Instagram: @brzozo Behance: www.behance.net/brzozo Website: www.mariabrzozowska.com
1. What's your story? Where are you from?My parents moved from Poland to Turkey in 1994 when I was just one and a half. I feel Polish but call Turkey home. Growing up in another country not only allowed for great adventures, meeting awesome people and living in a new culture but also shaped me into an open-minded person. Recently I have been based in Turkey working as a freelance illustrator but always ready to pick up and move to a new and exciting place.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.My work depicts an alternate reality, a fantasy world of magical realism. Imagination can create beautiful worlds but the search for them is where the adventure hides. My images tell of many fantastic mosaics of stories, dreams and memories all glued with magic.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?Acrylic on paper! I love to physically feel what I am doing – switching off technology allows me to switch on my creativity.
4. What is your artistic process like?I usually walk around with buzzing clouds of ideas. These ideas are like dreams and I never know how I will end up translating them into a visual language. Generally I start with painting abstract backgrounds. Later when the colors create a specific mood I create a story to accompany it.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?I allow everything from everywhere to inspire me.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?I was lucky to grow up with two creative parents. They taught me to create worlds where everything was possible and to allow my imagination to be the architect. I think after a long search and many ups and downs, art let me find my voice. I have always had a strong innate desire to express myself and it wasn’t until I started to creatively create that I finally felt that I could tell my story.
7. Where did you study?I studied Visual Communication at Leeds College of Art in the UK and then completed a MFA in Media and Design at Bilkent University in Turkey.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years? Working in an agency?I love being a freelance illustrator and I hope to keep on growing my network but I also want to be open to any kinds of collaborations. Hopefully I will get to illustrate more children’s books and build on my animations. I definitely don’t want to fit into a ‘box’. I want to try anything and make connections between different disciplines.
9. What about in ten?Still feeding my creativity and weaving dreams.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?We are all addicted to story. These stories make us who we are; we build our identities out of them. This is a clutter of my stories and I want to let you in, hoping that you can find a piece of your story in mine! I hope to empower my audience as active storytellers.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?Anything my mom cooks.
12. Favourite book?A Field Guide To Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
13. Favourite genre of music?No specific genre, just anything that I can lose myself in.
14. What are your hobbies?Being a mom to all dogs.
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?An observer.