Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The Best Tips

Sometimes I'm interviewed (oh, it sounds so nobly) by magazines, e-zines and/or curious students. Almost always a question like "The Best Tip/3 Tips/5Tips for Aspiring Artists" appears.
Here are some tips which were especially valuable for me. I'm not sure if they're truly revealing, but here they are anyway:

1. "Everything you do proves who you are"
These were words of a professor from my faculty, which really stuck in my memory. At first glance it can seem obvious, but acting according this rule is extremely important (especially in the Internet Age). The way you contact with people interested in your works, the way you comment other artists' works, the photos you submit to various social media, blog entries you write - all it shows if you are trustworthy, diligent, meticulous, respectful towards others etc.  

2. Beginnings are usually hard, so be patient 
and do not lose your enthusiasm. During studies I was told that after 2 years of an everyday drawing, the results begin to become bearable. After 5 years you can call yourself a professional. After 10 years you have a chance to become a master (supposedly).  

3. No excuses!  
Have fun with your artistic activity but... if you treat drawing/painting/designing seriously, you should be a severe reviewer of your works. Being over-enthusiastic about your achievements can only prevent you from being better. Compare your works with pieces made by your idols and strive to achieve their level (even if your gradma and mates tell you that your drawing is REALLY GREAT, it may be not enough...yet).

4. Expand your "comfort zone"
It's very good to have a specified specialization, but try to deal with various themes. Illustrations usually consist of many elements (people, animals, interiors, exteriors, machines etc.). Besides, when you don't face new challenges, you don't get new impulses and, in consequence, you stop to develop yourself.

5. Don't work for free just to expand your portfolio 
Personal works are much better for this purpose and you won't feel "used" after all. At the very beginning of my career I had a few profit-share "works". Not only there were no profits, but also these illustrations weren't revealing my real potential, which (hopefully) can be seen in personal works.  

6. Pay attention to the right work-life balance 
Being a freelancer can be very time consuming. It doesn't only mean doing commissioned jobs. It means searching for commissions, preparing your portfolio, writing blog post, tweets, facebook posts, developing your artistic skills, trying to fix something to eat (even if you haven't bought anything for a week) etc. 
The good news is that initially it's surprisingly easy to work 16 hours per day/ 7 days a week! The bad news is that it actually may cause a physical exhaustion and professional burnout... and your friends will totally forget about you. When you see that your eyes weaned themselves from sunlight and your neighbours doesn't know who you are, it may be the right time to take a break.

With this being said, I think I'll make a few more sketches...

Wednesday, 17 June 2015


“Don’t ever get old. (...) The only thing to hope for is that you get so senile that you think you’re twenty years old again. That would be fun to relive.” 
Camilla Läckberg, "The Ice Princess"

I guess that all my personal works have one common denominator. Namely, they present solitary realms, environments frozen in stillness, as if life was on hold.

In the past painting such places was a kind of autotherapy or  an escape from reality. Materializing thoughts on paper made my inner world more "real", though the results were still quite ephemeral. 

Lately I decided to make something new with these environments by giving them some life. Just like here:

Bored with this introduction? In short: I made animations based on my previous paintings.

1. - a full-length version (almost 3 minutes!) tells a story about a brave, tireless voyager who is traveling the world and looking for an inspiration (she is in the top left corner of this post actually).

2.  - a shortened version is a little bit more serious presentation of my works (a kind of an animated portfolio with a quite atmospheric music).


I don't want to promise that I'll be posting videos regularly, but any support, comments and subscriptions to my Vimeo channel ( will be very very welcome and appreciated.

Friday, 22 May 2015


"One always begins to forgive a place as soon as it's left behind; I dare say a prisoner begins to relent towards his prison, after he is let out."

Charles Dickens, "Little Dorrit"

The title of this entry can be a bit misleading, I know. It's not at all about an "old school style", but about an old building of my high school.

When I was a little girl I really  wanted to learn there. You know that old saying: "be careful what you wish for, it might come true"?

Originally the building was designed  as a casino, but after World War II it was turned into a school. I guess that I would have much more fun in a casino...

That's how the drawing was made:

1. Trying to capture correct proportions. Sketching existing buildings is much more time consuming than sketching those imagined (at least in my case). Personally I like to use mechanical pencils 0.5 for such tasks.

2.  Watercolors - this step appeared to be even more time consuming than the previous one. A dangerous thought emerged in my head "Oh, I'll never finish it"...

3. I decided to eat something. Of course it postponed the moment of finishing the work, but also saved the painting from destroying.

4. Getting back with new forces! Yes, now it looks truly idyllically... but don't be fooled by appearances ;)