Boston-based artist Monika Grubizna has a great eye for vibrant colour and so we couldn’t resist asking for an exclusive piece of artwork for The Raccoon and an interview about her artistic style. Check out both below:
Hey there Monika, what can you tell us about yourself and how you initally became interested in being an illustrator?
I was a very imaginative kid. I loved my books and crayons. My mum used to read to me a lot. When I was 3 I learnt a couple of books by heart and pretended that I could read. Which actually happened about two years later. Since then reading and drawing have become my favorite activities and that’s what illustrators do, right?
We really like our exclusive Raccoon themed artwork, how did you go about putting together this ‘loveable rodent’ tribute?
I really enjoyed working on this piece. I put all my love for bold shapes, roughness and color contrasts into this picture. And since I saw ‘a raccoon invades kitchen’ video on youtube, I’ve been in love with raccoons, too.
You’re originally from Poland but now reside in Boston Massachusetts. How do these two contrasting cultures influence you?
I’m very into Polish graphic design and illustration from the 60’s and 70’s. That’s where I take a lot of inspiration from. Since I moved to the US I’ve been pushing my work further into illustrative direction inspired by the new situation I found myself in. Now my aim is to ged rid of any ‘academic boundaries’ I felt trapped in during my art studies. I’m going to maintain Polish art roots with American freedom. Yeah!
A lot of your artwork features bright vibrant colours, when did this become a theme in your work and what was the reason behind it?
I like strong colors and contrasts, always liked them. I’m a printmaker and creating strong visual imagery was always important to me. I wanted my works to be eye-catching and strong, to cause a reaction. It doesn’t matter whether it’s good or bad. If a piece presented in a room goes unnoticed or is just ‘pretty’, I consider it a failure.
We’re bowled over by the amount of platforms and different mediums that you work with, do you think it’s important to keep things varied?
I was always a multitask type of person. Some say that it’s good for the artist to stay focused on one field and develop a signature style. Maybe they’re right, but I find it boring to work on a similar type of project over and over. I like working fast and focused and learning new things. I enjoy any creative activity that involves hands, head and imagination. So yes, it’s very important for me and my brain to keep things varied.
Do you have a particular favourite medium or one that you’re really into right now?
After a very short fascination with digital graphics, I went straight back to traditional media. There’s nothing better than a traditional ‘cut n’ paste’ made with scissors and glue. Currently I’m working a lot with gouache, ink, crayons and screenprinting.
Some of your work has a political angle, is this something you wish to continue in future projects? Is there a satisfaction in creating artwork for a political campaign that you support?
I’m not into politics at all. The few political pieces are commisioned editorial illustrations for press articles. I’m trying not to involve my personal beliefs in commisioned work.
Can the people of Beantown (I’m sure that’s a nickname for Boston, right?) currently see your work anywhere?
My work will be on display starting December 12th as a part of RED Biennial in Cambridge. Everybody’s welcome!
If you had to name one other artist that you think we should check out, who would it be?
Well, I have a lot of super talented friends, but a pick of the day for me would be a Polish illustrator Agata Królak,
Once you check her work, you will love it!
When we finally buy our first skyscraper and christen it ‘Raccoon Towers’, would you be interested in designing the boardroom?
A huuuuge YES!
If you’re looking to find out more about Monika and her incredible art projects then head over to her website at: longmuzzle.com