“I would like to think that the girls in my work are always troubled with something, always having something in their minds, and that I am simply capturing the moment just before or right after their big revelation.”
One of the thing that I love most when it comes to interviewing artists is finding out what their work really is about – and contrasting it with what I initially thought when I was looking at their works. Sometimes what I see or feel is pretty close to what the artist was meaning to portray, sometimes my imagination has taken me to a different realm. And that’s a really cool aspect of art – we all see it from our own perspective, shaped by our own feelings and life experience. When is comes to Joanna’s art, let’s just say that I hope I look this beautiful when I’m troubled, deep emerged in my thoughts.
The basics – tell us more about you and what you do
Hey there! My name is Joanna and I am currently studying Architecture in Greece, hopefully graduating this summer. When I am not working on an architectural project I draw and when I am not drawing I shoot films. If I am not doing any of this, I am probably wasting my time on cat videos on youtube.
2. What’s your first memory about art and drawing?
I remember using a deep purple marker and my doll’s face as a canvas for my first doodling which I wouldn’t call a special first memory. However, I started creating journals at the age of 9 – one for each academic year. Now my collection consists of 13 journals full of little drawings that make no sense, collages from magazines I was into back then and some random Bowling for Soup lyrics.
In your art, your subjects are most of the time women. Why is that? How do you consider your work?
Let’s just say that drawing was never really a part of the “official” plan of mine – it came at a time when I was having a bit of trouble concentrating and synchronizing actions with words. That is when I realized how healing this whole process was. So I started drawing women because it was the easiest way of self-reflection on what I did, helped me observe myself from a third-point perspective. Whatever it is I am doing, it certainly helps me approach a balanced state of mind and I have found, through this wonderful adventure, that this state of mind lies pretty close to muting any surrounding noise. I would like to think that the girls in my work are always troubled with something, always having something in their minds, and that I am simply capturing the moment just before or right after their big revelation.
What is the biggest challenge at being an artist?
I think it could be summed up in two points: the first one is (to avoid) rationalizing your art. We crave reasoning, even in the most absurd things around us and along with one’s creation, whatever this may be, one is always expected to carry along an answer to the question “Why?”. Being able to create something deeply captivating without any purpose or justification whatsoever – wouldn’t that be an amazing thing to master.
The second is to learn that it is okay to not care sometimes. Art is a continuous experimental journey and it will definitely have its lows and highs. For a person who devotes a significant part of her/his inner self to her/his art, lows can get pretty dark, full of harsh self-deprecation and loathing. So if you are a person who minds what other people say or need to have everything solved regarding what and why you do it, just don’t. It is less about a thicker skin and more about a careless mind.
5. What would you like to achieve with your work?
Managing to take off a bit of the weight people carry around on their shoulders, that would be a pretty good thing to achieve but also a pretty optimistic and grandiose thing to say.
6. What or who inspires you?
There is quite a long list but the top is always reserved for Yoann Lemoine (Woodkid). There is not a single thing that this man has done that I have not fell in love with. Next comes T.S. Eliot, Iannis Xenakis, Christopher Nolan, Es Devlin, the Cohen brothers and the list goes on and on.
7. Besides art/illustration, what else are you passionate about?
Films, science and philosophy.
8. Do you think art should have a purpose, convey a message?
Not necessarily. As I said, I admire purposeless art but I am also very fond of works that have strong theoretical background. Either way, purposeful or purposeless, art is always political and it always says something; whether this is an articulated statement, a tricky symbolism or a simple “hey I think I am beautiful k bye”. And of course, everything carries its own significance whether it is carrying it emblematically or profoundly denying it.
Do you have any exciting new projects coming up?
Yes and I am excited beyond words! The first is my own site – it has been almost five years since I stopped writing and I feel the time has come for me to return. It launches in two weeks and I am currently setting everything up! Apart from this, I am lucky enough to be currently collaborating with three different creative, wonderful people and I hope the results will be rewarding.