This week’s featured artist is Joanna Pasek, an illustrator from Poland that loves to create visual fairy tales. Read below to learn about the coolest place she’s ever visited, favorite story from her childhood, and more!
BBP: Describe your art in 5 words or less!
Joanna: Fairytales in ink and watercolor.
BBP: Name an artist or person that inspires your art and why!
Joanna: Oh, so many wonderful illustrators… J.M.Szancer, E. H. Shepard, John Patience, Maria Orlowska-Gabrys, Tove Jansson and more.
BBP: Did you go to school for art or are you primarily self-taught?
Joanna: More self-taught then not. I took two years of university course in architectural drawing.
BBP: When did you start designing/creating? Was there a particular event that inspired you to pursue it further?
Joanna: My childhood was all about crayons and books, then I was doing other things for a time – studying, working for a publishing house, taking care of my sons… and then my boys grew up and I discovered I had some free time again. So I returned to crayons and paints. This second beginning happened when I was nearly 40, but there was no particular event to trigger it.
BBP: How has your style changed since you started?
Joanna: I get more and more interested in textures, and I use less contours now. Less bold lines.
BBP: Where is the coolest place you’ve visited?
Joanna: I live in a cool place! We have moved to Jura Upland with my family. Imagine miniature mountains built of white rock. Rocks, caves and ruined castles everywhere. It’s a favourite place of fantasy convents and historical reconstruction events, so when you go for a walk you can meet Gandalf. Or a knight. Knights are common here.
Kinghts in Jura
BBP: Do you have a particular spot or place where you create most of your art?
BBP: Do you have any children? If so, what are their names and ages?
Joanna: Christopher, aged 26 and Jacob, aged 24.
BBP: If you asked them to describe your art, what would they say about it?
Joanna: They would say it’s great I have something to do! We all have our passions. It’s nice to live in the country, but winters are long here. And not many entertainments available when tourist season is over.
BBP: How are their rooms decorated?
Joanna: My elder son is a minimalist and keeps walls empty, in Jacob’s room there are some photoghraphs he has taken.
BBP: What are they into these days? A specific toy? A hobby?
Joanna: Chris: math and music, Jacob: motorcycles.
BBP: Do you have any pets?
Joanna: Two dogs and an old mare. 25 years old by now. She’s been our family horse for 15 years. As long as we’ve been living here in Jura.
BBP: Growing up, were your parents into or involved in art?
Joanna: No, but my Grannie was painting landscapes after she had retired.
BBP: What were your favorite hobbies as a kid?
Joanna: Inventing stories and then making big and detailed drawings. It was a cross between a map and a storyboard.
BBP: What’s your favorite story to tell about your childhood?
Joanna: Well, my mom swears I was reading telephone book one day on the beach. I had borrowed it from the camping owner and it took me two hours to get from “A” to “D”. Then I had to return the book. I can’t remember, but it’s very likely. I remember it was dull holiday and no library around.
BBP: What did your room look like growing up?
Joanna: Messy! Books and papers.
“Favorite book from my childhood!”
BBP: Who is your favorite famous person (current or historical) and why?
Joanna: A the moment Thomas Cromwell, because of “Wolf Hall” by Hilary Mantel.
BBP: Favorite song?
Joanna: “The Answer”, lyrics by Herbert, music by Gintrowski. It’s more then one song, it’s a longplay.
BBP: Who would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?
Joanna: My husband. He always knows what to do.
BBP: If you couldn’t be an artist, what would you do instead?
Joanna: Gardener. I like to be outside and I rather like to work alone, so I guess this would be ideal.
BBP: Do you prefer to swim in a pool, ocean, or lake?
BBP: What is one thing that you’ve never tried, but would like to?
BBP: Do you prefer milk chocolate or dark chocolate?
BBP: Sunglasses or hats?
Joanna: I seldom need any. Sun is precious here.
BBP: Sweet or savory?
BBP: Dogs or cats?