An interview with an invited artist is published quarterly in Inverclyde Arts Newsletter.
April 2007 - Agnieszka Mizia
Agnieszka Mizia started out as a potter after graduating with a degree in ceramics and design from Glasgow School of Art. However she changed direction after experimenting with paint and soon developed her own particular style. She is now better known for bold and vibrant canvases that tell a story and are full of emotion and mystery.
Born in Zakopane in Poland, she moved to Scotland when she was only five years old. Since embarking upon her artistic journey she has worked in several corners of the world, including a fellowship at the National Art School in Sydney Australia and also as a freelance artist in France and Spain.
How did you get started as an artist?
I have always been creative but after I left school I was undecided on what my career path should be. I tried a few different things which only confirmed what I did not want to do. I then increasingly followed my creative streak through things like fashion and decorating my room so when the job centre asked me what I was interested in, I said art. They then sent me on a Community Industry Art Course and I really enjoyed it. That was what set the ball rolling.
Originally you were a ceramicist - how or why did you start painting?
Even when I did pottery I was very decorative with the clay and used to enjoy painting it very much. When I started painting I found I was devoting an increasing amount of time to it. The effect of paint was much more immediate than clay and I found I could express myself better through paint. Then when I started to develop my own style of painting I never looked back. I still love working in clay but there are not enough hours in the day!
How would you describe your artistic style?
My artist style is eclectic. My work is abstract and bold, expressive and emotional. My paintings explore my interest in astrology and metaphysics and are therefore also full of symbology.
Are there any artists who influence your work?
There are lots of artists who influence me. I love the avant guard of old Russian painters like Kandinski and also Miro and Giacometti. Some modern painters nearer to home are Jean Bell and Paul Murray’s more edgy work.
Where do you take your inspiration from?
I am influenced by everything around me. People, nature, the environment, and also the inner journeys I am going through.
What media do you prefer working in?
I prefer to work in oils. I like the way they can be moved around and the intensity of the colours.
What current projects are you working on?
I am in discussions at the moment with a few galleries in Glasgow with a view to getting my work shown in early summer. My ongoing project is new work that may be seen at the Seagull Gallery in Gourock.
I am also working on a major project which is the creation of a set of Oracle Cards – these work a bit like Tarot Cards. I am using my paintings as illustrations and am spending a lot of time studying old tarot decks and expanding my own knowledge of astrology and symbolism to help me with the writing./p>
What past project did you enjoy most and why?
One of my most recent projects – the mixed Christmas show at the Mclean Museum and Gallery, Greenock. Firstly, because it was a local project and it gave my work a lot of exposure. I also had a lot of input in the organisation and I enjoyed working and exhibiting with people I knew and the show was successful for me.
What are your ambitions and where do you see yourself going with your work in the future?
I hope to have my work published in the form of the Oracle/Guidance cards later in the year and also hope to start illustrating a new tarot deck of cards. I also would like to get my work more widely known across the country.
What would be your advice to an emerging artist?
Experiment, play, and enjoy what you are doing. Do not get too hung up on being perfect and basically have fun!
Follow your heart and don’t take others opinions too personally as each persons idea of what is beautiful or what is good is different.
What are your other interests and hobbies?
I enjoy walking my dog Ellie. I love nature and spend as much time as possible in it. I am also a bookworm and enjoy both fiction and non-fiction. Recently I have turned into a computer geek and spend a lot of time on Myspace. Shopping and going for coffee with my friends is another of my favourite pastimes.