We are delighted to introduce the amazing Ania Wieclaw – one of our incredible artists here at ART WOW! Ania is based in the rural parts of East Poland and finds that nature, as well as travel, books and the internet, is one of the many things that she takes inspiration from. Known for her bold, graphic designs, Ania combines typography and slogans with colour and pattern to create art that lifts our spirits and puts a smile on our faces! Without further ado, below is where you’ll find our Q+A with Ania Wieclaw, which gives an insight into the artist behind these beloved designs!
- Please tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your name? Where are you based? What does a typical day look like to you?
My name is Ania and my creative nickname is ShowMeMars. I am currently based in a rural part of east Poland.
The vast, nearly unlimited nature surrounds me from every angle so it’s a great remedy for clearing my head and stretching my legs. I try to take walks everyday to escape the computer which is my main tool of work. I do freelance work, so I am lucky enough to manage my working time myself. I start my work every morning, having an occasional coffee break, and I create throughout the day until I turn my computer off in the mid-afternoon. I am trying to be strict about it and to remember to have time for my hobbies and passions. Keeping active plays an important role in my daily routine too as I enjoy cycling and doing pilates.
- How would you describe your style of work?
I do a variety of graphic works. I love typography and playing with words and slogans. But I also design patterns and modern pieces too. I take part in a lot of online classes which help me to get fresh ideas and introduce new techniques to my flow of work.
- What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given in life?
When talking about my professional life it must be ‘Keep your computer files organised!’ This really saves time and creates a sense of order and control. I have also learnt recently that you need to back up your digital files. When my hard drive died recently, I nearly got a heart attack because I faced losing my life’s work! Luckily, the story had a happy ending, and I got my files restored, but it costed me a lot of stress and money too.
In general, the best advice I heard was to ‘believe in yourself’ and I am trying to stick to it.
- What inspires you?
Everything that surrounds me, starting from nature, travels, reading books and wasting time on the internet. Sometimes I hear a funny phrase and I just need to sit down and design a visual interpretation of it.
- Is there a piece of artwork on Art Wow that you are most proud of? Why?
It must be the ‘Long dog pattern’ design. It was one of the first ever patterns I created so I remember how I endlessly tried to draw a sweet looking dachshund dog. When I finally got a perfect expression on its face, I turned it into a seamless pattern.
It is also pretty successful among my customers which is always satisfying.
- If your artwork were music, what would it sound like?
Sometimes it would sound like old school hip hop, and sometimes like some vibrant jazzy notes. I listen to a lot of this kind of music when working.
- What artist, past or present has inspired you?
There are so many great artists that work I admire, but I feel that I need to mention Yayoi Kusama here. I love her playfulness, energy and the vibrant colour palettes she uses. Her creations make me feel as if I fell down the rabbit hole and was surrounded by a fantasy world. I never steer away from bright and cheerful colours in my own works as my instincts always tell me to use them in my designs.
- Who are your biggest influences?
I follow so many cool artists on Instagram these days. I recently discovered Willian Santiago who just blows my mind with his outspoken illustration full of colour and Brazilian vibe.
- What was the last gift you gave someone?
It was homemade banana bread as a hello gift for my new neighbours.
- How did you get started as an illustrator?
It all began in London, where I lived for 10 years. This is when I went to a graphic design school and I simply fell in love with all possibilities art and graphic designs gave me. London, as such a vibrant and mixed cultured place, was a great inspiration and inspired me to become an artist.
- If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
I would be a bird of paradise. They are fabulously colourful and some of them even have artistic skills when they arrange flowers, stones and twigs in an unusual installation to attract mates.
- How did you develop your distinct style? Was it an experimental process?
It hasn’t happened overnight of course. It took me a while to discover what kind of designs I am most happy creating. Since I’ve discovered playing with typography, using positive messages and turning them into colourful eye candy pieces, I cannot stop myself. This is the most relaxing and satisfying designing process I can think of.
- What have been your biggest creative challenges to date?
I like to challenge myself and try new things to get out of my comfort zone. I am constantly doing online courses and learning new programs, techniques and perspectives. I am not sure of the outcome of my new artistic journeys just yet, so I keep my new works only on my hard drive at the moment.
- In one phrase, describe how art feels to you.