In conversation with graphic artist and designer Lidia Pikula who studied at the University of Fine Arts in Poznań, Poland.
Can you talk about your journey into or interest the arts?
As a child, I loved drawing clothes which then I sewed. I was fascinated by the materialisation of the idea. I went to art school at the age of 16, then I had my first contact with illustrations, posters and photography. I learned many techniques that I started to combine with each other digitally. When I went to study at the University of Fine Arts I found myself more interested in graphic design, animation and other forms of visual communication. For 7 years I have been professional graphic designer and animator for television.
Illustration is my passion. In my works, I use the collage technique. One of the most important forms of its development was participation in the Art & Fashion Festival of Grażyna Kulczyk Foundation Art Stations Foundation Stary Browar 5050 as a fashion illustrator. After participating in these workshops, I stopped hiding my works in a drawer. My illustrations were used for commercial brands as prints for limited clothing line, album covers, postcards. I have been exhibiting and selling my work since 2016 at the Poster Fair in Warsaw. The event is one of the largest and most important in the illustration and graphics industry in Poland.
Do you use a sketchbook? I’m interested in what a sketchbook means to you and your work?, or how people develop their ideas.
I create mood boards, a temporary state of mind or feeling. It is a collection of photos, texts, materials, colour samples, anything that can convey a certain atmosphere. When creating a collage, I put all the “moods” in one graphic based on the theme. The subject is most important to me, the way it is presented can be surreal, abstract, irrational, but ultimately it has to be simple and consistent.
Can you talk about the influences upon your work?
The impact varies greatly. I get inspiration from film, history, poetry, music, fashion, modern art. But there is so much to see and experience in life that sometimes I don’t need to look for inspiration. It is enough to observe the world around me and I think it penetrates into my work. The image of reality in my collage is deliberately distorted to cause reflection.
Your work clearly very eclectic and varied in form, what are you exploring though these?
In my works, I try to tell a story. What I imagine I can materialise in the form of a collage. I am interested in new technologies and the world changing through them. I try to interpret the world as it is today. I place great emphasis on beauty and aesthetics, sometimes there is a second meaning under the story.
Can you talk about your process of working. How do you work, how often, is there a particular pattern?
At the beginning, the most important for me was the quantity of works, then I chose the best one. I took it as a process. Currently, I am assuming the topic I want to answer in advance. I do several jobs at the same time, but I synthesise them into one. I work at different times of the day. I try to do it regularly, so I have the materials and ideas prepared in advance.
Do you find the process of creating work relaxing or therapeutic? I’ve become increasingly interested in the relationship of the artist to their working patterns and environment.
During work, I enjoy what I do, every moment gives me fulfillment. I don’t feel time flowing. Creative work positively affects my well-being. In a way, this is freedom for me.