Interview with Ania Tomicka
When she was only 9 she moved to Italy, where she started to draw seriously: manga first and realistic things afterwards. She attended an art institute and graduated in 2004. During the school years she starts to paint with oil colors, a technique soon to become her favorite one. Hence she attended the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice where she found a lot of inspiration for her realistic and academic art. A year later she moved to Tuscany where she attended the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence. She got interested in other things like digital art, illustration and new materials like wood.
She is currently studying at the Nemo Academy of Digital Arts.
Ania has always been interested in realistic, renaissance works. Her first loves are Salvador Dalì and Wojtek Siudmak’s big canvases, full of absurd and strange things, painted in a divine way.
Her current paintings are inspired by the American Pop Surrealist movement.
She also likes ponies. Oh, and squirrels.
Ania, it is a sincere pleasure to meet you. I think it is interesting that when you started drawing early on you began with Manga. Were you a big fan of it then? Is that what you wanted to do when you grew up?
I started to draw when I saw my first anime on tv so I have to thank manga for my passion. I was a big fan for 1 or 2 years and then I started to draw from life and to copy photos so I never wish to become a mangaka.
Were there artists in your family?
No, I am the first one!
You attended the Academy of Fine Arts both in Venice and in Florence. How was the experience? Was there a particular professor who you found supported you in your education?
The experience was quite good… I studied a lot, took theorical classes (history of art and others) as much as I could but I never drew or painted. I was a little bit confused and when I said to my professor that I wanted to become a painter he laughed at me. It was soooo funny. So I never had support. I started to paint seriously only when I start to attend the Academy of Digital Arts (NEMO, in Florence). I found support, a personal style and I discovered pop surrealism.
How do you think your art progressed over the years stylistically? Do you still experiment or have you settled for now?
I think I will experiment forever; I will learn and study as much as I can. I get tired of things really quickly so I need to change sometimes and find new ways to express myself.
Most of your artwork features young females with large eyes. Cute yet with creepy elements. When did you first develop this theme?
I don’t remember… all the elements in my paintings develops by themselves and when they want.
Let’s talk about some specific pieces. I am intrigued with “We Will Meat Again” which you painted on wood. Can you tell us a little about how you came up with the concept and why you decided to paint on wood?
This painting is a part of a series of three paintings that I sent for an exhibit called “Italian Pop Surrealism” which was curated by Andrea Oppenheimer at Mondo Bizzarro Gallery. It was about a girl who wants to leave our world in order to discover new lands in space. She wants more and more and she never will be satisfied.. she will be travelling in space forever. The meat was a tribute to my master, Mark Ryden. (Also it was a period in which I ate meat almost every day )
“Smile for Me” lingers in my brain (actually most of your paintings stick with me). What is the story you would wish the viewer would piece together after viewing this one?
Well… this piece is very, very personal… I am wondering what people think about the story behind it… but I just can’t tell what it’s really about. All my pieces are personal, they are a sort of diary.
Your black pen and watercolor, “Love” is one of my favorites. What was your idea behind this one?
It’s about a girl, a princess, who was left by an evil prince and now she has this cute, giant squirrel that wants to love her and she is not able to accept happiness yet. Yes, it’s a little bit banal, I know but it was exactly what I felt. (don’t worry, I was able to accept his love and now I am happy )
Tell us about some of your favorites of your work?
My favorite work so far is “Envy” made 3 years ago. It has a lot on meanings for me and a great composition, colors and atmosphere. I have not able to make something that I have liked more… I am trying.
I saw some of your recent paintings in progress. I noticed the woman are “more mature” and their hair longer and more realistic. Is this a change in your style? Less surreal and more realistic?
This is time of changes. I need to experiment more and I need to grow up, so also my characters are more mature and realistic. And I am really sick and tired about seeing all these cute girls painted well… oh god… I really need to change but I am not able yet. I hope that all my cute girls will evolve one day.
Where does your fascination with squirrels come from?
They are just like me: small, red haired, agitated things. Sometimes when I drink coffee I will go crazy just like they do in some of the cartoons… my boyfriend is very happy about this.
Do you paint every day? What is your studio space like?
Every day, as much as I can. My studio is my room. I sleep, paint, study, read and eat in this room. I hope to have some money one day to buy a house with a real studio
How I Paint
You have been working with polymer clay and doing 3 dimensional sculptures. Tell us how you like working with clay. What are some of the more challenging elements of working with it and have you been happy with your results?
I’ve worked with clay only to gain some money on ebay; I’ve never been interested in sculpture, even If I liked it a lot. Maybe I can restart and make some “artistic” things, I remember that was pretty fun modelling with polymer clay.
Aside from art, what other things do you enjoy doing?
Cooking… I love food and I love to make it. I love reading, playing videogames, drinking wine
Tell us what you would hope to be doing in the future.
I have two dreams… I would like to become a masterful painter and I would like to work for Pixar or for Blizzard… This is why I study a lot.
Where can we go to learn more about you and your work?
You can go to visit my blog (http://ania-tomicka.blogspot.it/)
or go to my facebook profile (http://www.facebook.com/ania.tomicka)