Photo credit to Arcadius Mauritz Photographer
Anna Halarewicz is an award winning Fashion Illustrator that inspired every part of our being once we saw her work for the very first time! Her work is unique and her style... well... all her own. Her work is as beautiful and feminine as you could image but... so is she. Having graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts with a Master's Degree in Graphic Design, she is truly a master at what she does. If you are interested in getting to know a little more about her, I encourage you to read on!
CONCEPTUAL MAGAZINE: Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? Where do you live? What do you do exactly? Is it your business or something you do on the side?
Anna Halarewicz: I am Polish and live in Warsaw, Poland. My main occupation is Illustration, more specifically Fashion Illustration. I am also painting on large canvases. Those works, however, are bit more dark than fashion oriented.
CM: What got you started in painting and illustration? When? How?
AH: Since I remember, painting was my favourite free time occupation. So, I decided to do this in life, it's what pleases me the most. When passion is also your job you have a perfect match!
CM: Tell us about your style in more detail. How did you develop it? How has your style changed? If so, what made it evolve?
AH: I find it a bit hard to describe my style, however one thing is sure, it is a pursuit for perfection... on two levels: perfect line and absolutely perfect soft color blur, hence my love for watercolour. This has been my choice for the last 15 years. I am really happy to see how my style develops, works are cleaner, lines are steadier, less is a new more – it is a golden rule. It is easy to overdo something, one needs to know when to put the brush down. This is especially true since there is no place for mistake in watercolour painting.
CM: Why did you choose to create this type of work?
AH: Many years ago I tried to get into oil painting but I found it was totally not my thing. Watercolour, thanks to transparency and ambiguity, helps me express myself most efficiently and I love the fact that it makes so called “ctrl+z” impossible and that shapes one's character (laugh)!!!!
CM: What other types of art have you experimented with?
AH: I am sort of a gadget-freak so I tried many things, many techniques, but most of the time I move around 2D. I always avoided sculpture; multimedia was also not my thing. Painting alone creates so many possibilities that it should be enough for years, especially when someone is a perfectionist. Lately, I came out of my comfort zone and made dimensional collages so you can see I am not entirely closed to seek new forms.
CM: Is your art influenced by other artists? If so, which?
AH: I don't have one specific favourite painter, I am constantly looking for new things so that my works are not influenced too much. I am more inspired by the person itself, the energy that he or she contains than by the art that he or she creates.
CM: Any other artists that you simply love?
AH: There are no specific names that I favor, it changes all the time, I love medieval painting, renaissance, and works of old masters but I also love the works of Rothko, for example.
CM: What projects have you done or accomplished that make you feel proud of yourself?
AH: All in which I am left to in my own devices. For me, as an illustrator, it is a great thing as I am free then, an artist should have this sense of freedom and trust from his clients. My signature is on all of my works so it obvious for me that I will make them best way I can.
CM: Have you ever exhibited your work? If so, where? Has it been featured in other publications?
AH: Of course, I am organizing exhibitions very often - press illustrations or paintings on canvas. It is always connected with a lot of preparations, gaining patronage, etc. This effort, however, makes the exhibition live long after the vernissage ended, also in media and the Internet. Two years ago, I came up with an idea of organizing big exhibitions connected with my birthday, I find these events very special and although preparations are long, on the 9th of December I am always showing new things... often surprising even those who know me very well. I don't like to repeat myself on exhibitions, I work really hard and each exhibition is something new.
CM: That is really wonderful to hear. Something unique and exciting! Here's my next question... Are you working on any special projects at the moment?
AH: Indeed, but I cannot say anything more, that is my rule! ;) Of course, whilst working on big projects, I am also making quite a lot press illustrations.
CM: What are your plans for the future then?
AH: To keep working with the same enthusiasm and get as much joy and satisfaction out of it as possible. Also to work abroad a bit more often.
CM: What else are you interested in showing the world?
AH: I am letting others see my world through paintings. It is a form of exhibitionism, as some of what I show is really intimate but, that is the way I communicate with the world. I definitely don't like to write or talk about painting. I communicate with images.
CM: What is the message you want to get across with your art? How does your art describe you or help you express yourself?
AH: I remember that back in the day my professor used to say that painting is not only about emotions. For a long time, I couldn't understand this, especially since I was usually painting when strongly agitated ...but there is something to what he said. Emotions are there, no doubt about this, but not only that. I can see how reception of my work varies, how many additional experiences people get, everyone sees something else although those are not abstract paintings. I am always trying to add some ambiguity so that one would like to enter the canvas while looking at it.
CM: Anna, this interview has been wonderful. I've thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you and your work better. We are so happy to have showcased your work on our latest issue of Conceptual Magazine. We can't help but stare at it every time we open the pages of it! Thanks for taking the time of sitting down with us and letting us peek inside your world!