BREAKING ON THROUGH
Riding the Tube every morning, I started to notice the faces around me. Everyone seemed so subdued, so glum and joyless, like they already knew this day would be like yesterday, colourless, the same usual staring at the clock, hoping it would end soon.
I couldn’t look like these commuters, could I?
My marketing job at the bank wasn’t so bad, I was making decent wages, had my pension, and days off. I was doing okay, wasn’t I?
At the bank it was my responsibility to make sure others were okay, that projects were running smoothly. I had to reach out to people, satisfy their needs. Make sure all went well from A to Z.
I was the ‘feel good’ person.
But something started to gnaw at me. I didn’t feel too good.
I had taken this dance/painting workshop six years ago, really loved it–and ever since then I had been squelching these feelings that something wasn’t quite right. I’d sit at work, and wonder, what would happen to me if I broke the 9 to 5 habit?’
It seemed so rebellious to even think about giving up such a secure position. I had come to London from Lodz, Poland, worked such dead-end jobs as a coffee shop waitress, a chef’s helper, a wine bar hostess–and here I was thinking about breaking free, being an artist, a creator.
I didn’t even want to tell my parents what I was thinking. They too had conformed, worked hard under the old Communist regime in Poland. To them a bank job meant security, a future.
But riding the Tube, I had this revelation. I saw my own face in the faces around me. They were sad faces, expectant faces–the people knew what their day would be like. They would make phone calls, push paper on their desks. There would be no surprises, no creativity.
I wanted more than that. Much more!
Passion Piece: This dance and painting workshop seemed like it was a turning point for you.
Aga: My journey with painting began at a workshop around six years ago. I knew I had to be there. It was the time when I started listening to my intuition and my heart. Now I know that this was the best decision I have ever made for myself, my development and self-discovery.
Intuitive dance was part of the workshop and I decided to take part in it. I love dancing especially when I can express myself through movement with no one watching and judging. This kind of dance is like a catharsis for my body and soul. It is healing. It frees your soul and brings me closer to my inner self.
Passion Piece: So an interest in painting comes after this flirtation with dance?
Aga: The other part of the workshop was painting, which I was not too interested in. I hadn’t painted since I was a child and I knew nothing about it. I was happy to go to the workshop but that was it. Day after day I became so enthralled by creating on canvas that I was really looking forward to these sessions. When dance was cancelled one day I was ecstatic, and painted for nine hours. I did not want to leave my canvas, paints and brushes. I just wanted to be connected to my canvas.
Passion Piece: It sounds like painting transported you to another world.
Aga: When evening came I went inside and kept painting… My inner journey was as colourful as the paint and I felt nothing but the joy of creation. I was soaring, in a new universe, and I couldn’t believe that I finally found my magic world. I had been looking for such ecstasy, a pursuit that brought peace to my life, a meditative calm. Now I had found it. My heart was filled with love and I just wanted to stay in that state. I didn’t want to talk or get distracted; I was deeply connected with my inner self.
I became a child again and this was such a beautiful experience. We often forget that we still have that little person inside us. This child needs love and cuddling, and more importantly she wants to explore and play which we very often forbid and forget about.
Following my intuition I had awakened my passion, my passion to create. I understood what it means to create and where it can take me. Love and courage to follow my path was reborn. I now had such great determination, new purpose. I believe that we came to this world to create, to create our world around us, to inspire and be inspired. Everything comes from our hearts. By seeing with our hearts and listening to our intuition, we will always find the right path for ourselves.
Passion Piece: You don’t only paint on canvas, but you also create beautiful scarves and pocket squares. What inspired you to enter the fashion world?
Aga: In 2019 I started to create silk scarves and pocket squares. One evening I met with a few friends, and one of them complimented the scarf I was wearing. That was the moment I realized I could create beauty myself, that I could apply my art to scarves. I have been wearing scarves for a very long time and I always feel they beautify women’s outfits. I even buy scarves when I go on holidays.
Passion Piece: So you were so attracted to this scarf making, you plunged into this type of design?
Aga: I overcame my fears, and decided I would give it a try. I bought all the tools, fabric, and paints and started creating and fell in love, immediately. Silk is like a woman – strong yet delicate. I love watching when the paint and water dance on the surface of the silk creating shapes and an incredible mixture of colours – it is hypnotic…
Passion Piece: What clients do you mostly attract? Male or female?
Aga: – Both – women buying for themselves or their friends and men are buying for their mums and girlfriends, wives. Scarves are seductive… so maybe men buy them for their mistresses….
Passion Piece: Where do you look for your inspirations? Do you ever paint to satisfy specific customers?
Aga: I love observing people. I am particularly fascinated by people’s faces, their expression, eyes, their behaviours – I know it can be annoying when other people stare at us so most often I secretly watch through my sunglasses. I don’t want anyone to feel awkward. When I can’t look at people then I look at the sky and nature or paint with my son – Nature is often my inspiration. These fleeting moments are so magical to me — I try to capture them on my scarves, celebrating their shapes and colours. I work intuitively, which means that everything is created on the spur of a moment, I don’t think I feel – I let my soul lead me. I do the same when I paint custom orders.
Passion Piece: Being an artist makes you a free spirit. Why is it important to find a little child in oneself and to allow that child to be free at times?
Aga: Being an artist means that you have that urge to express yourself. An artist hopes to show his or her imagination to the world, to inspire people. It is frequently difficult to reveal oneself for you are showing the deepest recesses of yourself. You are exposing yourself to the world and people may or might not be gentle with you.
Their reactions shouldn’t matter. As children we don’t worry how we paint, dance, talk etc. – we just want to express ourselves – it doesn’t really matter how we are judged. We forget when we grow up that the child is still inside us. We become shy, hide our true identities. But we are still ready to play and have fun. My painting and creating is allowing that child to express itself.
Passion Piece: What do you do to stay at peace with yourself? What tips would you give to everyone who would like to follow your footsteps?
Aga: I paint, I walk, I meditate – it all helps me to focus on the present moment. When I am in that moment there are no problems, no future, no past, no plans, no worries… it is just perfect, it brings peace.
I truly believe that we are incredible creatures; we can do whatever we dream of. We are creation and the creator at the same time – with the right mind set everything is possible. The key is to open your heart, listen to your body and intuition. Every answer is inside you.
Passion Piece: What do you love doing in your free time?
Aga: Unfortunately I don’t have much free time and I have to be really well organized to achieve what I plan during the week. Co- creating Luxury Splash of Art magazine, Artist2Artist Gallery, painting and creating handmade scarves and looking after a four-year-old child requires a lot of time.
But if I had more free time I would paint more. There is so much to learn, so many ideas that I would like to bring to daylight …
Passion Piece: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time? What projects would you like to work on?
Aga: There are a lot of ideas and dreams in my head.
When I was a kid I dreamt of having a house at the beach with a beautiful view of the sea. I was sitting at the window and writing. That dream has not changed –writing is still part of it as I co-create Luxury Splash of Art magazine, and writing is a major part of this project. While looking at the beautiful view, hearing my son in the background, playing with my partner, I paint. I pick up the phone to hear that my silk hand-painted scarves are being well received by customers in Liberty, London and there are more orders for a New York designer, that the Artist2Artist Gallery is having its best year …. I love dreaming but dreams come true.
I am open to all sorts of opportunities; I keep my eyes and heart open because when we focus too much on one thing we might miss something greater. The Universe might have something much better prepared for me than I think. I keep learning how to trust and follow my intuition.
Passion Piece: Which motto would you like to work on?
Aga: ‘All done with love is done well’ by Van Gogh.
Passion Piece: Thank you for this truly inspiring conversation and I wish you continued success in the future!
See you around!
Cover photo: Aggashe Style