So, tell us a little about yourself and your creations:
I live in Newquay in Cornwall, where I relocated to almost four years ago from London, where I was born and raised by Polish parents. One of my biggest loves is spending time outside in nature, be it surfing, foraging, hiking, sleeping out under the stars, or simply tuning into birdsong. I’m fascinated by this thing we call existence, the awe and mystery of that, that we completely overlook on a day to day basis. The fact that existence exists is both the most ordinary and the most extraordinary thing, and that’s something I enjoy celebrating in my work - be it my surf and nature inspired art, or my children’s picture books (which are the two main strands of my work currently). Wonder and the wild are my thing :) I also enjoy celebrating more gentle, sensitive and compassionate ways of connecting with nature, animals, one and another and ourselves, and that's probably really visible in my latest children’s picture book Wylder.
What inspires the art that you create?
My biggest inspirations are nature, surfing, and reflections on the weirdness and wonder of this thing we call life/existence.
What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist/entrepreneur?
The thing I feel most challenged by currently is how to manage my time when I have lots of work on. Because I am my own boss, this means I have the opportunity to be flexible and, for example, go for a surf when I want, but it also means, on the flip side, that it’s incredibly easy to get overly engrossed in work, work for excessive hours, and not make enough time for proper genuine deep switch-off and disconnect time, and this is something I’m really working on changing right now. It equally feels like in this modern world we are constantly plugged into (and never switched off from) the digital world and it controls a lot of how we live. I use the digital world for my work, and know that it has the potential to serve a great purpose on that front, but I’m currently changing my attitudes and habits surrounding it, so that I have a clear idea of why I’m using it, can plug into it consciously, and equally unplug myself consciously.
What have you learned that you would love to share with others starting their artistic journey?
That making a living out of doing something you enjoy is, all in all, an absolutely fabulous thing to do :)
How long have you been surfing and what does surfing mean to you?
I first started surfing over ten years ago but it’s really only in the last few years - since relocating to live close to the sea and getting a longer board - that I actually feel like I’ve started surfing :)
Surfing is enjoyment, time spent in nature, and exercise, and so many times it’s also been an incredible form of therapy. Being surrounded by and submerged in water and at the will of the waves is a very different experience of life to the one we generally have on land these days. And it is a very good thing to have that. Something that takes you away and gives you a different perspective.
What’s your favorite quote?
There are many I love, so I don’t have a favourite, but one that I recently came across and that really inspired me is by Alan Watts: “This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”