it. Just be patient, draw a lot, enjoy yourself and If you put enough effort It will all be okay. You can’t force being creative, but you will be surprised how quickly you will become confident with your skills. Believe in yourself and don’t give up, even if it takes a long time.
Q. What are you doing when you’re not creating art?
In my free time I read books, watch cartoons, visit museums and exhibitions, cook and sleep. I go to record shops with my partner, he is listening to the music and I love looking for interesting covers. Unfortunately, they don't always go in pair with a decent sound. I love traveling, I have this dream of an art residency in Asia. I hope it will come true one day.
Check out more of Aga's work @AgaGiecko