Beautiful autumn weather has always opened up my mind to the imagination. The spectacle of colors makes me move to a completely different world, a place in which everything could possibly happen. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to capture this incredible magic of place and moment, which vanishes very quickly – leaving, not only in my heart, but also in my mind, a certain kind of want for more. I’ve always admired people, who can do this sort of miracles. The ones, who thanks to their extraordinary sensitive souls and great talents know how to capture this beauty, this amazing moment in their photos or paintings. Have you ever been intrigued to get to know who the authors of these heart moving works of art are? How do their lives look like? Whether you go past them walking freely in the park? Well, I’ve asked myself such questions … and I was even more interested in getting to know how they found out these passions and talents in themselves, especially in such demanding fields of painting or photography.
Today, one of my dreams has come true. Namely, I’ve got a chance to present you an incredibly sensitive and talented person, whose works don’t only please the eyes of insightful observers, but also allow to move to a different realm of aesthetic sensations the ones of you, who know nothing about the art. I invite you to read a conversation, which I had the opportunity to carry out with Daria Kucharczyk – a young artist for whom the doors to a spectacular career are wide open, because she does what she loves and she does it in the way which makes it difficult to forget her.
Passion Piece: Could you tell my readers a few words about yourself?
Daria: My name’s Daria, there’s the tenth painting, which I’ve started this month, hanging on the easel in my room and never-ending music flowing from my headphones. Below the bed – the only heaps of folded Bristol paper and long forgotten pencils. You can forget about the artist’s den in the rest of my room … I think I couldn’t find myself in such a mess. I’m a painter and a photography freak, but I also love other forms of art. I’m into everything which I can create myself. Without my camera and paints I wouldn’t be the same person even in a half. I’m not fond of speaking long, but I do love writing, taking photos and … painting, because these are the means of communication, which appeal to me the most.
People say that I’m full of beans when I set my heart on something. Some of my family members and friends would say that I never rest, and the only thing I know is that I can’t and I don’t like being bored – that’s why, the best kind of relaxation for me is the one in action … when I do what I love.
Spending time at home seems to be a disgrace, especially when the weather is fine. The faces moving in front of my eyes, when I travel by bus, are a great pretext for me to take out my sketchbook. I don’t really spend a little fortune in the shopping centers, but in a stationery shop. I believe that art itself could fill my time 24 hours a day – as far as possible, I try to spend as much time as I can on art. Lessons and breaks at school, after school activities and drawing lessons in the afternoon, long weekends spent either in front of the easel or on location with my camera. I can be the calmest and the quietest only while creating, when I’m fully engaged in the painting I’m currently working on. For most of the time I was a self-taught person. However, it changed two years ago, when I passed the exam to High School of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Since then my passion has been developing more intensively and more consciously. I’ve had a chance to spend my time among many creative and ambitious people … which has given me an extra possibility to learn new things.
Passion Piece: What inspired you to set up your blog?
Daria: The main inspiration to set up my blog was my second passion – photography. At the time when my little cozy website was just supposed to be created, I treated it more as my hobby … but I had already dreamed of presenting somewhere my previous works and achievements, just like that, for my own satisfaction. On the other hand, somewhere there, subconsciously, I felt that I would continue this ‘project’ on and on, because my imagination allowed me to see some new topics for the following entries of my blog. I didn’t really think much about my audience, who I could possibly reach – I came to a conclusion that it’s always worth writing even for myself or a couple of people, who would sometimes visit my blog and leave a mark after themselves.
At the same time, my fanpage, related to my drawings and paintings, was developing faster and faster. I noticed then that I’d also love to give my blog at least some semblance of my works. It was another important source of my inspirations, which have influenced its current form. In this way, my website, which was primarily created with photography in mind, has slowly transformed into the corner of my thoughts on everything related to creating, giving tips and sharing some tidbits with people, who have just started their artistic adventure or the ones who have already been engaged in art for some time – interesting artists and their techniques – a kind of inspirations, which I truly love to share with others. It’s a type of content which I don’t place on my fanpage, because of its simple more visual form, which most of my followers have already got used to. Whereas, on my blog, I can say much more about the things that really ‘capture my soul’, reveal what I’m currently working on and what’s going on in my private life.
Passion Piece: How did you discover your passion for painting and photography?
Daria: My interest in a broadly understood term of creating had its beginnings in my early childhood. I know that for most of you, at that time of your lives, crayons weren’t something strange to use, however, since I started drawing – I haven’t stopped doing it with pleasure until today. As a little child, I noticed quite fast that I didn’t really like to ‘store’ my stories and their characters only within the boundaries of my imagination. I loved to create my own fairytale worlds or to come up with totally unexpected endings of already known stories, develop the fortunes of my characters and think of possible twists and turns in their lives just before falling asleep. I made use of some of these ideas, like all kids, during my play time, but at some point I noticed that a vast majority of them would disappear for good one day. I found an ideal solution for this dilemma quite fast in paper, crayons or paints – thanks to them, each story could be permanently and palpably saved. Years went by, and I, maybe partly because of the fact that I quite often read in big amounts, I started coming up with the ideas for my first short stories. The content which I couldn’t depict in my paintings was replaced by a word, and the one which occurred to be difficult to catch for an ear – was accurately illustrated on every page. From tales, through short stories, to ‘novels’, the topics which I touched upon matured together with me. For some time, I was creating even comic books, whose form also combined the word with the picture in a certain way. I can’t really call these first works a conscious way to take up art in the future, but it has emerged with time. In my childhood, I would change the idea ‘who I’d like to become when I grow up’ twice a year on average. Art was something natural for me just like breathing. I can’t imagine that it could be different, that I could live without art.
I truly enjoyed drawing and painting, I developed a bigger sensitivity to what was surrounding me. Pictures, colors, sounds, scents, feelings, emotions – they all gradually started having bigger and bigger importance to me. It was also thanks to writing, which demanded paying attention to such details from me. This was also a time when I noticed that I was getting interested in photography. The beginnings were rather amateur like – but full of enthusiasm and making me desire more and more. A remarkable breakthrough in this matter was my first year in high school – I was hooked on the world of photojournalism and a creative portrait. I discovered the beauty of a few long forgotten corners of Warsaw. I got to know these magical places while searching for an interesting architecture. I even noticed some charm in the places which have surrounded me everyday for 18 years. I learned how to perceive and capture people’s emotions through the lenses of my camera. I also learned how to notice an amazing harmony in simple things – interesting light or unusual shapes. Photography started accompanying me on a daily basis. I have become a better and a more self-confident photographer through getting more experiences and improving my skills.
Passion Piece: How do you combine these two fields?
Daria: I think that the most important for me is the fact that both these fields allow me to capture a fleeting moment, and in this matter they complement one another.
As long as photography can perpetuate beautiful moments or gestures, which last for a split second – impossible things to paint by nature. On the other hand, painting helps to convey values which are invisible to the naked eye. Photography to me, to a great extent, is a form of recording information received from the outside world. If emotions – of course, quite often even very strong ones – usually belonging to the third-party, for example in a portrait or photojournalism.
Naturally, the atmosphere of a given photo skilfully made up of colors, theme or frame will suggest a particular type of feelings. However, when it comes to painting I have more space for a stronger expression. I can modify every piece of reality, as well as adjust conventional ‘depth of focus’ to the elements which are important to me in a given painting, without worrying about the kind of lens I need to use or setting my camera well. All of these mediums help me express my own sense of aesthetics better than anything else.
Frankly speaking, a great amount of my paintings would never be painted, but for photography. The biggest inspirations are hidden not really in those ideal, colorful shots with perfect composition and focus, which you find pity to modify in any way. Your eye is sometimes caught by a single element – an interesting theme, unusual composition, rhythm, a trick of light and shadows. Everything else can be adjusted to your artistic concept and can bring out a totally different aspect from an inspiring photo. With all these obvious needs and advantages of creating out of nature, using photos may also be a great training of your creativity and imagination – provided that you approach it in a way which engages both your creativity and imagination.
Passion Piece: What advice would you give to the artists who are still at the beginning of their artistic journey?
Daria: You should observe. You should be open to the surrounding you world, as against all appearances you can find numerous inspirations in your daily life. You shouldn’t be afraid to draw your inspirations from your favorite artists (it’s not stealing!), but at the same time you shouldn’t compare yourself to them. You should definitely search for yourself in your works. If you face the problem of lack of time, because of many everyday duties – you should devote at least 15-20 minutes to your passion … but every day. Regular creating, in my opinion, is one of the most important foundations of motivation, its effects give us a positive ‘kick’ and willingness to practice, hold on positive habits, observe how we become more skillful in what we do. Besides this, you should make your art available to people. This advice will adjust to all types of works. No matter, whether these are paintings, photographies, sculptures, graphics … It’s only about making our well- known piece of the world familiar with what we do. We should allow people to be a part of our success and further development in exchange for sharing beauty of our works with them. When it comes to me, nothing else allowed me to develop so fast as an artist, both in the sphere of skills and contacts, as well as to gain so much self-confidence. My life has never been so rich as now since I started regularly painting on location. For all the young artists, it’s primarily the best way to break the barriers of shyness, fears, uncertainty when it comes to their skills – and to get many useful experiences essential for all other spheres of life. Besides this, it’s a great chance to meet lots of interesting people, as well as to carry out interesting chats with people who are also interested in art.
Even if it seems to be unlikely – with a little bit of luck – these are ideal circumstances to gain more publicity and to get in touch with important people. I can’t imagine how my life would look like now if there were no all these lucky twists of fate, which have happened in my life so far. For sure my last exhibition would never take place!
Passion Piece: What do you consider to be your greatest success?
Daria: Frankly speaking, I must admit, that my greatest success ‘collectively’ is the whole last year. I don’t mean to sound it the wrong way – simply, one after another, happened many things, which allowed me to develop as an artist and it would be really hard to point at only one happening. In a way, even my perception of time has changed. I would never expect that during 365 days so many good things could happen. I’m trying to recall a particular event, but … what was really the greatest pleasure for me? Maybe my first vernissage during which I met many wonderful people and I saw my old friends. It was the first time I had a chance to talk about my works and themes accompanying a given exhibition with such a self-confidence. Maybe three different exhibitions, which happened one after another during the autumn and winter time – each of them as an initiative of all these wonderful people I had met – and fulfilled promises of the following events. Maybe the first publications of my works, working on a few interesting projects, being officially accepted to a painters’ group. Maybe my wonderful experiences with painting on location, which opened up so many new possibilities for me. Maybe a great deal of support and encouraging words, which I’ve already received and I’ve been still receiving from my family, friends and teachers. For sure, this year, my determination to present what I really do and good intentions of all the people offering me their support have played a great role in my artistic development. That’s why, I think that all these elements in equal measure, without a possibility to appraise, made up really efficient 12 months … and in the same way the best period of my life.
Passion Piece: What is your biggest dream?
Daria: There’s nothing more then I want, but not to resign from my dreams in the future. After graduating from school, while searching for my first job, I wouldn’t like to resign from my passion to art. I’d love to be able to carry it on. It’s nothing fancy – but I know how difficult it’s to gain in the contemporary world. I wouldn’t like to be forced to leave what I love while facing brutal reality of responsible adulthood. It’s difficult for me to imagine myself working in the office at the desk … Although, I’d probably make the best of a bad job if I was accompanied by a graphics tablet and a few useful programs instead of heaps of meaningless documents. Looking at everything from the bigger picture, I have a vision of myself in a few decades, while being a pensioner, traveling to different corners of the world, which I’ve been dreaming of for the whole life … I would capture every visited place in my paintings. For the time being, I’m really attached to Warsaw, as there are still quite a few issues waiting to be finished or the ones which I have just started, such as projects or future plans. I suppose that these conditions will last at least for a few more years.
What’s more, despite the fact that there’s still a lot of learning and practicing ahead of me, I hope that one day, at least once in my lifetime, I’ll be the one standing in front of a group of young artist and teaching them something …
Passion Piece: Have you got any other passions?
Daria: Besides photography and traditional painting, from time to time, I also deal with computer graphics and animation. It’s a kind of treat to me, new possibilities, which I can still successfully combine with already gained experiences. Without any relation to art, I would also enumerate learning French, which I started doing on my own. I’m also fond of music and I like reading the earlier mentioned books. I’m in love with nature, as its complexity keeps surprising me every day. I’ve recently taken up learning about different kinds of flowers as my hobby. It still happens, that from time to time, I write short stories under the influence of a particular, but also fleeting thought, experience or strong emotion. What’s funny, these bigger and smaller passions occurred to be great sources of inspirations and ideas for my painting activities. It only proves that we can search for them everywhere.
Passion Piece: Where do you see yourself in the nearest future?
Daria: Most possibly as a student of Academy of Fine Arts, if only I manage to do that. It will be difficult for me to leave everything in two years’ time when I finish my high school – spacious classrooms full of easels, pieces of advice and jokes of my professors, corrections of my works, atmosphere filled with the haze of creativity (and turpentine). Before starting my stable adult life for good, I’d love to derive knowledge from all the possible sources and to make use of all the chances given to me. Even now, selling my paintings and getting more often and more important orders, allow me to ‘sleep calmly’, and what’s most important, I’m trying to focus on my further development right now … Earning money only on what I love doing – I wish all of you that feeling – as it’s one of the most amazing feelings which exist in the world.
Passion Piece: Which motto would you like to share with my readers?
Daria: ‘Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun.’ (Mary Lou Cook)
This quotation really appeals to me, because it’s a very universal truth. We should be creative parents, friends, employees, creators, interlocutors, neighbors, children … and most importantly, we should be creative for ourselves. Nothing else can give your life such meaningfulness as an idea used with a good intention and faith in your own skills.
Passion Piece: Thank you very much for this beautiful and one of the most moving conversations I’ve had a chance to carry out on my blog so far. I wish you continued personal and professional successes, not only within the boundaries of our country, but also internationally.
Life without passion is blunt, the earlier you learn that the better, as it will allow you to live your life to the fullest and to make use of all the chances offered you by your fate. Everyone has got some talents, you just need to find them in yourself. I hope that this interview will inspire you to further search and to make your dreams come true, as you can fulfill them in various spheres of your life.
See you around!
Websites, which you should visit:
Photos by: Daria Kucharczyk