Ewelina Skowronska is a Polish born illustrator now relocated in London, where she creates abstracted work inspired by how we interact with the landscape. Her colouring book piece as inspired by the dramatic landscapes of the Altiplano of Bolivia.
When did you come to the UK and what brought you here?
I came to London two years ago when I decided to study Illustration at Camberwell College of Arts. I had researched different schools and courses and it turned out that Camberwell course is one of the best. I got accepted and I got a full scholarship, so there was no way back, I had to come.
Why did you decide to move from copywriting into illustration and how has your previous career impacted the way that you see the visual world?
I always liked to draw and paint, but when after graduating form high school I didn’t get place in one of Polish Art Universities (they used to accept like 6-12 people per year) I just got doubts about myself, my skills and was thinking that only a few people can do art and it is so exclusive. So I was very happy to be able to work as a creative in advertising agencies. However I still felt that I would like to do something else. All this time I was still drawing, mostly for myself and friends, and one day I just decided that why not to do something more with it. So I just took a risk – quit my job, moved to London and went back to school at the age of 33
I worked in advertising for over 6 years, so I learned a lot and met some amazing people. I don’t regret this time as it definitely influenced my way of thinking and my design skills. And compared to younger recent graduates, I am just more advanced in this – let’s call it a professional way of working, multitasking and managing my time, as I simply have so much experience behind me.
How did the MA at Camberwell help you to expand your work style?
During my two short years at Camberwell I have had to learn almost everything from scratch as I didn’t have any previous art education. So from almost every point of view Camberwell has influenced me. But I think the biggest things for me to learn were experimenting with new tools and techniques, research and of course print making, and screen printing in particular.
What is it about screen printing that you find particularly attractive and what is your favourite part of the process?
I am fascinated with screen printing and ways of pushing its boundaries, wondering how the process of mark making together with all the mistakes and limitations of screen printing can influence the art work and at the end tell a story. Even though I plan my work I always leave room for spontaneity of process and some decision making that can apply only during printing. I like this uncertainty and constant problem solving as well as the physical aspect of screen printing.
How do you attempt to portray the relationships between people and surroundings?
This is a very personal way of thinking about the world that surround us: why we do what we do, how we make decisions, live our lives, be in the city. I want to understand each part of the system that surrounds us, even every little sub-system that is part of the bigger one. So I am trying to deconstruct these systems into smaller parts, then put them back in a different way, together with the natural noise that also surrounds us.
What particular landscapes inspired your artwork for my colouring book?
I recently travelled to South America and I visited the Altiplano in Bolivia. The landscape surrounding there was just stunning and I just couldn’t believe that there was so much surrealistic beauty and space around me. It influenced me a lot and I know that this will probably be the next subject for my bigger project.
How did you set about illustrating the Future Makers?
It was a great project set by Agnieszka Hatalska, who is a well known Polish blogger and specialist about alternative ways in marketing communication. Illustrating this was quite easy as I got to read all these inspiring interviews by Agnieszka with famous futurologists. All of them were talking about our everyday life in the quite near future – what was very interesting – and collaborating with her on initial ideas made this whole project amazing to work on.
What has been your favourite commercial commission so far and why?
Every commission is different so there is always something new to learn, especially if you are an emerging illustrator and artist. But so far the Future Makers is my favourite project that I have worked on because it was also the first time I had to make 14 illustrations that had to work individually as well as a whole.
Can you tell us more about Drawing the World?
It is still kind of secret but what I can tell you is that 30 students from UAL have been invited to produce drawings that will involve working with both old and new technologies – so mobile phones will be our way of communication and our drawing medium will be chalk. The event is organised by Professor Stephen Farthing, The Rootstein Hopkins Chair of Drawing, and will be held on Sunday 11 October 2015 at CSM.
I’ll continue to introduce the contributors to Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion before my Kickstarter campaign launches (in October!), so do keep checking in to the website.
- An interview with Ashley Le Quere: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.
- An interview with Augusta Akerman: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.
- Scandia by Zeena Shah: Colouring Book Review, Interview and Giveaway
- An interview with Tiffany Baxter: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.
- An interview with Kaja Szechowsko: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.