Michelle Kowalczyk is an artist from Melbourne with a fascinating body of work. Her talents are wide ranging. She can make beautiful marine and botanical drawings, paint in oils, do lovely digital art, and she even works with fashion and furniture art. One of her recent commissioned works is an oil painting on a laptop!
I was fortunate enough to interview Michelle, and get her thoughts on a few subjects.
Welcome to Mindflight, Michelle! My first question for you us, what’s your favorite form of art?
My Favorite form of art is Oil Painting yet I am biased since this is also my favorite medium, however I believe that artists and art lovers should never let themselves be limited by one form of art, they need to allow the endless possibilities of all forms to influence their appreciation of art. Fashion, sculpture, photography and installations are interests of mine however, I tend to be drawn more to the artworks that possess a focus on using technical skill and hard work in their creation. To me that means the artist has put more of themselves into an artwork and to me that is what great art is. It’s time, effort, thought, self, intention and skill, it’s not the scrap work that should be filed in the studio as sample or trial work, it is the product of obsessive perfection that is cultivated into that final work of art.
I find myself completely agreeing with you. So, what’s your favorite artist?
My favorite artist is Titian, however I also have a soft spot for fantasy artists Julie Bell and Luis Royo. These three have technical skill that I can only aspire to and they have all mastered the human figure to a level that I can only dream of. Also, the fan girl inside of me revels in the fantasy side of the art that both Bell and Royo are truly masters of.
Do you have a piece of advice for people who are just beginning?
For those who are just beginning to venture into the art world, I know it sounds cliche, however practice the basics, start looking at the subject matter not as whole, but in smaller sections that you can break down to the simplest brush or pencil strokes. If you can master thinking like this even the most complicated and complex idea can be transformed into what you imagine it can be. For oil painting you break down the layers of paint then build them up on your canvas, for drawing its shape form that can be simplified into simplistic lines that can be used as the foundation of more complex details…
I could go on, but its really those basics that can travel over all disciplines. Also practice not because you shouldn’t listen to yourself when you think this is a shitty drawing I can’t draw but because by practicing you are improving your hand to eye control and inevitably you will improve even if that’s only because muscle memory begins to play a part in your development. Practice makes perfect isn’t a saying or old wives tale based on a lie like eating crusts will make your hair curly, it’s a mantra that really does work.
I’d also tell artists not to limit themselves by only focusing on art they know they love. Inspiration can be found even in the art we hate because we see what would not want to do ourselves and every little artwork helps us to evolve our opinions and our art.
What is a challenge to you as an artist?
I suffer from perfectionism. There are hundreds of artworks and drawings that never even get released onto the internet because really it’s just not good enough and I want to share only the artworks that make the cut. It also means I spend a lot of money on supplies and time on sample pieces so that the final artwork design is something I am not ashamed to share. last year my studio had 230 artworks they were left unfinished due to a flaw or they were scrapped into my black book. To this moment there less than 30 That I would even consider worth exhibiting. My current abstract works are my attempt to alleviate the negative toss away must be perfect outlook I struggle with by giving me some room for error in the abstract area. As a result I’m beginning to create artwork I feel might just be good enough to finally start exhibiting with. Hopefully end of this year or next I will work to have my first solo exhibition.
What’s your favorite thing about art?
My favorite thing about art is the intense control and meditative care it requires. I need the control it creates for me, not because I am erratic or insane but because its what keeps me happy. Without it, I wouldn’t be who I am and I definitely wouldn’t have the self control and focus I do in my everyday life. For me art is my tai chi and without it I wouldn’t recognize myself. My favorite thing about it is that its the part of me I love the most and it helps me to work out my issues and thoughts while sharing a glimmer of what my overactive imagination conjures in the guise of something beautiful.
Thank you very much for stopping by, and I wish you the best in your career! If anyone wants to see your work, I’ll place some links below.
Thank so much for featuring me!
If anyone wants to check out more of Michelle’s art, feel free to check out these links. There’s far more to find than I could show here!