Hello beautiful.bizarre Readers,
Enjoy my in-depth interview with the lovely Ania Tomicka, a featured artist from Issue 011 | December 2015!
We discuss her childhood, diving into specifics about her style, inspirations, and what’s to come in her future. Stay updated with Ania’s many artistic endeavors and creations by following along on Facebook and Instagram. Plus, you can find Issue 011 at one of our many wonderful stockists in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, Mexico, and Australia… or purchase the print publication or digital version via our web store.
BB: In what ways did your childhood and upbringing affect your relationship with the arts?
AT: When I was a little child I remember myself with a pencil or a marker in my hand, it has always been that way and I am one of the lucky ones that never stopped drawing and painting. I used to be able to not go to bed early (“I can’t go to sleep, I really need to finish this drawing!!!”) so it started to be a magic place only for myself, where I was able to do whatever I wanted.
Growing up I became very shy (I moved from Poland to Italy when I was 9) so I believe art was my way to say to the world: “I am here” but I really don’t know if I was doing it on purpose or if it was just spontaneous. I also wanted to be very good and I started to be fascinated by history of art and the painters lives but I never thought about being an artist myself, it was just a thing I enjoyed to do a lot and that makes me happy.
BB: How have past memories, events, and relationships shaped your style and content?
AT: I remember being interested in the manga style when I was little. I had a friend with whom I watched a lot of cartoons and collecting images from anime and mangas to try to copy it. Maybe this is why I was so inspired by big eyes when I decided to find my own style.
After some years of drawing cartoony characters I saw the film “Titanic” and the part that stuck with me the most was the one in which the main character is drawing. I started to copy photos of actors, experimenting with various techniques and decided to go to an art school to become good at doing art.
At that point, I started to discover new artists and the one I really fell in love was Dalì; Surrealism became my focus. Magic and creepy, surreal words painted in a divine way, it was amazing for me, I started to learn about it as much as I could and transpose everything to my own art. Sadly, when I started the art academy in Florence, I lost my motivation and all I did was paint random stuff, just for the very few assignments we got from teachers.
I was spending more time surfing the internet than drawing, but it was then that I found out about pop surrealism and the immense variety of artists working in this movement. The motivation kicked in again and it’s still here!
BB: What do you believe your role is as a contemporary artist?
AT: My role, and the all other artists’ role, is to keep alive the beauty of creation. Showing everyone that art and the need to express ourselves will never die because it is something ingrained in our nature.
BB: How did you come to establish your motif of these beautiful, big-eyed, girls with flowing locks as a recurring theme in your work?
AT: Flowing locks and beautiful girls are something I really enjoy to paint. It’s my contemplation moment, I lose myself in the flowing lines; I know it can sound silly but for me there is nothing more relaxing that drawing and painting hair. Also I love to distort anatomy, cute little noses and lips are the things that makes the eyes seem big. So you can call my girls big-eyed or small-nosed!
What influenced me the most was the pop surreal movement and the reminiscences from my manga period but I feel like is time for me to move on.
BB: In what ways do you challenge yourself? What difficulties/challenges do you face in your everyday life regarding your creativity/process/life as an artist?
AT: The most difficult aspect of my everyday life as an artist is to stay focused. It’s not easy for me, distractions are all over, and I was never able to stay focused on one thing for more than 30 minutes, even in school. Each day in my studio, I think about hundreds of new ideas or things I want to learn and I am still not able to find a good balance.
Although, I am trying to do my best and I know I will be able to overcome my difficulties with practice. For example I need to learn lots of things but now I am forcing myself to focus on alla prima male portraits; it’s really hard because I didn’t paint realistic portraits for over a decade, but I am improving and really happy about it.
BB: In what ways did growing up in Italy shape you as a person and an artist?
AT: I was surrounded by beautiful cities, landscapes and amazing art; all these elements shaped me a lot as an artist.
BB: If you had to pinpoint one single artist to accredit your inspiration, who would you choose and why?
AT: It’s not that simple, I follow and admire new artists each day, and I am inspired by a huge multitude of artworks. My style is the result of years of work and research but if I really had to pick one, it will be Audrey Kawasaki, the first pop surreal artist I found. It’s not about her style, that is beautiful but not suitable for what I am working on right now, it’s her life. I followed her blog for years, she inspired me to work more, and harder; I thought that if there is someone young that is able to live with its own art, maybe I could try it. I’ve been always told by my teachers that life as a painter is impossible, so finding out about her and the other artists afterwards, helped me a lot.
BB: What are your plans/goals for the future? What do you have coming up as far as projects and exhibitions are concerned?
AT: My goal is to paint all my life. In the nearest future I want to experiment with my art and give my girls a new universe or to give my universe new characters. Art is a never ending research and what I love about it is that your style can mute following the changes in your life.
At the moment I am working on some group shows in Portugal, England, United States and Italy and I am transposing a little bit of my latest researches on the new artworks.